New Britain, Conn. (January 14, 2013)—Gabrielle Washington (Mesa, Ariz.) led the Pioneers with her sixth 20-plus point performance of the season, lighting up the board with 24 points as the Sacred Heart Women's Basketball Team dropped their first overtime game of the season 62-57 to in-state rival Central Connecticut State University. The sophomore shot 45% from the field, while the team shot a dismal 28% from the tonight, the third time this season SHU has shot under 30%. Sacred Heart drops to 9-7 on the season and 1-3 in conference play.
CCSU with an immediate back-court violation off the tip gave SHU possession for Kiley Evans (Cazenovia, N.Y.) to knock down the first shot of the game. SHU opened with four points before Jessica Babe put the first points on the board for CCSU with a jumper.
After a three-minute scoring drought, CCSU's Johnna Fisher tied the game at six with a layup, but Washington kept the Pioneers on top landing a jumper less than a minute later.
The Blue Devils took their first lead 12 minutes into the game on Kirsten Daamen's jumper. Kaley Watras added two to improve CCSU's lead to 12-9.
With exactly four minutes left in the half, Washington hit a shot from the top of the key to give Sacred Heart back the lead 16-15.
Breaking out of the final media time out of the half, the Blue Devils put up five points in the final minutes of the half to take a commanding 20-16 lead heading into halftime.
Only three Pioneers scored in the first half with Washington leading the way with 12 points, Evans with three and Morgan Merriman (Seattle, Wa.) with just one.
Jaclyn Babe improved CCSU's lead by knocking down the first bucket of the second half 22-18, but Washington closed the gap with a pair of free throws and a jumper. Merriman, with the 15:29 on the clock, laid one in to knot the game at 24, and Blair Koniszewski (Vienna, Va.), for her first points of the game, put the Pioneers on top for the first time in the half, 27-26, with a triple.
Sacred Heart maintained the lead for three minutes before Miller drained a jumper with 9:15 left in the game to boost CCSU to a 38-37 lead. It was short-lived as Merriman put SHU back on top 39-38 with a layup.
Back and forth action filled the rest of the game with the lead changing 11 times as the teams maintained the tight score. 47-46 in favor of the Blue Devils remained on the scoreboard for almost four minutes before Washington drained a trey from the right wing with 52 seconds left to play giving SHU a two-point lead.
CCSU had a chance to tie, but a travel called on Watras gave Sacred Heart the ball back with just 30.8 seconds on the clock. Lauren Arbogast pulled down a SHU missed shot giving the Blue Devils back the ball for the final moments of regulation. With just 16 seconds on the clock, Jaclyn Babe tied the score at 49 with a jumper to send the game into overtime.
Koniszewski scored the first five points of the overtime period for Sacred Heart allowing the Pioneers to remain within two. With 42 seconds left on the clock, Jaclyn Babe was whistled for fouling Washington sending the sophomore to the line for two shots. Washington, first in the league with a 94.9 free throw percentage coming into the game, made just one of two, falling short of tying the game. The Blue Devils put five more points on the board before the final buzzer, sealing the Pioneers' 62-57 defeat.
The Pioneers make the long trip to western Pennsylvania next weekend. On Saturday, they take on Saint Francis U at 11:30 a.m. The game will air live on Fox College Sports and ESPN3. Then, on Monday night, Sacred Heart faces off with Robert Morris.