December 18, 2011

Pioneers Fall 64-54 to Great Danes

Albany, N.Y.—The Great Danes remain undefeated at home as the Sacred Heart women's basketball team fall 64-54 against the University of Albany. The Pioneers now have a 9-2 record this season.

An intense Albany defense made it hard for Sacred Heart to put points up early on despite Callan Taylor (Overland Park, Kan.) putting the first points on the board. It would be over five minutes from the first jump shot before the Pioneers would score again; a trey from Blair Konszewski (Vienna, Va.).

In the meantime, the Great Danes went on an eight-point run to jumping out to an early lead that Sacred Heart would have to work hard to catch. Sophomore Lindsey Lowrie was responsible for Albany's first six points.

Four shots in a row by rookie Gabrielle Washington (Mesa, Ariz.) for eight points put the Pioneers back in the game, decreasing the Great Danes lead to four points, 19-15. 

Morgan Merriman (Seattle, Wa.) turned on the heat knocking down four consecutive shots, the second of which knotted the score at 19. But it was quickly answered by a jumper from Lowrie to give Albany back the lead. However, Merriman would put the next to shots in to give Sacred Heart its first lead of the game 23-21.

The Albany offense came back with a six-point run featuring a layup from the team's leading scorer Ebone Henry and a pair of made foul shots from senior Casadra Callaway to put them on top 27-23.

Just inside the two minute mark, freshman Katie Shepard (Lone Tree, Colo.) nailed a jumper from outside the arc to tie the game at 27. Seconds later, Taylor put in a trey of her own to give the Pioneers the lead. They would go into halftime leading 30-29.

Both offenses came out ready to play in the second half. Sacred Heart put up four quick points, but Albany had five to tie the game at 34 with 17:30 left to play. 

The teams traded points before Albany went on a 10-2 run to boast a 49-40 lead inside the 10 minute mark. They improved their lead by putting eight points on the board between Pioneer buckets. 

Koniszewski and Taylor ended the Great Danes' streak by knocking down a three-pointer and layup respectively. The Pioneers, however, would never reclaim the lead.

Sacred Heart's aggressiveness ended up hurting them in the end as the last seven Great Dane points were from the charity stripe, mostly by center Megan Craig who had four.

Taylor managed to pick up her sixth double-double of the season in the 64-54 loss. The forward put 13 points on the board and grabbed 12 rebounds. 

Merriman tallied a total of 10 points in the contest. This was the second time this season the junior has put up double-digits.

Washington continues to be a shooter, putting up 13 points, the ninth game in which she's had double-digit scoring.

The Pioneers take to the court again after the holiday as they head to Manhattan on December 30.