Feb. 11, 2008
FAIRFIELD, CT (February 11, 2008) - Junior Stephanie Ryan (Coram, NY) notched her seventh double double of the season with 15 points and a career-high 15 rebounds to lead the Sacred Heart Pioneers past Monmouth University 64-55 in Northeast Conference action Monday night. The win improves the Pioneers to 16-8 overall and 11-2 in conference play, clinching Sacred Heart their ninth-straight Northeast Conference Tournament berth.
The Pioneers (16-8, 11-2 NEC) trailed 26-25 at the half but shot a blistering 55.2% (16-29) in the second half to win for the fourth time this season when down at the break. Monmouth grabbed an early edge in the first half and went up eight, 18-10 after a pair of Veronica Randolph three's on back to back possession just under 10 minutes. The Pioneers chipped away and tied it at 20-20 at 4:39 and took their first lead of the night at 4:10 on a freshman Alisa Apo (Freehold, NJ) three.
The Hawks (7-16, 4-8 NEC) went right back up three before an Apo jumper in the lane with eight ticks left send the Pioneers into the half down one. Sacred Heart picked up the pace to start the second half and used an early 11-0 run to pull in front six, 36-30 a t the first media timeout. The Hawks scrapped back and both teams traded the lead five more times before SHU would finally pull away.
With 7:14 to and the game tied at 47-47, the Pioneers put together a 10-0 rally that put the game away. Ryan got it started with a jumper on the wing and Apo capped it with a three and a good make off a timeout for a57-47 advantage with just under three minutes to play.
Monmouth cut it two eight points on two-straight possessions but freshman Maggie Cosgrove (Andover, MA) buried her third three of the night with 53 second left to go up 62-51 and put it out of reach. SHU finished the game shooting 42.9% (24-56) from the field and 46.7% (7-15) from behind the arc. The Pioneers turned it over 19 times in the win but 14 came in the first half.
Ryan's 15 point night came on six-of-12 shooting while her five assists also matched a career-high. Junior Kaitlin Sowinski (Hopkinton, RI) led all Pioneers with 16 points to go with six rebounds, six blocked shots, four assists and two steals. Apo rounded out the trio of double digit scorers with 15 points of her own along with four boards and four steals.
The Hawks got 10 points apiece from juniors Jennifer Bender and LaKia Barber and senior Randolph.
The Pioneers will play host to Saint Francis (PA) this Saturday, February 16th at 2:00 pm in the only match-up between the two schools this season.