SMITHFIELD, RI – The Sacred Heart women's basketball team (7-14, 3-7 NEC) is looking to put Saturday's heartbreaker behind them as the Pioneers travel to Bryant (6-15, 5-5 NEC), Monday, February 5. Play at the Chace Athletic Center begins at 7:00 p.m.
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SHU leads the all-time series with Bryant 15-12, and have won three of the last five contests against the Bulldogs. The matchup sits a 9-56 in the past five seasons for SHU. The last time the Bulldogs picked up a regular season came earlier this season, 81-73. The two teams have a history of keeping things close. The most recent time a game was decided by double-digits, besides last season, fell on January 28, 2013 where the Pioneers reigned victorious 62-44.
Pioneers last time out…
Redshirt-junior guard Candice Leatherwood registered career numbers in three categories but SHU's struggle to guard the perimeter was chiefly apparent. Central Connecticut State's three-point shooting dexterity iced a nail-biter as it generated 12 treys-one in the game's waning time for the 73-71 victory, Saturday afternoon inside the Pitt Center.
CCSU's Tiffany Slicklein drilled a gut-wrenching go-ahead three from the right corner at the slight dysfunction of the Pioneers defense to reward the Blue Devils their 12th trey of the game. Not only that but a three-point lead with just nine ticks pictured on the clock.
Head Coach Jessica Mannetti gestured for time and drew up a play for the Pioneers to extend the game. Adrianne Hagood exhibited clutch execution driving quickly and finishing with four seconds left, 72-71.
On the ensuing play, SHU was too aggressive on the trap, sending Kiana Patterson to the line where the CCSU representative split her two tries giving enough light for the Pioneers to still combat, 73-71. Following another team huddle, Hagood settled for a tough jumper in traffic but it was left off the mark with time expiring.
Bulldogs last time out…
Sophomore Sydney Holloway had a career-high 29 points and tied the program record in rebounds with 22, but Bryant fell in an overtime thriller, 77-69, to Fairleigh Dickinson University in the Chace Athletic Center on Saturday afternoon.
Trailing by as many as eight, Holloway gave the Bulldogs their first lead since the first quarter when she scored on a layup at the 7:59 mark in the fourth quarter. Fairleigh Dickinson scored the first points of the overtime period when Natalie Zamora connected on a jumper. FDU would relinquish the lead after Natalie Zamora's bucket. FDU was able to create some distance in overtime, scoring 16 points in the final five minutes. Zamora scored nine of her 15 total points in the overtime period.
Earlier this year…
On January 15, after leading for almost 33 minutes straight in large part to Tykera Carter's career-high 21 point-production, SHU's defense faltered in the fourth allowing Bryant 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 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, at the Pitt Center.
Hannah Scanlan fed a momentous Sydney 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.
Head Coach Jessica Mannetti explained. "[We have to] make shots. We, continue to have great defensive effort when we are locked in and decide to refocus our game plan and our efforts defensively. We have to find a way to put teams away-force turnovers, finish in transition [...] how are we going to find a way not to have to play five on five? So, converting live ball turnovers into points will be really big for us."
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