Feb. 25, 2010
FAIRFIELD, CT - For 39 minutes Thursday night it looked like the Pioneer men's basketball team had given itself a chance to make the Northeast Conference Tournament. Fairleigh Dickinson's Mike Scott changed all that with a three-pointer in the final minute and FDU went on to win, 64-59.
It was the second time this season the Pioneers had seen a huge lead against FDU evaporate. In January, FDU erased a 22-point deficit with 11 minutes left to win 88-85. Tonight the Knights fell behind by 19.
The loss drops the Pioneers to 6-11 in the NEC and leaves them in 10th place, two games out of the eighth and final playoff slot. FDU improves to 10-7 in conference play - tied for fourth.
The Pioneers held FDU to just one for their first 20 from the field in the first 12 minutes of the game, but SHU could manage just a ten-point lead at 14-4. The Pioneers led 26-17 at the intermission, led by seven points from senior Chauncey Hardy (Middletown, CT).
Sacred Heart, 13-15, scored the first eight points of the second half to double up the Knights, 34-17. A Josh Marshall layup with 12:52 remaining gave the Pioneers a 19-point bulge at 43-24. The senior finished with a career-high ten points.
The Pioneers still led by 17 with 8:31 left but FDU scored 21 of the last 25 points, using Scott's trey with :58 left to send the game to overtime tied at 52-52.
Scott was fouled on the first possession of the overtime and hit two free throws to give the Knights their first lead of the game. After a missed three by Jerrell Thompson, Alvin Mofunanya converted a dunk at the other end to give FDU a 56-52 lead.
Hardy cut it to two with a pair of free throws, and senior Corey Hassan gave SHU the lead back at 57-56 with his first trey of the game. The lead was short lived as Kamil Svrdlik answered with a layup for FDU and Mofunanya made it a three-point gap with 1:05 left in the game after Thompson missed a layup.
Ryan Litke missed a three for the Pioneers that would have tied it with :37 remaining and Terence Grier hit two free throws for FDU when he was fouled to make it 62-57. Hardy got it back to a one-possession game with two free ones of his own, but Grier finished the Pioneers off with two more free throws with :14 left.
The loss was the eighth in the last nine games for the Pioneers and knocked them out of the playoffs for the first time since the 2004-05 season. For head coach Dave Bike it was difficult watching a team that had it's best Division I start ever when it sat at 12-7 on the 23rd of January.
"I wasn't around when Rome fell," said Bike. "But it probably felt the same way as this."