FAIRFIELD, Conn. - Mario Matasovic's driving layup with 2.8 seconds left got the Sacred Heart men's basketball team a 66-65 win over the Fairleigh Dickinson Knights at the Pitt Center Sunday afternoon.
Fairleigh Dickinson - 4-9, 1-1 NEC
Sacred Heart - 6-9, 1-1 NEC
The Turning Point
After the two teams played to a 30-30 tie in the first half, SHU opened the second half on a 5-2 run to take a 35-32 lead. Fairleigh Dickinson responded with a 10-1 run over 3:36 to take a 42-36 advantage with 12:43 to go. The Knights led by 12 with 7:38 to go when back-to-back Kinnon LaRose threes sparked a 10-0 Pioneers run to get within two, 58-56. FDU went back up by seven, taking a 63-56 lead on a Jahlil Jenkins layup with 4:14 to go. The Pioneers then got a Matasovic layup and a LaRose three to make it a two-point game, 63-61, with 2:59 remaining.
Mike Holloway Jr. gave FDU a four-point lead with his basket at the 1:01 mark, making the score 65-61. LaRose then made his sixth three-pointer of the game with 0:54 left to make the score 65-64. Matasovic then stole the ball on the Knights' next possession, giving SHU a chance to take the lead with 0:36 left. After Charles Tucker Jr. missed a three-pointer, Matasovic pulled down the offensive rebound, drove to the basket and put up his layup. FDU was called for goaltending, putting the Pioneers ahead 68-66. Darian Anderson had a chance to win the game for the Knights, but his shot at the buzzer was off the mark.
- Joseph Lopez had six of SHU's first eight points.
- A pair of Darnell Edge free throws with 11:44 to go sparked a 7-2 FDU run that put the Knights up 17-15 with 10:47 to go.
- Holloway's three-point play with 6:52 remaining gave FDU its largest lead of the half, 23-18.
- The Pioneers outscored FDU 12-7 in the final 6:31 of the half to tie the game 30-30. LaRose had five of those 12 points.
- SHU outrebounded FDU 26-13 in the half.
- SHU assisted on 10 of 12 made baskets.
- Anderson scored six of FDU's eight points in an 8-0 run that put the Knights ahead 53-42 with 9:32 to go.
- SHU outscored FDU 22-8 in the final 8:04 of the game. Matasovic and LaRose scored all 22 points.
- The Pioneers held the Knights to 3-for-11 from the field in the final eight minutes.
- LaRose scored all 16 of his second-half points in the final 8:04.
Key Stats and Notes
- LaRose led all players with a career-high 24 points and nine rebounds.
- Matasovic and Lopez each had 15 points. Lopez added six rebounds and two blocks.
- SHU outrebounded FDU 49-33, two days after outrebounding St. Francis Brooklyn by 17.
- Anderson led five Knights in double figures with 19 points and added eight rebounds.
The Pioneers travel to Wagner for a 7 p.m. game on Thursday, Jan. 4.