HACKENSACK, N.J. (March 3, 2014)—Johanna Lopez (Silver Spring, Md.) led the Pioneers with a career-high 24 points as the Sacred Heart women's basketball team fell the Fairleigh Dickinson 75-69 in the 2013-14 regular season finale Monday night in the Stratis Arena. SHU finishes the regular season 12-17 and 9-9 in Northeast Conference play.
Desiree Crawford put the first score on the board in the opening seconds landing a jumper on the Knights' first possessions igniting a 10-3 run.
Coming off the bench, Lopez and Lerae Ettienne (Kensington, Md.) combined for six points minimizing FDU's lead to 12-9.
With 10:53 left in the first half, the Pioneers took their first lead of the game with a lay-in from Lopez. The teams exchanged the lead in the minutes that followed, and at the 7:20 marker it was Adaysha Williams (LaCrosse, Wis.) with the and one basket to put SHU back on top. With that, Williams sparked a 13-5 Pioneer run that lifted Sacred Heart to a 30-23 lead.
Williams and Tarsi added three from the charity stripe in the final minute of the half to send SHU into the locker room with a 33-25 lead.
Holding the Pioneers scoreless for nearly the first four minutes, Fairleigh Dickinson opened the half with 10 straight points to reclaim the lead, 35-33, and force Sacred Heart Head Coach Jessica Mannetti to call a timeout.
The break proved fruitful as Lopez snapped the Knights' streak with five straight points to put SHU back on top, but with just under 14 minutes left to play, Kelsey Cruz landed back-to-back shots to give FDU a 44-42 lead.
With under seven minutes to play, Lopez sparked an 11-4 Pioneer run that brought SHU within two of catching the Knights. Fairleigh Dickinson continued to fend off the Pioneers until Shepard netted a shot from the top of the key to tie the game at 69 with under a minute on the clock.
After an FDU-called timeout, Cruz, who led the game with 35 points, got the ball off the inbound and landed the game-winning and one basket.
Sunday, the Pioneers, as the six seed, will open the 2014 Northeast Conference Championship against Saint Francis U in the quarterfinals. The NEC will announce the official bracket at a later time.