BROOKLYN, N.Y. (February 4, 2014)—Hannah Kimmel (Harpursville, N.Y.) and Gabrielle Washington (Mesa, Ariz.) led the Pioneers with 17 points each as the Sacred Heart women's basketball team fell to LIU Brooklyn 62-54 Tuesday night in the Steinberg Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. With the loss SHU falls to 10-11 on the season, and 7-3 in Northeast Conference play.
After exchanging point early in the half, Washington laid one in sparking a 10-point run that put the Pioneers back on top. The scoring streak combined with SHU's tough press defense forced LIU Head Coach Gail Striegler to call a timeout to rally the troops.
The Blackbirds got one basket coming out of the break before Washington answered with five points increasing SHU's lead to 26-17. With their defensive game remaining strong, Sacred Heart continued to hold onto the lead throughout the half heading into halftime up 33-26.
The Pioneers were clicking on all cylinders in the first half shooting 53.6% from the floor while forcing nine LIU turnovers.
LIU opened the second half on a four-point run to cut the Pioneers' lead to just two points, forcing SHU Head Coach Jessica Mannetti to call a timeout. Moments later, a lay-in from Cleandra Roberts, who led the game with 21 points, evened the score at 33 right before the 15:57 media timeout. Kimmel and Katie Shepard (Lon Tree, Colo.) combined for four to tip the score back in SHU's favor.
With just over 13 minutes left to play, Sophie Bhasin knocked down back-to-back threes kick-starting a 13-1 Blackbird run lifting LIU to a 46-40 lead. The Blackbirds continued to expand their lead throughout the latter half of the game, as Sacred Heart just could seem to hit its shots, shooting just 22.2%.
The Pioneers' offense surged late in the game, minimizing LIU's lead to just four points with over a minute to play, but it wasn't enough to overcome a subpar half.
Sacred Heart makes the long trip to western Pennsylvania next weekend to take on Saint Francis U, with whom the Pioneers are no tied for second place in the NEC, Saturday at 1:00 p.m.