Jan. 23, 2010
FAIRFIELD, Conn. (January 23, 2010) - Junior Alisa Apo (Freehold, NJ) led four players in double figures finishing with 17 points, nine assists, eight rebounds and a steal to lead the Sacred Heart Pioneers past Bryant University, 77-68, Saturday afternoon in Northeast Conference action. Junior Maggie Cosgrove (Andover, MA) buried five-of-seven from behind the arc on her way to a 17 point afternoon, raising her NCAA leading shooting percentage to 55.0% (55-100) for the season. The Pioneers bounced back from their first NEC loss of the year on Thursday and improved to 14-5 overall and 7-1 in the league with the win.
Apo had a big first half for the Pioneers (14-5, 7-1 NEC), scoring 15 of her 17 points, making six-of-10 at the free throw line. The opening minutes saw plenty of back and forth basketball before SHU opened up a 17-11 lead seven minutes in. Apo buried her lone three of the game and hit on a pair of three-point plays, scoring 10 points by the 12:39 mark.
The Bulldogs (7-12, 4-4 NEC) pulled within 19-15 before SHU rattled off an 11-5 rally to take a 30-20 lead. Sophomore Callan Taylor (Overland Park, KS) and Cosgrove hit on back-to-back three's to put the Pioneers up 10 at the seven minute mark. With the Pioneers up 36-26 with 3:40 on the clock, the Bulldogs closed out the half strong and pulled within 36-33 after Lindsey Hudspeth was fouled on a three with 40 second left and hit all three free throws. Apo hit on a runner in the lane with 29 seconds left to give SHU a 38-33 lead at the break.
Freshman Kiley Evans (Cazenovia, NY) answered Apo's big first half with 13 of her 17 points in the second stanza and gave SHU a 50-43 lead with her only three of the game at 16:36. Cosgrove buried her third three at 14:48 and put her team up eight, 53-45, with just under 15 minutes to go. Bryant dug in and put together an 8-2 spurt capped by a Kelsey O'Keefe lay-up at 12:31 to pull within a bucket, 55-53.
After Cosgrove's fourth triple put SHU in front 60-55, Bryant again used a quick run, tying the game at 60-60 on an O'Keefe fast break lay-up. An Evans jumper briefly put the Pioneers back in front before O'Keefe answered right back with a jumper to knot it a 62-62 with 9:55 left.
From there the Pioneers used the next four minutes to piece together an 11-0 run to take control heading into the stretch. Cosgrove buried her fifth three on the fast break and Apo followed with a transition lay-up on consecutive possession for a 73-62 lead with 5:40 left. O'Keefe briefly halted the rally with a jumper before Taylor left no doubt burying a three off a feed from Cosgrove for a 76-64 advantage on the way to sealing up the win.
Taylor finished with her third-straight double double and fifth in the last six games with 15 points and 11 rebounds. She now has 11 on the year. Apo, Evans and Cosgrove all had 17 in the win as the Pioneers shot 47.2% (25-53) from the field and 71.4% (10-14) from behind the arc. The Pioneers did hold a 44-32 rebounding advantage, a season-high total on the glass.
O'Keefe finished with a game-high 22 points along with seven rebounds, five assists and a steal. Brittany Stahura and Lekia Cowen came off the bench to score 15 and 10 points, respectively, in the loss.
The Pioneers will hit the road for a pair of NEC games next week with stops at Mount St. Mary's on Thursday night and Wagner College next Saturday.