Blair Koniszewski and Callan Taylor Lead Pioneers in Big Comeback to Top Robert Morris 71-64
Moon Township, Penn.—Blair Koniszewski and Callan Taylor combined for 49 points to help Sacred Heart deflate an 18-point deficit for a big second half comeback to defeat the Robert Morris Colonials 71-64 Saturday afternoon.
Robert Morris scored on the first possession of the game with a layup by senior Mary Durojaye. But the Pioneers answered with four points by Taylor (Overland Park, Kan.).
Both teams came out with a lot of energy, playing hard on both ends of the court leading to points being exchanged. The Colonials won the battle to come out with a 16-11 lead with 10 minutes left in the first half.
Three points on a layup and free throw from Taylor brought the Pioneers within two before Morgan Merriman was charged with a foul and sent Durojaye to the charity stripe. Durojaye was shooting 64.6% from the line before knocking down both shots and adding two to RMU's lead.
The Pioneers started to chip away again. A trey from Koniszewski (Vienna, Va.) and a jumper from Taylor brought Sacred Heart back within one with five minutes to play in the half, but a seven-point run gave the Colonials a little more breathing room and forced SHU into its first timeout.
Robert Morris busted out of the timeout to put 10 more points on the board before the buzzer to go into halftime with a 38-27 lead.
Catherine Matthews came out with the first points of the second half with a shot outside the arc. A layup by Kelly Hartwell and two good foul shots by Artemis Spanou increased the Colonials' lead before Sacred Heart could even get points on the board.
Back-to-back buckets by Taylor and rookie Gabrielle Washington (Mesa, Ariz.) gave the Pioneers five points and forced Robert Morris into a time out.
With 11:20 left to play the Colonials held a nine-point lead, but, on the next Pioneer possession, Ericka Norman (Chino Hills, Calif.) found Koniszewski on the wing and the sophomore put it in the net for three, the shot that would start a 12-2 Pioneer run. Koniszewski would follow it up with three buckets from the charity stripe for six consecutive points.
The run was capped off with a three-pointer from Washington to give the Pioneers their first lead since the 17:03 mark in the first half, 55-54.
Spanou did manage to snag another basket with seven minutes left in the game before Sacred Heart ran away with the lead.
Racing towards the finish, Taylor put up seven more points before final buzzer for a grand total of 31 points in the game, just one short of her career-high.
Koniszewski's six-point run was complimented by the three other treys she hit throughout the game. The shooter tallied 18 points in the win, a new career-high.
On Monday, the Pioneers head to Saint Francis (PA) to play the 6-10 (2-2 NEC) Red Flash at 7:00 p.m.