Burke's Return Highlights Pioneers 73-61 Win at Central Connecticut

Jan. 27, 2007

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NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (January 27, 2007) - The Sacred Heart women's basketball team had four players in double figures including senior Kerri Burke (Saugus, MA) who played for the first time in six games after suffering a knee injury, scoring 13 points in 14 minutes as the Pioneers came away with a 73-61 win at Central Connecticut Saturday afternoon in Northeast Conference action.

The Pioneers got out to a 31-10 lead in the first half and overcame some sloppy play in the second half to improve to 13-7 and 8-1 in the league setting up a first-place showdown Monday night with Long Island.

SHU got out of the gates to a 7-0 lead after three's by Amanda Pape (Stamford, CT) and Lisa Moray (Hopewell Junction, NY). The Pioneers ran the lead up to 20-2 by the second media timeout while Central Connecticut missed their first 14 shots of the game, going without a field goal until the 9:10 mark.

Moray buried her third three of the half to push SHU's lead to 27-6 at the 6:05 mark and the lead peaked at 31-10 with three and half left. The Blue Devils found a small spark in the closing minutes of the first half, scoring seven-straight to pull within 31-17. On their ensuing possession, Moray hits a runner in the lane and Pape stole the inbounds and was fouled underneath. She hit both free throws before a pair by CCSU's P.J. Wade closed the half with the Pioneers up 35-19.

CCSU (4-16, 2-7 NEC) shot an abysmal 12.9% (4-31) in the first half but did go to the free throw line 15 times, knocking down 11. The Blue Devils cut into the lead at the start of the second half pulling within 37-25 but consecutive lay-ups by Jasmine Walker (Amityville, NY), Pape and Kaitlin Sowinski (Hopkinton, RI) pushed the SHU lead back to 43-25.

Central came as close as 10, 51-41, with 10 minutes to go but Pape answered with a fast break jumper, a steal on the inbounds and another jumper from the win to put SHU up 55-41 and the Pioneer lead never fell below 12 the rest of the way.

Burke made her return Saturday to the Pioneer line-up after missing the last six games with a knee injury suffered at Mount St. Mary's on January 3rd. The senior point guard played 14 minutes in her return and scored 13 points, 10 in the second half.

Pape led all scorers with 21 points while adding six steals and four assists to her totals. Moray finished with 17 points and tied her career-high with seven rebounds. For the third time in her last four games, the junior guard hit five times from behind the three-point arc. Sowinski filled out the stat sheet with 12 points.

The Blue Devils got a double double from senior Gabriella Guegbelet who had 18 of her 20 points in the second half to go with 11 rebounds.

Sacred Heart will welcome Long Island to the Pitt Center Monday night for the only meeting this season between the two teams. The Blackbirds are currently atop the NEC with a 9-1 mark, winners of nine straight games. The Pioneers are a half game back with an 8-1 record.