December 1, 2012

Washington Leads Pioneers to 59-53 Victory Over Colgate

Fairfield, Conn. (December 1, 2012)—Gabrielle Washington (Mesa, Ariz.) posted her third 20-plus point performance of the year as the Sacred Heart Women's Basketball team topped Colgate 59-53 at home in the William H. Pitt Center. The sophomore shot 41.6% (5-12) from the field on her way to a game-leading 22 points. The Pioneers improve to 4-3 on the season.

The teams exchanged points early on before three consecutive buckets gave the Raiders a 12-5 advantage and forced SHU Head Coach Ed Swanson to use a timeout. Colgate added one more on a free throw before Morgan Merriman (Seattle, Wa.), en route to a 14-point game, landed a jumper to kick off a 20-2 Pioneer run. The run featured seven points by Washington and four by Kiley Evans (Cazenovia, N.Y.), Ericka Norman (Chino Hills, Calif.) and Merriman. Capped off by a shot from the charity stripe by Alissa Tarsi (Clinton, N.J.), the run put Sacred Heart on top 25-15 with 1:37 left in the half.

Sacred Heart switched to a man-to-man defense and held Colgate to just four baskets in the latter 12 minutes of the half.

"We're good defenders," said Merriman. "We play off each other well and figure out how to stop the play."

Consecutive three-pointers from Mariah Jones in the last 90 seconds closed the gap, bringing the Raiders within four. Washington landed a pair of free throws to close out the first half and sent SHU into the halftime break up 27-21. 

Both teams came out of the break offensively strong, trading points throughout the half. Colgate came within one point on three occasions, but Sacred Heart never relinquished the lead.

With the Raiders inching up 48-45 and just three minutes left to play, Washington landed a deep three, boosting the Pioneers to a six-point lead. Colgate only could only manage to come within four from that point on as Sacred Heart claimed victory.

The Pioneers travel to Stony Brook on Tuesday night to take on the Seawolves at 7:00 p.m.