Sacred Heart Wins Third-Straight with 70-56 Win Over Wagner

FAIRFIELD, CT (January 13, 2004) - The Sacred Heart women's basketball team won it's third-straight game and improved to 7-0 at home with a 70-56 win over Wagner College in Northeast Conference women's basketball Tuesday evening. The junior tandem of Colleen Duggan (Newington, CT) and Colleen White (Richboro, PA) led the way with 15 points apiece as the Pioneers improve to 8-4 overall and 3-1 in the NEC.

It took the Sacred Heart offense nearly 12 minutes to get in gear, as the Pioneers opened the game shooting just three-of-21 from the field. The Seahawks, despite several turnovers throughout the first half, took full advantage building an 11-point lead, 17-6 during SHU's offensive drought.

It was beginning to look like the Pioneers where in for a long night when sophomore guard Nicolle Rubino (Port Jefferson Station, NY) found a way to get the SHU offense kick started. Rubino picked-off an errant Carrie Walker pass at midcourt and drove to the hoop converting the lay-up and drawing a foul. Rubino promptly knocked down her free throw to complete the three-point play and start the Pioneers on a run. Senior Ashley Kohl (Palmyra, PA) buried a three on the next trip down and Sacred Heart was well on its way to erasing the deficit with a 25-11 run to end the half with a six-point lead, 34-28.

Despite their poor shooting early on, SHU recovered to hit 41.0% (16-39) in the half while taking full advantage of 13 Wagner turnovers. The Pioneers scored 16 points off the Seahawk's miscues while limiting their own turnovers to just five. Wagner's Walker nearly turned in a double double in the first half, scoring 13 points, six-of-eight shooting, with seven rebounds.

The start of the second half saw the Pioneer offense really start to click, hitting eight-of-13 in the opening minutes to build a 19-point lead, their biggest of the game. A three-point play by Duggan followed by a White jumper and two free throws gave the Pioneers a 57-40 lead with just over 10:07 to play. Wagner's Joy Gallagher single-handily tried to bring the Seahawks back in it, burying four-straight three's to cut the Sacred Heart lead to seven, 59-52, and force a Pioneer timeout.

Duggan quickly stopped the bleeding with a jumper from the baseline and a White three helped fuel an 11-0 run that put the Seahawks away for good as the Pioneers charged to the victory. Duggan's 15 points were a career-high as she also grabbed five boards and blocked a season-best four shots in the win. White, who tickled the twine for a career-best 16 in last week's win over Monmouth, finished six-of-eight from the floor.

Rubino finished with 10 points and freshman Amanda Pape (Stamford, CT) tallied 14 points despite struggling from the field. Rubino shot just 4-13 while Pape hit just seven-of-18. Senior Kate Maher (Waterford, Ireland) continued her strong all-around play with eight rebounds, four steals and four assists.

For Wagner, now 5-8 overall and 2-2 in league play, Gallagher led all scorers with 20 points and five rebounds. Walker, who had a big first half, struggled in the second, hitting just four free throws and grabbing two rebounds to finish with 17 points and nine boards.

The Pioneers will hit the road this week heading to Emmitsburg, MD to face Mount St. Mary's on Saturday afternoon at 3:00 pm.