January 9, 2012

Sacred Heart Routs Terriers; Take Over Top Spot in NEC

Fairfield, Conn.—Every Pioneer scored in the Sacred Heart women's basketball team's 23-point win over the St. Francis (NY) Terriers Monday night in the William H. Pitt Center. With tonight's 62-33 win, the Pioneers remain undefeated in conference play; 4-0. In conjunction with Bryant's win over Robert Morris, SHU now has sole possession of the No. 1 spot in the Northeast Conference.

The Pioneers and Terriers combined for eight missed shots in the first two minutes of the game before St. Francis's Stefanie Bingham fouled Ericka Norman (Chino Hills, Calif.) sending her to the charity stripe to post the first two points of the game. Twenty-five seconds later, Norman found herself back at the line after being fouled by Katie Fox. She knocked down both shots to give Sacred Heart a 4-0 lead, one they would never relinquish.

Sacred Heart put four more points on the board before the Terriers knocked down their first bucket of the night; a three by the team's leading scorer, Jaymee Veney, just before the 14-minute mark.

The Pioneer offense then kicked it into high-gear going on a 10-3 run that increased their lead to 18-6 with eight minutes left in the half. When the buzzer went off to end the half, the scoreboard had Sacred Heart up 29-14.

The Terriers opened the second half with a shot from inside the paint from Veney, but it would be the last points they put on the board for five minutes as the Pioneers went on a nine-point run to improve their lead to 38-16.

Just before the 14-minute mark, Blair Koniszewski (Vienna, Va.) blocked Kelly Myers's layup and grabbed the rebound to kick-start a play that she would finish by knocking down her first trey of the game.

St. Francis (NY) attempted to come back as the teams exchanged points in the last five minutes of the game, but it was not nearly enough to catch the Pioneers whose offense never stopped. Sacred Heart claimed the 62-33 victory and their eleventh win of the season.

All 11 Pioneers scored led by senior Callan Taylor (Overland Park, Kan.) who lit up the scoreboard with 22 points. She also pulled down 11 rebounds to pick up her ninth double-double of the season. 

In her 16 minutes, senior Kris Iovino (Murrysville, Penn.) tied her career-high with six points.

The Sacred Heart defense was also in full swing tonight forcing 21 turnovers, 14 in the first half alone. The Pioneers held St. Francis (NY) to 33 points, the lowest since last year against Siena when SHU won 72-33.

While Sacred Heart was beating St. Francis (NY), Robert Morris was in Rhode Island playing the Bryant Bulldogs. The Pioneer win, in combination with Robert Morris falling 75-71 to the Bulldogs, puts SHU alone at the top of the NEC standings. 

Sacred Heart heads out to Pennsylvania, taking on the Robert Morris Colonials on Saturday and the Saint Francis (PA) Red Flash on Monday night.