Jan. 21, 2008
FAIRFIELD, CT (January 21, 2008) - Sacred Heart freshman Alisa Apo (Freehold, NJ) led four starters in double figures with a career-high 24 points to lead the Pioneers past Fairleigh Dickinson, 77-65, Monday night in Northeast Conference action. Apo hit a perfect 10-of-10 at the free throw line and six-of-12 from the field en route to the career night.
Fairleigh Dickinson's (7-11, 3-4 NEC) lone lead of the night came on the game's first bucket, a lay-in by senior Jennifer Walkling eight seconds in. SHU junior Khalia Cain (Manchester, CT) had the early hot hand for the Pioneers, burying a three and a pair of free throws on a 9-0 spurt over the next two and a half minutes. From there, an Apo three and Cain jumper capped a 14-3 run that gave the Pioneers a 14-5 lead at the 14:07 mark.
Sacred Heart's (12-7, 7-1 NEC) lead hit double digits at the 11:45 mark and grew to 15 after a three by junior Stephanie Ryan (Coram, NY) put the Pioneers up 24-9 with 9:16 left in the half. The Knights sliced the lead down to 10 at the six minute mark but junior Kaitlin Sowinski (Hopkinton, RI) scored her first points of the game on a lay-up and then hit two more as the Pioneers started a 12-0 run that ended at 2:08 with a Cain jumper for a 20-point advantage, 38-18.
Instead of folding, the Knights responded and scored the half's final seven points heading to the locker room trailing 38-25. FDU opened the second half with a jumper by Jasmyra Saunders and Christy Altamirano to cut the lead to nine and then pulled within seven, 40-33, at the 17 minute mark. From there the SHU offense turned it into high gear, ripping off a 17-3 run over the next five and a half minute to take their biggest lead of the night, 57-36. Apo led the charge, scoring eight points on the run.
Three-straight FDU three's pulled the Knights to within 11 but the Pioneers answered and built their lead back to as many as 16 in the game's closing minute en route to the win. Apo's 24 point effort is her third game in the last four hitting the 20-point mark. The reigning NEC Rookie of the Week's perfect night at the free throw line (10-10) was the first time a Pioneer hit 10-for-10 since former Pioneer and current FDU assistant coach Nicolle Rubino accomplished the feat against Wagner on January 29, 2005.
Cain finished the night with a season-high 18 points coming on seven-of-12 shooting while adding three assists to her stat line. Both Ryan and Sowinski scored 14 points in the win. Sowinski added 11 rebounds to complete the double double.
FDU got 20 points and seven rebounds from Walkling in the loss. The Pioneers held a big edge at the free throw line, hitting 22 of 27 while the Knight knocked down all six of there freebies.
The Pioneers are right back at home this Saturday afternoon hosting the first place Quinnipiac Bobcats at 2 pm