FAIRFIELD, Conn – In front of a red hot Pitt Center crowd of 1,369 fans, the Sacred Heart men's basketball team shot an ice cold 36.8 percent from the floor on their to a 73-60 loss to Mount St. Mary's Thursday night. The 60 points is the third lowest for the Pioneers this season. Sacred Heart falls to 1-8 in the NEC this season, while Mount St. Mary's improves to 6-3 in the conference.
Louis Montes (Brockton, MA) led the way for SHU, notching his third double-double of the season with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Steve Glowiak (New Britain, CT) chipped in with 13 points on 5-of-15 shooting. On top of 36.8 percent from the floor, the Pioneers made just 3 of 18 from beyond the three-point line. Evan Kelley (Norwalk, CT) shot 3-of-13 from the floor for six points.
On the other side, the Mount had four players score in double digits with reigning NEC Player of the Week Rashad Whack leading the way with 16 points. Gregory Graves and Will Miller both scored 14 points apiece.
Fired up from the loud and boisterous SHU crowd, the Pioneers started the game on an 8-0 run to jump all over the Mount early. Montes, De'Von Barnett (Waldorf, MD) and Kelley all finished off lay-ins to stir an already excited SHU crowd.
Not down for long, Mount St. Mary's rattled off a quick seven points to get within one at the 13:52 mark. After a hot shooting start for Sacred Heart, things started to cool off as the Mountaineers and Pioneers went back and forth for most of the first half.
Montes put in back-to-back buckets for SHU to put the Pioneers up 12-9 with 11:44 left in the first. Montes finished off another lay-in to give SHU a 20-17 lead with 7:36 left. Montes had 14 in the first.
Up 20-17, the Pioneers couldn't quite quite extend enough distance from Mount St. Mary's as SHU missed its next five shots and finished the half, 3-for-13 from the floor. Solid defense kept SHU in the ball game and temporarily contained the highest scoring team in the Northeast Conference.
The Pioneers finally hit their first three-pointer of the first half (out of ten attempts) when Glowiak drilled one to give SHU a 30-28 lead with less than a minute left. Whack closed the half out with a couple of free throws to tie the game at 30 going into halftime.
Sacred Heart's cold shooting started to come back and bite them in the second half as they had much more trouble stopping Mount St. Mary's on the other end.
Mostafa Abdel Latif (Alexandria, Egypt) put SHU on the board in the second half with a jump hook to take a 32-30 lead. Sacred Heart took its final lead of the game on a Montes lay-in with 17:46 left to take a 38-37 lead.
Mount St. Mary's reacted with a 10-2 run to take a 47-40 lead with 15:56 left in the first.
Glowiak knocked down his second three of the game to halt the Mountaineers run and pull SHU within four at the 14:55 mark. Mount St. Mary's extended its lead all the way to 12 about halfway through the second half on a Khlaid Nwandu lay-in.
The Mountaineers started the pull away later in the second half after a sequence in which Julian Norfleet made a lay-up, while Graves followed that up with a put-back jam and a lay-in of his own to take a 15 point lead with 3:54 left.
Eleven points would be as close as SHU would get from there as the Mount secured their sixth conference win of the season.
Sacred Heart continues its five-game home stand Saturday afternoon as the Wagner Seahawks come to town for a 2:00 tip.