Pioneers Grind Out 60-53 NEC Win at Home Over Fairleigh Dickinson

Jan. 8, 2007

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FAIRFIELD, CT (January 8, 2007) - The Sacred Heart Pioneers erased a 30-23 halftime deficit and used a 21-4 run in the second half to come away with a 60-53 win over Fairleigh Dickinson in the William H. Pitt Center Monday night. The win keeps the Pioneers perfect in the Northeast Conference at 4-0 and extends their home winning streak to 13-straight against conference opponents.

The Pioneers (9-6, 4-0 NEC) played a very sluggish first half as the Knight grabbed a 5-2 lead three minutes in and held it for the remainder of the half. The FDU lead peaked at 10, 23-13 at the eight minute mark and on the strength of four three's and 12 points off 10 SHU turnovers they took the lead heading into the break.

A Jasmine Walker (Amityville, NY) jumper and an Amanda Pape (Stamford, CT) lay-up cut the lead to five, 32-27, two minutes into the second half but FDU answered right back and bounced the lead back to nine with a pair of back-door lay-ups on their next two possessions. Pape hit for a lay-up and junior Lisa Moray (Hopewell Junction, NY) hit a big three to pull SHU within four as the Pioneer looked as if they were beginning to find some fight on the offensive end.

Fairleigh Dickinson lay-ups by Jordan Sykes and Christy Altamirano boosted their lead back up to eight, 40-32, with 14:45 on the clock. Moray got the Pioneer rally off and running with another big three and pulled within one, 40-39, on a Walker three-point play with 13 minutes to go. SHU took their first lead since the opening minutes of the game on their next possession on another Walker take to the hoop. FDU jumped back in front with a put back by Altamirano and take to the hoop by Shanay Freeman but their lead was short lived.

Moray buried her third three of the half to tie it at 44-44 just under 10 minutes to go and SHU took control from there. Nine-straight points capped by a Pape put back underneath gave the Pioneers a 53-44 lead with just over six minutes to play. The closes the Knights would get the rest of the was 59-53 with 2:25 to go but a turnover and pair of misses down the stretch let SHU come out with the seven-point win.

Walker led three Pioneers in double figures with 17 points on six-of-10 shooting with seven rebounds playing all 40 minutes. Pape finished with 13 and just missed a double double with nine rebounds. She added five assists and three steals to her totals. Sophomore Kaitlin Sowinski (Hopkinton, RI) finished with 10 points and five boards.

Fairleigh Dickinson (4-9, 1-2 NEC) was led by Jennifer Walkling who finished with a double double with 13 points and 12 rebounds. She also had 5ive assists, three steals and two blocks. Freeman had 11 points and Gayle Coats had 10 points in the loss. Altamirano pulled down 10 rebounds and had three blocks for the Knights.

The Pioneers are off until Saturday afternoon when they play host to Monmouth University at 2:00 pm. xxxxxxxxx