LAS VEGAS, NV – In the final game of the Pioneers' four game road trip out west, the Sacred Heart men's basketball team fell 75-70 to the Florida A&M Rattlers at the Orleans Arena. Sacred Heart moves to 2-12 on the season and 0-4 in the Contintental Tire Las Vegas Classic.
Sacred Heart shot 36.6 percent (26-of-71) from the field, including a dismal 27.5 percent (11-of-40) in the first half. Pioneers finished 5 of 22 (22.7%) from beyond the arc.
Junior Steve Glowiak (New Britain, CT) led Sacred Heart in scoring, putting in 19 points on 6-of-17 shooting, while Chris Evans (Stamford, CT) added 18, going 12-15 from the free throw line. Off the bench, freshman De'Von Barnett (Waldorf, MD) scored a career-high 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting. Junior point guard Phil Gaetano (Wallingford) added a couple three-pointers and recorded 10 assists.
For Florida A&M, Jamie Adams poured in a game-high 23 points, including 9-of-10 shooting from the free throw line. Trey Kellum was the only other Rattler in double digits with 15 points on 7-of-11 shooting.
Sacred Heart got off to a nice start thanks to quick ball movement and a couple of buckets by De'Von Barnett. Gaetano found Barnett for a lay-up with 13:33 remaining to tie the game at eight. The heady point guard found Barnett again, this time for a jumper to give the Pioneers a 16-12 lead with 6:10 remaining. Following a couple missed lay-ups and a turnover, Sacred Heart took its biggest lead of the game on a Louis Montes (Brockton, MA) lay-up to put SHU ahead 18-12 with 4:18 remaining in the half. Pierre Crawford and Jomari Bradshaw responded for FAMU, combining for nine points in a 13-5 run to close the first half. Pioneers trailed 25-23 at the break.
After shooting just 27.5% (11-of-40) from the floor in the first half, Florida A&M began starting the half hot, hitting 5-of-6 shots to take a 38-32 lead with 15:37 remaining. After exchanging a few baskets back and forth, Steve Glowiak ignited Sacred Heart with back-to-back three-balls to cut the Rattlers leads to 43-42 with 12:18 left.
Following a missed Glowiak three and a turnover, the Gaetano-to-Barnett combination struck again, giving the Pioneers their first lead of the second half, 44-43 at 11:22. Gaetano then found Mostafa Abdel Latif in transition to give Sacred Heart its biggest lead of the second half, 49-45 with 9:45 remaining. Evans added a lay-up to put SHU up four again with 9:25 left.
FAMU responded with a 21-8 run to take a nine point lead with 1:27 remaining. Gaetano knocked down a three from the right side to cut the A&M lead to 68-62 with 1:08 remaining. Another three from Montes had the Pioneers trailing 60-55 with 43.4 seconds remaining. SHU would close within three points twice in the final 38 seconds but FAMU was clutch from the free-throw line. The Rattlers finished the final 1:27 of the game 8-of-9 from the charity stripe to close the door on the Pioneers.
In the Pioneers' four games out west, they shot 39.0% (94-of-241) from the field, including 28.9% (20-69) from beyond the three-point arc. Sacred Heart will be in action next on January 4th when they travel to New Hampshire to take on the Wildcats.