FAIRFIELD, Conn. – After leading for almost 33 minutes straight in large part to Tykera Carter's career-high 21 point-production, the Sacred Heart women's basketball team's defense faltered in the fourth allowing Bryant (4-12, 3-2 NEC) to rattle off seven unanswered points. Such spurt not only gave way to the Bulldog's first lead since the game's early proceedings but rhythm the Pioneers (6-11, 2-4 NEC) failed to nullify. Candice Leatherwood's hard take to the rack knotted the score once more but Bryant credited 19 of the game's final 30 points to escape with the 81-73 conclusion, Monday afternoon at the Pitt Center.
How it happened…
Bryant's Naomi Ashley commenced scoring inside the Pitt when the guard cashed in on a jumper to put the foe up 2-0, 45 seconds into the action. Katherine Haines, with the sweet touch, leveled the playing field, crediting the first of the game's two deadlocked scores less than 20 ticks after. Erin Storck then drained a high-arching three right over the top of her defender snowballing a lead the hosts gripped for a near 33 minutes.
Just five scoring sequences later at the 5:43 mark of the onset, Carter too caught rhythm from far hammering a trey that awarded the Pioneers its largest lead of the contest, up 14-4.
Sydney Holloway swished a jumper on the ensuing scoring set to fill Bryant's gap to single-digits, a deficit the Pioneers struggled to capitalize on for the duration of the game. Bryant's incessant effort kept them within striking distance as the visitors made the contest a one-possession game at least once in each quarter-regrettably evident with just 7:08 to play in regulation.
Hannah Scanlan fed a momentous Holloway with just over seven minutes left, canceling all but one point of their debt, 60-59. Leatherwood was then challenged on the in-bound play as the redshirt-junior was overpowered by Haley Connors who threw the rock up ahead for Holloway who directed Connors' go-ahead three-ball, 62-60. Leatherwood would soon make up for it as the guard glided down the court prior to a lay-in for a 62-all score at 5:32.
Scanlan created her own two-point shot following empty possessions by both teams giving Bryant a 64-62 lead with 4:14 to go forcing Head Coach Jessica Mannetti to call for time.
Unfortunately, the Pioneers were unable to reverse the damage allowing Bryant to net a pair of three-pointers out of the huddle before eventually going up by as many as 12 during a 9-2 run.
Kiana Ye did give hope to SHU as the guard checked in and tossed up a trey to revive the Pioneers with 49 seconds remaining down nine (76-67) and another with time expiring to settle the eight-point setback.
Carter's personal-best 21 points came on 41.2-percent shooting as the senior matched the most three-point makes she has tallied in a contest (4). She went 50-percent from deep, performed a perfect showing at the charity stripe (3-of-3) and grabbed five rebounds, dished a pair of helpers and registered a steal in 38 minutes.
Haines' 18 points were supported by a game-high three blocks which mirror her season-high. The forward pulled down eight rebounds, including two on the offensive glass, and added two helpers and picked up a theft.
Leatherwood was third-best with 12 points but perhaps more impressive was her game-high seven dimes, just one shy of her personal best. She also upped her career-high stat in steals, recently nabbed at Central Connecticut, picking four pockets this afternoon.
Storck showed signs of her scoring ability registering her first double-digit performance in eight games. The junior recorded five boards, two assists, and one steal without committing a single turnover in her team-leading 39-minute performance.
- SHU's 16 assists is the most as a team since facing Hofstra and distributing the rock 20 times right before makes.
- This is the second time in the last eight games, the Pioneers have shot over 40-percent as a team (41.0%).
The Pioneers travel to northern New Jersey for a Saturday afternoon showdown against Fairleigh Dickinson, January 20. The action begins at 2:00 p.m.