Jan. 20, 2004
FAIRFIELD, CT (January 20, 2004) - The Sacred Heart women's basketball team stormed out to double digit lead early on Tuesday night and never looked back as they ran away with a 76-57 win over Columbia University. The win, SHU's fifth-straight, keeps the Pioneers a perfect 8-0 in the Pitt Center this season and extends their regular-season home winning streak to 12 games dating back to last year.
Columbia's only lead of the game came just 1:30 into play as Lisa Copeland opened the scoring with a three. Sacred Heart quickly responded with good jumpers by sophomore Nicolle Rubino (Port Jefferson Station, NY) and junior Colleen White (Richboro, PA and the Pioneers were well on their way to their 10th win of the year. Freshman Amanda Pape (Stamford, CT) had a big first half for Sacred Heart, scoring 14 of her 16 on six-of-eight shooting. White poured in 10 of her own over the first 20 minutes to give the Pioneers a 45-33 lead at the break. SHU built their lead on the strength of some strong shooting, 56.3% (18-32), and a solid defense that tamed the Lions into 19 turnovers and three shot-clock violations.
The second half proved more of the same for Columbia, who fall to 6-7 in what was the final non-conference game for both teams. Sacred Heart ran out to an 18-point lead with an 11-5 run in the early minutes of the half. Despite some sloppy play by the Pioneers, 10 turnovers in the second half, Columbia was equally anemic offensively. The Lions shot just 22.7% (5-22) from the field while committing 12 turnovers of their own to close out the game. The lone bright spot for Columbia was the play of senior Sue Altman, who finished with 12 points.
Joining Pape and White in double figures was Rubino who hit three-of-six from downtown for 13 points and for the second-straight game handed out six assists against just two turnovers. Rubino also grabbed a season-high seven rebounds, made two steals and blocked a shot to fill out the stat sheet.
The Pioneers return to NEC play this Thursday night when then travel to St. Francis-NY for a 7 pm start.