December 30, 2009

Men's Basketball Wins Third Straight - Takes Down Brown 83-78

Dec. 30, 2009

Final Stats

FAIRFIELD, CT - Senior Ryan Litke (Windsor, CT) had his first career double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds, and set the school career three-point shooting record in the process, to help the Sacred Heart men's basketball team come back to defeat Brown 83-78 Wednesday night in the Pitt Center.

Litke hit three treys in the game, giving him 220 in his career. He eclipsed the mark set by Darrin Robinson from 1989-93.

The win was the third straight for the Pioneers and lifted their record to 8-4. It was also the third straight game the Pioneers have had to climb out of a double digit hole to win the game. The 8-4 mark is the best start for a SHU men's hoop team in Division I.

The Pioneers jumped out to a 17-12 lead in the first seven minutes of the game. Senior Corey Hassan (Merrimack, NH) had nine of the first 17 points, while six came from Litke on a pair of threes. Hassan finished the game with 23 - the eighth time this season he has scored twenty or more.

The Brown defense put the clamps on the Pioneer offense and held SHU to just six points over the next nine minutes, building a 33-23 lead. The Pioneers closed the intermission gap to just two at 35-33 by scoring 10 of the last 12 points.

Brown, 5-8, came out strong in the second half and quickly pushed the lead back up to seven just over two minutes into the period. A Matt Mullery layup had the Bears ahead 56-49 with 12:40 to play. Mullary led all scorers in the game with 31 points.

A Chauncey Hardy (Middletown, CT) three, followed by a steal from Steve Zazuri (Monroe, CT) and a layup from Litke cut the Brown lead to two thirty seconds later. Brown again pushed the gap back to seven at 63-56 midway through the half before the Pioneers began another second-half comeback.

A Litke 15-footer cut the Brown lead to one with 6:45 left and Hardy gave the Pioneers their first lead in the second half at 67-65 with a three :20 later.

Mullery tried ti keep his tram in it, scoring six straight points to tie the contest at 73-73 with 2:56 remaining. Senior Liam Potter (Lincolnshire, England), who had his third straight double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds, made one of two free throws with 2:34 remaining to give SHU a 74-73 lead.

After a Brown turnover, junior Jerrell Thompson (Plainfield, NJ) put the Bears in trouble with a three with 1:17 left to push the SHU edge to four at 77-73. The Bears missed a layup the next time down and were forced to foul Thompson, who canned both tries and put Brown away.

"We've been getting scoring from the other guards but that shot by Thompson was big," said head coach Dave Bike. "They backed off of him and he decided to take it."

Thompson tied his career high with 12 points.

Bike also had praise for Potter's three straight double digit performances - the first time a SHU player had accomplished that feat since Joey Henley did it last season in four straight games.

"You always want guys to improve but seldom do you see them improve to getting double-doubles like this," he said. "He played very well again tonight but I still think he could have had a few more (rebounds)."