February 28, 2012

Game Saving Shot Earns Gabrielle Washington 5th NEC Rookie of the Week Honor

Fairfield, Conn.—Gabrielle Washington (Mesa, Ariz.) finishes off the year as she started, as the Choice Hotels Northeast Conference Rookie of the Week. This is the fifth time this season Washington has been honored with the award. She closed out her regular season campaign this week with back-to-back 20-plus point performances.

Since opening day, Washington has been an offensive force for the Pioneers, tallying 14 points in her collegiate debut. This week, the freshman stepped up in a big spot to hit the game tying trey at the buzzer in the regular season finale against Robert Morris. The Pioneers went on to win the game in overtime 70-66 to clinch the regular season NEC title. 

In Monday's big win, Washington was named the Ruby Tuesday's Player of the Game after leading the team with 23 points, shooting 40% from the field including three triples, and was a perfect four-for-four from the free throw line.  

Two days earlier, against the reigning NEC Champion Saint Francis (PA), the 5-foot-9 guard poured in 25 points, shooting an even 45% from the field. She was perfect both from outside the arc and the charity stripe, going 2-for-2 from the key and 5-for-5 from the line.

Washington and the rest of the Pioneers gear up for the NEC Tournament which starts on Saturday. Clinching the regular season title gives them the coveted home-court advantage through the entire tournament. On Saturday, Sacred Heart hosts No. 8 Fairleigh Dickinson at 1.