Feb. 14, 2004
BROOKLYN, NY - Senior guard Maurice Bailey scored a game-high 22 points, while sophomore Kibwe Trim added 20 to help the Sacred Heart Pioneer men's basketball team erase a 16-point first half deficit, and defeat Long Island University 92-87 in a Northeast Conference game on Saturday.
The Pioneers hit just four of their first 16 shots and LIU took advantage, running out to a 26-11 lead midway through the first half. Freshman guard Evan Meekins had the hot hand early for the Blackbirds, hitting three of four shots from three-point range. LIU would extend its advantage to 35-19 with 5:28 to go in the half after a layup by Eugene Katorabai.
Sacred Heart finally got the offense in gear and outscored the Blackbirds 20-7 down the stretch to pull within42-39 at the intermission.
"Going into the locker room down three at the half was critical," said SHU coach Dave Bike. "I thought we were still playing with composure but our shots weren't falling early and theirs were."
A three-point play by freshman forward Joey Henley on the opening possession of the second half brought the Pioneers all the way back and tied the score at 42-42. A fast break layup by Henley with 15:20 to go in the game gave the Pioneers a 56-55 lead, their first lead since they hit the first bucket of the game.
Sacred Heart would build that lead as high as nine points at xx-xx with xx:xx to play, but the Blackbirds still had a lot of life left. A three-point bucket by Morgan Williams with 7:05 to play tied the game at 72-72.
Williams drained another three for LIU with just 2:15 left that tied the score at 83-83. The Pioneers answered with a layup by Joey Henley to retake the lead. After a Blackbird miss, Henley was fouled driving to the basket and drained two free throws to put the Pioneers up four at 87-83 with 1:43 to go.
Esa Maki-Tulokas, who led five Blackbird players in double figures with 16 points, put back an offensive rebound to bring LIU back within two. The Pioneers couldn't convert on offense and Derek Bell knocked home a short jumper to tie the game again at 87-87 with :59 on the clock. Trim was fouled driving to the hoop on the next Pioneer possession. He made the first, but missed the second. Joey Henley got the offensive board and kicked it back outside. SHU ran the clock down and Bailey took a backdoor pass from Henley for an uncontested layup to give the Pioneers a 90-87 lead.
Williams hoisted up a three for the Blackbirds with :03 to go to try and tie the game. The shot bounced off the rim and Tre Samuels grabbed the rebound. He threw a downcourt pass to Henley who dunked it as the horn sounded. Henley finished the game with 17 points.
The Pioneers finished the game shooting an impressive 24-28 from the free throw line (86 percent), including a perfect nine-of-nine by Bailey. Bailey has now canned a school-record 23 consecutive free throws.
Senior guard Omar Wellington also finished in double figures for Sacred Heart with 16 points.
The Pioneers will be in action again on Monday night at home at 7:00 p.m. against Monmouth University.