Sowinski Nets 20 as SHU Pioneers Tame Quinnipiac Bobcats, 69-57

Sowinski Nets 20 as SHU Pioneers Tame Quinnipiac Bobcats, 69-57

Jan. 26, 2009

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HAMDEN, Conn. (January 26, 2009) - Senior Kaitlin Sowinski (Hopkinton, RI) posted a game-high 20 points and nine rebounds while freshman Callan Taylor (Overland Park, KS) notched a double double with 19 points and 12 rebounds as the Sacred Heart Pioneers won their eighth-straight game, 69-57, at Quinnipiac Monday night. The Pioneers have reached the midway point of the Northeast Conference schedule as they improve 9-0 in league play with the win.

Sacred Heart (12-7, 9-0 NEC) trailed just once against the Bobcats, just over five minutes into play. The Pioneers burst out to a 10-2 lead as Taylor and sophomore Alisa Apo (Freehold, NJ) buried back-to-back three's. QU caught fire from behind the arc as Brianna Rooney buried a pair and Erin Kerner hit from downtown to push the Bobcats in front, 11-10, with 14:39 on the clock.

The Pioneers looked inside to Sowinski and the senior center delivered a pair of lay-ups to help push SHU in front by six, 19-13, with 11:37. The Bobcats sliced it right back to a one-point game as Jacinda Dunbar hit from the baseline and Mandy Pennewell hit from three on the fast break off a SHU turnover. Sacred Heart responded by going back inside as a dribble-drive lay-up from junior Lindsey Gibson (Mechanicville, NY) and a pair of Sowinski lay-ins led to SHU's biggest lead of the half, 29-20, at the 6:11 mark.

QU's Kerner helped bring the Bobcats back once again, burying a three and a jumper in the lane on consecutive possessions to pull within 34-30 and in the process set a new Division I scoring record at the school. QU made it 34-32 on a Sarah McGowan runner but SHU closed on a free throw each from Sowinski and Apo to lead 36-32 at the break. Sowinski led SHU in the first half scoring 14 of her game-high 20 points.

SHU sophomore Maggie Cosgrove (Andover, MA) buried her third three of the night to open the second half and the Pioneers used some stifling defense to hold the Bobcats without a field goal until the 12:45 mark. The Pioneers took advantage and pushed their lead to double digits, leading by 12, 46-34, with 13:16 to play.

Quinnipiac (12-6, 6-3 NEC) went to Kerner and she snapped the Bobcat offense back to life, hitting a jumper followed by a McGowan lay-in to cut the lead to eight, 46-38. This time the Pioneers responded from behind the three-point line as Apo and Cosgrove hit from deep to help cap an 8-0 spurt that produced the biggest lead of the night, 57-40, with 8:29 to go. The Bobcats made one last run and cut it back to single digits as McGowan hit a pair of lay-ups to pull within 59-50 with 4:33 to go.

The Pioneers put the game away on their next two possessions as Taylor found Sowinski underneath for an uncontested lay-in and then buried a long three from the top of the arc on SHU's next possession to put the game out of reach, 64-50, with 2:48 left.

Sacred Heart made nine-of-18 from behind the arc and came up with 17 second chance points in the win. Both Apo and Cosgrove also found double digits, finishing with 14 and 12 points, respectively.

The Pioneers will open a four-game home stand this Saturday, January 31st when they play host to Central Connecticut State on "Pack the Pitt" day.