February 14, 2005

Sacred Heart Grinds Out 53-45 Win over St. Francis (NY)

Feb. 14, 2005

Final Stats

FAIRFIELD, CT (February 14, 2005) - The Sacred Heart women's basketball team fought through a rough offensive night to battle their way to a 53-45 win over St. Francis (NY) Monday night. The Pioneers improve to 14-9 overall and 11-3 in the Northeast Conference with the win.

SHU got off to a very slow start, turning the ball over six times in the first eight minutes while hitting just three-of-12 from the field resulting in an early 10-8 St. Francis lead. A couple of jumpers by Nicolle Rubino (Port Jefferson Station, NY) and Colleen White (Ricboro, PA) tied the game at 10-10 and SHU grabbed the lead back at 14-12 on a made jumper by Amanda Pape (Stamford, CT) with 7:36 to play.

Despite a rash of turnovers and some poor shooting, the Pioneers built the lead to as many as five, 22-17, with just less than three minutes left in the half. A scrappy St. Francis team hung in and got back to within two, 22-20, at the break. Both teams turned the ball over a combined 24 times, 14 on the Pioneers. SHU shot just nine-of-29 over the first 20 minutes and grabbed 27 rebounds.

The Terriers quickly tied the game at 22-22 to open the second half as Kim Bennett buried a lay-up and drew a foul. Bennett missed at the line in her chance to give SFNY the lead but Linda Warrington buried a three from the wing just over a minute later for a 25-22 advantage. The Terriers were able to hold their lead at three until through the 10-minute mark when Pape and Kerri Burke (Saugus, MA) began to turn the tied for the Pioneers.

With the shot clock winding down, Pape buried a three from the corner to knot the game at 33-33 with 9:15 on the clock. Burke followed with a lay-up on their next possession and the Pioneer rally was underway. The sophomore point guard sliced to the hoop and found a wide-open Jasmine Walker (Amityville, NY) on the baseline for a 37-33 lead.

St. Francis's Tiffany Hill promptly buried a three form the wing to bring the Terriers back to within one, 37-36, but a 13-4 run fueled by a pair of Burke fast break lay-ups gave SHU its largest lead at 50-40 with 3:27 to play. The Pioneer settled in from there, never letting St. Francis closer than nine in the closing minutes to hold on for their 14th win on the year.

Pape finished with 14 points and nine rebounds on the night while Burke tallied 13 with four steals and three assists. White finished with 10 points and Walker just missed her second-straight double double with eight points and 12 rebounds. The win is the Pioneers 10th-straight over the Terriers.

St. Francis, now 7-15 overall and 4-8 in the league, got 12 points from Hill while Candice Abellard finished five-of-nine from the field for 10 points. The Terriers were out rebounded 47-30 in the loss while committing 22 turnovers.

Tonight's win sets up a showdown with first-place St. Francis (PA) on Thursday night in the William H. Pitt Center. The Pioneers currently trail the Red Flash by one game in the standings but lost in their first meeting in Loretto last month. Tip time is slated for 6 pm with the SHU men against Robert Morris to follow.

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