Alisa Apo's Late Free Throws Helps Pioneers Sink Robert Morris, 61-60
Feb. 12, 2009
MOON TOWNSHIP, Pa. (February 12, 2009) - Sophomore Alisa Apo (Freehold, NJ) buried a pair of free throws with 16 seconds left to put Sacred Heart up 59-58 and hit two more with five ticks left to lift the Pioneers to a 61-60 win on the road at Robert Morris Thursday night. The Pioneers erased a seven point Colonial lead in the second half to extend their school record winning streak to 13-straight as they stay perfect in the Northeast Conference at 14-0.
The Pioneers (17-7, 14-0 NEC) led by four, 20-16, with 8:31 left in the first half before the Colonials went on a run to close out the half. RMU pieced together a 14-6 run to fueled by senior Sade Logan who scored nine points during the rally to give her team a 30-26 lead at the break. Logan finished with 18 points in the first half hitting seven-of-15 from the field as the Colonials sent the Pioneers into the locker room trailing for the first time in 13 games and for the first time in NEC play.
SHU erased the four-point deficit right out of the break thanks to two quick lay-ins by Apo and center Kaitlin Sowinski (Hopkinton, RI). After a Grace Williams bucket at the other end, Sacred Heart tied the game once again, 32-32, on a freshman Callan Taylor (Overland Park, KS) lay-up underneath.
The Colonials (12-13, 8-5 NEC) came right back and used a 10-4 spurt to take a six-point lead, 42-36, at the 14:50 mark. RMU's Monet Johnson scored all 10 points herself on the run, starting and ending it with three-point plays. The Pioneers sliced the deficit in half thanks to a Taylor three at 13:05 but the Colonials refused to falter and took their biggest lead at 46-39 after a Logan hit all three free throws after getting fouled behind the arc.
After a SHU bucket, Logan hit a contested jumper to put her team up 48-41 with 10:31 left with the Pioneers deep in foul trouble with Sowinski and Apo each with four fouls. With their all-league center on the bench, SHU was able to chip away and thanks to an 11-4 rally tied the game at 52-52 with 6:14 left. Junior Lindsey Gibson (Mechanicville, NY) got SHU on track with a baseline jumper while Taylor buried her second three to pull the Pioneers within 52-50. Apo capped the comeback with her third jumper in the paint on the run to knot the game at 52 apiece.
After trading possessions, Taylor gave the Pioneers their first lead since the 8:22 mark of the first half with a dribble-drive lay-up at 4:19. Robert Morris answered off the hand of senior Kendra Williams who buried a three from the corner off a kick-out by Johnson and then went up three as Logan hit a tough jumper at the free throw line with 3:12 to go.
After a missed Apo three, sophomore Maggie Cosgrove (Andover, MA) chased down the loose ball rebound and stuck a three to tie it back up, 57-57, with 2:40 on the clock. Neither team could find any offense over the next two minutes until the Colonials went inside to Grace Williams with 41 seconds left as she drew the fifth foul on Sowinski to go to the line for two. Williams made the first but missed the second as Johnson pulled down the offensive carom but missed on the put back as Taylor corralled her 10th rebound of the night for a double double. The Pioneers used a timeout and went to Apo who drew contact on Grace Williams underneath with 16 ticks left, promptly knocking down both for a 59-58 advantage. Robert Morris got up court quickly to set up for a final shot but Cosgrove was able to strip the ball from Kendra Williams, falling on the loose ball and getting a timeout with six seconds left. Forced to foul, RMU put Apo back on the line where she knocked down two more for a 61-58 lead forcing the Colonials to hit a three to tie. Kendra Williams got the ball to half court where her only option was a wide open Mary Durojay who hit a lay-up just before the horn, leaving her team a point short of forcing overtime.
Apo was six-of-14 from the field and five-of-six at the line on her way to an 18 point night. Taylor notched her sixth double double of the season by hitting eight-of-14 while also dishing three assists. Sowinski scored 13 points with four blocks before fouling out. The Pioneers shot 52.0% (13-25) in the second half on the way to the win.
Logan led all scorers with 26 points, hitting nine-of-25. Johnson, the NEC leader in double doubles had 14 points and 10 rebounds. The Colonials forced 20 SHU turnovers and took advantage scoring 23 points off SHU miscues.
Sacred Heart continues their Pennsylvania road trip heading to Saint Francis (PA) on Saturday afternoon. Tip-off is set for 4:00 pm