Pioneers Suffer 64-60 Setback to Saint Francis U

FAIRFIELD, CT (February 14, 2013) - Sacred Heart's Shane Gibson (Killingly, CT) scored 26 points with eight rebounds, five steals and four assists but it wasn't enough as the Pioneers saw their five-game home winning streak snapped at the hands of the Saint Francis U Red Flash, 66-62, Thursday night.  The Pioneers fall to 9-14 overall and 7-5 in the Northeast Conference with the loss.

Sacred Heart (9-14, 7-5 NEC) were without starting point guard Phil Gaetano (Wallingford, CT) who was forced out of action due to an illness.  The Pioneer offense shot just 36.8 percent (21-57) and scored just 60 points, a season-low in NEC games.  Gibson provided 26 points and junior Louis Montes (Brockton, MA) chipped in 13 points but no other Pioneer scored more than six in the loss.

The Red Flash (3-21, 3-10 NEC) got off strong start and shot the three well in the first half, making five-of-eight from behind the arc.  SFU jumped up 18-8 at the 12 minute mark and extended their lead to its high point of 30-16 with 6:44 left.  Ollie Jackson had the hot hand for the Red Flash, hitting three from downtown in the first seven minutes of action.

Gibson was held in check early but got hot leading the Pioneers on a 14-2 run over the final 5:28 of the first half.  Gibson scored 10 points on the run including a pair of three's in the final minute to send SHU into the locker room tied at 32-32.

The second half was as tight a game as it gets with six ties, 10 lead changes and neither team able to go up by more than three points unitl the final 20 seconds of the game.  Gibson matched his first half with 13 more points in the second half but SHU could muster little offense, going eight-of-26 (.308) from the field and just one-of-six (.167) from three.  Ronnie Drinnon provided a spark for the Red Flash in the second half, scoring 10 of his 12 points. 

Saint Francis grabbed a three point lead on a Umar Shannon three at 5:24 to lead 52-49.  Gibson answered right back witha three of his own on the next trip down.  Drinnon gave his team a 55-54 lead with a three-point play with 2:38 left.  SHU tied it on last time on a steal and break-away lay-in by sophomore Steve Glowiak (New Britain, CT) with 1:26 left.

Earl Brown buried a jumper with 54 seconds left and after a Gibson miss with 29 ticks left, SHU was forced to foul.    Brown extended the lead to 60-56 making both and after two SHU freebies, Greg Brown pushed the lead back to four with two of his own with 20 ticks left.

The Pioneers turned it over on their next possesion and got some help when after an intentional foul was called, Shannon missed both free throws.  Keeping the ball, SHU fouled Greg Brown and he made one of two with seven seconds left to push the lead to five, solidfying the win for the Red Flash.

SFU had five players in double figures led by a double double 13 points, 11 rebounds by Earl Brown.  Greg Brown came off the bench for 11 points as the Red Falsh reserves scored 16 pionts on the night.

The Pioneers are right back at it on Saturday afternoon hosting the Robert Morris Colonials at 3:30 pm.

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