Feb. 6, 2006
FAIRFIELD, CT (February 6, 2006) - The Sacred Heart Pioneers erased an early second half five-point deficit and used a career-high 23 points from junior center Jasmine Walker (Amityville, NY) to end a two-game slide and come away with a 59-43 win over visiting Long Island University in Northeast Conference action Monday night. The win, SHU's ninth-straight at home this season, improves their record to 17-4 overall and 10-2 in the NEC.
Both teams trudged through the first half with neither team establishing much offensively. LIU led at the break, 24-23, but shot just 29.2% (7-24). The Pioneers were a little better at 39.3% (11-28) but eight turnovers helped the Blackbirds to six points at the other end. LIU also helped themselves at the charity stripe, knocking down eight-of-eight over the first 20 minutes.
The Blackbirds jumped out quickly to start the second half, as pair of good lay-ups by Polona Oberc and Marquita Thompson gave LIU a five point lead, 38-23, a minute and a half in. SHU junior Amanda Pape (Stamford, CT) buried a jumper at the other end but Thomson hit again underneath to extend the lead back to five. The Pioneer responded by rattling off an 11-0 run led by Pape and Walker who scored eight of the 11.
With SHU leading 36-30, Pape picked up her fourth foul at 10:42 and was forced to the bench. LIU tried to take advantage and got to within one, 38-37, at 8:11 before the Pioneers pulled away for good. Walker took command of the game from there, scoring nine-straight points for Sacred Heart capped by a three-point play with 2:43 left that lifted the lead to 47-39. From there, SHU closed the game with a 12-4 run highlighted by a pair of Pape fast break lay-ups to seal the victory.
Walker's 23 came on 11-of-15 shooting and she added nine rebounds and two blocks to her stat line. Pape finished with 16 and 10 rebounds to notch her fifth double double of the season. She also passed out five assists in the win. As a team, SHU finished the day shooting 47.1% but hit 56.5% in the second half.
Long Island, now 8-12 and 6-5 in the league, got 11 points from Amber Wirth and a10 from Thompson who also collected five rebounds and four steals. The Blackbirds shot just 28.6% in the game and hit two-of-13 from behind the three-point arc.
The Pioneers are back on the road this Saturday when they travel to St. Francis-NY for a 2:00 pm start.