November 16, 2011

Merriman and Pioneers March Over Lehigh for Third Win

Fairfield, CT.—Morgan Merriman and Blair Koniszewski's career-high's help the Pioneers edge out the Lehigh Mountain Hawks 68-51 Wednesday night.

The start of the game was all Lehigh as they came out strong with a 13 point run in the first five minutes started by Sarah Pearce's three-pointer just 11 seconds into the game. The Mountain Hawks held the Pioneers scoreless until the 15:41 mark when Koniszewski (Vienna, VA) landed a shot from outside the arc to put three points on the board for Sacred Heart.

Koniszewski's three kick-started the Pioneer offense on a 10 point run highlighted by Gabrielle Washington (Mesa, AZ) and Ericka Norman's (Chino Hills, CA) lay-ups, a jumper from Callan Taylor (Overland Park, KS) and three more points by Koniszewski.

Sacred Heart had tied the game at 21 with 7:20 left in the half. Once again, shooter Koniszewski nailed a jumper to give the Pioneers a 23-21 lead.

"I'm very proud of Blair who I think really helped get us started on that turn around," said Head Coach Ed Swanson.

The Pioneers pad their lead some more before the halftime buzzer with five points by Merriman (Seattle, WA) and six from Taylor. They would go into halftime on top of the Mountain Hawks 40-31. 

The Sacred Heart offense came out scoring quickly in the second half. Norman found the open lane and put the ball in the basket for two in the first 30 seconds.

Lehigh stayed in the game, answering every Pioneer basket with one of their own in the beginning of the second half. It was not enough, however, to catch up to a hot Sacred Heart offense.

Merriman's ten points in the second half, helped the Pioneers runaway with the win. Her game total of 16 points ties a career high set February 12, 2011 at Quinnipiac. 

Taylor picked up her second double-double of the season, 41st of her career by recording 15 rebounds and 22 points. 

Koniszewski knocked down two points in the second half giving her 13 points on the night, breaking her previous career-high of 11 from January 3, 2011 against Wagner.

Norman also lit up the board with double digits, scoring ten points. 

The win over Lehigh makes the Pioneers 3-0 to start the season, something they have not done in 17 years, since the 1994-95 season.

"I still think you learn a lot more from wins than losses, but we still have a long way to go and have to keep working," said Swanson. 

The Pioneers head to Colgate University for their match up with the Raiders at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday.