Jan. 28, 2008
BROOKLYN, N.Y. (January 28, 2008) - Long Island University sophomore Valerie Nainima scored a game-high 21 points to lead the Blackbirds to a 56-43 win over visiting Sacred Heart Monday night in Northeast Conference action. The Pioneers struggled all night offensively, tying their season-low for points scored while shooting their lowest percentage in conference play at 29.8% (14-47).
The Pioneers (13-8, 8-2 NEC) led at the break 31-29 thanks in large part to some sharp shooting behind the three-point arc. Freshman Maggie Cosgrove (Andover, MA) led the charge knocking down three from long range as the Pioneers finished the half six-of-seven from downtown. The Blackbirds forced Sacred Heart into 11 first half turnovers leading to 16 points at the other end, led by Nainima's 14 by the break.
LIU (15-4, 6-2 NEC) came out flying in the second half and ran of a 11-0 run over the first four and a half minutes to grab a 40-31 lead. Junior center Kaitlin Sowinski (Hopkinton, RI) ended the scorless drought at 14:18 with a lay-in followed by a Khalia Cain (Manchester, CT) jumper in the lane to cut it to five but the SHU offense could only muster three more field goals the rest of the half.
The Blackbirds outscored the Pioneers 27-12 during the second half, SHU lowest point total in the second half this season. Sowinski was the Pioneer's leading scorer with 14 points and 12 rebounds, marking her third-straight double double. The Pioneers finished the game with 18 miscues which LIU turned into 25 total points on the night. The Blackbirds also outscored SHU 26-14 in the paint in the win.
Nainima's 21 points came on seven-of-14 shooting from the field including three-of-six behind the line. SHU's Stephanie Ryan (Coram, NY) scored eight points and added 12 rebounds as the Pioneers held a 39-36 edge on the boards.
The Pioneers return to Brooklyn on Saturday afternoon when they take on the St. Francis-NY Terriers at 2:00 pm.