January 12, 2009

Balanced Scoring Leads Sacred Heart Past Saint Francis (PA), 76-64

Jan. 12, 2009

Box Score

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (January 12, 2009) - The Sacred Heart offense continued to roll Monday night as four Pioneers found double digits en route to a 76-64 win over Saint Francis (PA) in Northeast Conference action. The Pioneers have won five-straight and improve to 6-0 in NEC play with the win. Senior Kaitlin Sowinski (Hopkinton, RI) led all Pioneers with 18 points and five blocks while freshman Callan Taylor (Overland Park, KS) just missed a double double with 14 points and nine boards.

It took the Pioneers nearly six minutes Monday night to get on the scoreboard as the Red Flash jumped out 7-0 on a three by Allison Daly, a jumper by Britney Hodges and a lay-in from Brittany Lilley to force a SHU time out. Sacred Heart finally cracked the scoreboard on a Khalia Cain (Manchester, CT) lay-up at 14:08 but found themselves down 0-2 thanks to a Hodges three on their next possession.

SHU (9-7, 6-0 NEC) finally responded offensively and ripped off an 11-2 run over the next five minutes to take the lead, 13-12 and kept pouring it on, building their lead to 24-17 at 6:31thatks to a pair of Sowinski lay-ups, the latter going for a three-point play. The Red Flash came right back at the Pioneers and twice sliced the lead down to three, 26-23 at 5:13 and 28-25 at 4:24, both on Lilley runners.

The Pioneers held the answer and a Cain capped a 9-0 spurt with a three with 38 seconds left in the half to give SHU their largest lead at 12, 37-25. After a Daly three attempt missed its mark, Hodges it a runner just before the horn and sent the Red Flash to the locker room chasing a 10-points Pioneer lead, 37-27. Sacred Heart, despite the slow start missing their first seven shots and seeing their leading scorer in Alisa Apo (Freehold, NJ) limited to just six minutes with two fouls, the Pioneers shot 53.6% (15-28) in the half.

Saint Francis (3-12, 2-3 NEC) started the second half much like the first half and grabbed back the lead thanks to a 10-0 run over the first three minutes of action. A pair of three's from Daly and Samantha Leach got the run started and Hodges capped it with a driving lay-up to put her team back up, 38-37, with 17:01 on the clock.

SHU's Apo halted the run with a jumper in the lane at 16:33 and put SHU up four, 42-38, at 13:41 with her first three of the night. After the Red Flash pulled even on their next two possessions, Apo had the answer again for the Pioneers, burying back-to-back three's at 12:36 and 11:23 to give SHU a 48-42 lead. The Pioneers made it a 13-point advantage as Maggie Cosgrove (Andover, MA) extended the run with a pair of three's of her own for a 56-43 advantage at 8:46.

The Pioneers kept their lead in double digits until Lilley hit on a jumper followed by a three-point play to pull within 66-57 at 3:35 and Daly's fourth three of the night got the Red Flash within eight, 70-62 with 1:05 left. Forced to foul the Pioneers, Cosgrove and Apo hit four-of-four sandwiched around a Sowinski lay-in to put the game away.

Sowinski's 18 points came on seven-of-13 shooting from the field and four-of-four at the line. Apo finished with 15, all in the second half, as she made three-of-three behind the arc while passing out four assists. Taylor's totals featured a six-of-12 shooting night and included a pair of blocks and a pair of steals. Cosgrove finished with 10 points, seven assists and six rebounds in the win.

The Red Flash got a game-high 19 points from Lilley who added seven rebounds to her line. Hodges finished with 15 points and eight assists while Daly had 14 points in the loss.

The Pioneers will return to action as the open a three-game road swing on Saturday night at Mount St. Mary's. Tip-off is slated for 7 pm.

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