Jan. 24, 2004
FAIRFIELD, CT (January 24, 2004) - The Sacred Heart women's basketball team used another impressive performance from sophomore sensation Nicolle Rubino (Port Jefferson Station, NY) to fuel their seventh-straight win, 75-52, over Long Island Saturday afternoon. Rubino, who finished with 18 points, helped the Pioneers snap a five-game losing streak against the Blackbirds and improve to 12-4 overall and 6-1 in the Northeast Conference.
Rubino and company never trailed in the game as they built a quick double-digit lead en route to the lopsided win. SHU got up 11-2 just five and a half minutes in and ran the score to as much as 24-7 before LIU could find any answer. Junior Colleen Duggan (Newington, CT), who made her first five shots in Thursday night's win at St. Francis (NY) ended the half a perfect four-of-four from the floor with a free throw for nine points.
Long Island tried to fight their way back into the game with some solid first half shooting, 47.3% (10-21) from the field and 75.0% (3-4) from three, but were hurt by 13 turnovers as they trailed 39-26 at the intermission.
The Blackbirds got as close as 11 in the second half when Kelli Sawyer and Amber Wirth hit back-to-back three's at 12:25. Sacred Heart stormed right back with a 9-0 run to put the Pioneers up 20, 63-43, with just over eight minutes to play, ending any chance of a Long Island comeback. SHU finished the game shooting 46.2% (30-65) from the field while committing a season-low nine turnovers. The Pioneers dominated the middle, outscoring LIU, 48-18, in the middle.
Rubino finished the day seven-of-14 from the floor while passing out three assists and making two steals. Duggan wound up with 11 before fouling out with a little over two minutes to play. Freshman Amanda Pape (Stamford, CT) rebounded from her worst outing of the year last time out with a 13-point, seven rebound, and four steal performance.
The win keeps the Pioneers perfect a home this year, 9-0, and extends their regular season home-unbeaten streak to 13-straight. It also ties the school record for consecutive wins (7) and matches the best-ever start, 12-4, dating back to the 1995-96 team that finished a program best 20-7.
All fourteen SHU players saw action in the one-sided victory with all but two finding the scoring column. Freshman Kerri Burke (Saugus, MA) netted eight points with four rebounds and two assists in her first action in two games since suffering an ankle injury earlier in the week. Freshman Aleisha Mott (Ansonia, CT) scored the first points of her collegiate career on a pair of free throws late in the game.
For LIU, now 5-11 overall and 2-5 in conference play, Sawyer finished with 16 points and five rebounds for the Blackbirds. Junior Raven Chase and freshman Masa Susic each had 13 in the losing effort.
Sacred Heart will return to action on Thursday night when they travel to in-state rival, Quinnipiac University for a 7 pm start.