Feb. 7, 2009
FAIRFIELD, Conn. (February 7, 2009) - Sacred Heart sophomore Alisa Apo (Freehold, NJ) finished with a team-high 19 points along with a season-high six rebounds as the Pioneers picked-up their 11th-straight win beating Long Island University, 66-53, Saturday afternoon. Fellow sophomore and backcourt mate Maggie Cosgrove (Andover, MA) finished with 13 points, four assists and three steals as the Pioneers stay perfect in the Northeast Conference at 12-0.
LIU (7-15, 2-9 NEC) jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead but Sacred Heart answered right back with an 11-0 run. SHU center Kaitlin Sowinski (Hopkinton, RI) hit a pair of lay-ups underneath while fellow senior Khalia Cain (Manchester, CT) capped off the spurt with a long three. The Blackbirds but the lead down to three on an Ashley Palmer jumper with 9:49 on the clock, 11-8
Sacred Heart (15-7, 12-0 NEC) took their biggest lead of the half at 15-points thanks to an 18-6 run. Freshman Callan Taylor (Overland Park, KS) knocked down two-straight three's and followed that with a runner to cap off the run to lead 29-14 with 2:45 to go. The rookie forward scored all 10 of her points in the first stanza as the Pioneers went to the locker room up 34-22.
The Blackbirds went to Palmer for and answer in the second half and LIU's top-rookie answered, scoring 19 of her game-high 29 points. After a Sowinski lay-up opened the half, Palmer hit back-to-back in the paint, the second a three-point play, to cut it to seven, 36-29, two minutes in. SHU senior Stephanie Ryan (Coram, NY) answered with a three and a driving runner to push the lead back to double digits, 41-30.
Palmer went back to work and on consecutive possessions, drew fouls on Sowinski sending her to the bench with four fouls at the 15:40. The LIU freshman's second effort earned her a three-point play and cut the Pioneers lead to just three, 41-38. Apo hit a jumper in the lane followed by a Cosgrove three to push the lead to eight but Palmer had other ideas, helping her team get back to within three, 48-45, with 12:04 left.
The Pioneers used the next eight minutes to pull away for good, using a 16-2 run to lead by 17, 64-47. Apo and Cosgrove helped fuel the rally, each hitting from behind the arc on the run. LIU's Tessy Hetting halted the run with a jumper as the Blackbirds cut to 11 with a minute left but could get no closer as Apo closed out the win with a pair of free throws.
In addition to Apo and Cogrove's double digit afternoons, Taylor recorded her fourth double double on the year with 10 points and 10 rebounds. SHU hit 42.6% (26-61) from the field and held a 30-20 advantage in the paint. The Pioneers matched their season-low with 11 turnovers.
Palmer hit 10-of-16 en route to her 29 point afternoon and just missed a double double with nine rebounds. Chelsi Johnson was the only other LIU player in double figures with 10 points and eight rebounds. The Blackbirds held the edge on the boards, 36-32, corralling 11 on the offensive glass leading to 12 second chance points.
The Pioneers close out a four-game stretch at home on Monday night as they play host to NEC rival Quinnipiac. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:05 pm.