FAIRFIELD, CT (February 21, 2013) - Sacred Heart senior Shane Gibson (Killingly, CT) scored a season-high 36 points but Quinnipiac closed the game on an 11-4 run to come away with an 81-74 win Thursday night in Northeast Conference action in the William H. Pitt Center. Gibson hit six three's on the night to set a new Sacred Heart record for career three-point makes.
Gibson finished 13-of-27 from the field and six-of-13 from behind the arc on his way to his third 30-point effort this season. Gibson moves past former Pioneer Ryan Litke for first place on the all-time list. Gibson now has 272 career three point makes, two better than Litke's 270 from 2006-2010.
The Pioneers (9-16, 7-7 NEC) were fueled in the first half by Gibson and junior Louis Montes (Brockton, MA) who combined for 34 of the Pioneers 42 points at the break. Gibson went eight-of-12 from the field hitting four three's for 20 points. SHU shot 64.3 percent (18-28) as a team and made six three's. Despite shooting the lights out and hanging tough on the boards with the Bobcats in the first half, SHU led by just four, 42-38, at the half.
Quinnipiac (13-13, 9-5 NEC) came out and 7-3 spurt tied the game at 45-45 just a minute and a half into the second half. Ike Azotam had four points on the rally while Zaid Hearst buried a three. Gibson kept the hot hand to start the second half and chipped in with 16 more, helped by two more threes.
A three-point play by Gibson at 11:39 put SHU up 61-55 but his last points of the night would come with 8:58 to play. A jumper from the wing put SHU up 65-63 with just under nine to play but the shots stopped falling for the senior guard and the Pioneers would struggle down the stretch. Gibson would miss his final four shots and after a Phil Gaetano (Wallingford, CT) three with five mintues left, SHU could only manage two more buckets the rest of the way.
After Gaetao beat the shot clock with a hand in his face to give the Pioneers a 70-68 lead, the Bobcats took control with five mintues to play. Azotam tied the game at 70-70 and but his team up for good with the ensuing free to complete the three point play. Shaq Shannon got an easy lay-up off a steal and the Bobcats went eight-for-10 at the line down the stretch to seal away their fifth-straight win.
Montes finished with 17 points to join Gibson in double figures, but had just three point in the second half. Gaetano dished out 10 assists for his ninth double digit assist game this year.
The Bobcats had the edge at the charity stripe, making 25-of-29 while the Pioneers went just five-of-eight in the loss. The Pioneers drop their third-straight, all at home, and fifth game in their last six.
Sacred Heart will play the final home game of the 2012-13 season on Saturday hosting Central Connecticut on Newtown Community Day. All Newtown residents with an ID will get free admission to the basketball doubleheader.