FAIRFIELD, CT (February 23, 2013) - Sacred Heart junior Steve Glowiak (New Britain, CT) scored 21 points to lead four Pioneers in double figures but Central Connecticut got a pair of 20-point games from Kyle Vinales and Joe Efese to come away with an 80-72 Northeast Conference win Saturday in the William H. Pitt Center. The Pioneers drop their fourth-straight at home to fall to 7-8 in the NEC this year.
The Pioneers (9-17, 7-8 NEC) got matching double doubles from senior Shane Gibson (Killingly, CT) and junior Louis Montes (Brockton, MA) who finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds apiece in the loss. CCSU kept Gibson under wraps for much of the afternoon, limiting him to five-of-16 shooting including two-of-seven from three.
Vinales, the NEC's leading scorer, led the Blue Devils (11-15, 7-8 NEC) with 28 points while chipping in four assists, two steals and a block. Vinales did much of his damage in the second half scoring 21 of his game high 28 in the second stanza. Efese had a career afternoon with 21 points, eight blocked shots, six rebounds and two assists.
Gibson scored a quick five points on a tip-in and a three in the early going while Glowiak buried five threes in the first half, helping the Pioneers get out to a 17-11 lead six minutes in. Trailing 19-14, CCSU used a 7-0 run to take the lead with Vinales scoring five-straight. The Blue Devils extended their lead to 27-21 as Efese converted back-to-back jumpers with six minutes left.
Glowiak drilled a three to cut that lead in half and his fourth of the half at 3:48 pulled SHU even at 29-29. An 8-3 spurt put Central back up five but Glowiak's fifth triple of the half with six ticks left sent SHU to the locker room down 37-35. The Pioneers made seven-of-16 from three in the first half but would hit just two-of-11 the rest of the way from downtown.
The Blue Devils took the lead at 48-46 with 12:23 left and stretched their lead on makes by Efese and Andrew Hunter. A lay-up by freshman Tevon Falzon (Newton, MA) tied the game at 52-52 with 8:21 left before CCSU would take the lead back for good. Vinales converted a three-point play on the next possession and then followed with a lay-in and three to put his team up 62-56 with five to play.
SHU twice cut it to two at the free throw line and a three by Gibson at 2:47 pulled the Pioneers to within 66-65. Hunter came down and buried a jumper and after a turnover, Vinales hit a pair of free throws to push the lead to five. SHU's Glowiak hit a runner but the Blue Devils closed the game out thanks to a 10-2 run fueled by two more Vinales buckets.
CCSU took full adavantage of 12 SHU turnovers to the tune of 19 points. Hunter finished with a double double scoring 10 points and grabbing 11 boards while Brandon Peel tallied 15 points for CCSU.
Falzon came off the bench and scored 10 points and grabbed six rebounds for SHU.
The Pioneers will travel to Bryant University on Monday night to make up the cancelled game from the blizzard two weeks ago. SHU's Gibson will need just five points to eclipse 2,000 points for his career. He would be just the fifth player in NEC history to accomplish that feat.