Pioneers Stay Perfect in Conference Play; Top the Red Flash 85-56

Pioneers Stay Perfect in Conference Play; Top the Red Flash 85-56

Loretto, Penn.—Sacred Heart women's basketball teams continues to go undefeated in Northeast Conference play, as they top the Saint Francis (PA) Red Flash by nearly 30 points. The 85-56 win pushes the Pioneers to a 13-4 overall record and 6-0 in conference.

A tough Saint Francis defense held the Pioneers scoreless for the first three and a half minutes of the game, allowing the Red Flash to jump out to a 6-0 lead.

The Pioneers' leading scorers Gabrielle Washington (Mesa, Ariz.) and Callan Taylor (Overland Park, Kan.) got the Sacred Heart offense going with back-to-back treys to tie up the game.

"Gabby and Callan's threes were key for us," said Head Coach Ed Swanson. "It really opened up our offense."

Thirty seconds later, the duo combined for six more points to give the Pioneers a four-point lead. Rookie Katie Shepard (Lone Tree, Colo.) added a shot from outside the arc to cap off the 13-run that left the Pioneers up 13-6.

Sacred Heart's physical game hurt them in the first half as Saint Francis (PA) converted SHU's 11 fouls into 11 points.

Sacred Heart's bench came up big in the first half, putting 16 points on the board. Morgan Merriman (Seattle, Wa.) led the bench scoring, adding eight points to Sacred Heart's 41-29 point lead by the halftime buzzer.

The Pioneers never relinquished the lead in the second half, adding 43 points against an intense Red Flash team. SHU went on mini-runs throughout the period to constantly maintain a healthy lead.

Washington led second half scoring, knocking down 10 points in the half. The guard totaled 18 points in the game. She was one of three Pioneers to hit double-digit points. Taylor and Merriman both ended the game with 12.

Coach Swanson has not been afraid to go to his bench this year. In tonight's game, every player hit the court and put points up on the board.

The Pioneers head home next weekend to play Central Connecticut State in a women's and men's doubleheader. Earlier in the season, Sacred Heart topped the Blue Devils 53-40.