SHU Pioneers Fall to NEC Leader St. Francis (PA), 64-55

SHU Pioneers Fall to NEC Leader St. Francis (PA), 64-55

Feb. 17, 2005

Final Stats

FAIRFIELD, CT (February 17, 2005) - The St. Francis (PA) women's basketball team strengthened their hold on first place in the Northeast Conference by coming away with a 64-55 win over Sacred Heart in the William H. Pitt Center Thursday night. The Red Flash improve to 7-0 on the road in the NEC this year with the win and stay a game ahead of the competition at 15-9 overall and 13-2 in the league. SHU loses a conference game at home for the first time since 2003, a streak that spanned 19-straight games, as they fall to 14-10 overall and 11-4 in the NEC.

The Red Flash got the scoring started with a Sarah Bolton jumper from the baseline and then followed with a Beth Swink fueled 8-0 run to go up 10-3 in the early going. Swink hit her first two shots and added a pair of free throws before SHU's Nicolle Rubino (Port Jefferson Station, NY) could answer with a free throw. Swink came right back at the Pioneers and got the Red Flash up 17-8 with two more lay-ups and free throws to cap a 15-5 run.

Sacred Heart began their climb back down nine, 19-10, at the 12:11 mark. After a pair of Swink free throws, SHU's Kerri Burke (Saugus, MA) buried a three followed by an Amanda Pape (Stamford, CT) jumper from the wing off a St. Francis turnover to cut the lead to 19-15. After a lay-up by Christin Black, SHU cut to within two, 21-19, on a Lisa Moray (Hopewell Junction, NY) jumper and Pape lay-up.

Swink answered once again for the Red Flash, scoring six straight points to give the Red Flash back an eight-point advantage on their way to a 31-25 halftime lead. The reigning NEC Player of the Year had a monster half, scoring 16 points on six-of-11 shooting, while Pape helped the Pioneers stay alive with 10 points of her own.

The St. Francis lead would grow back to eight once again in the early going of the second half and would hover there until the 15:30 mark. The Pioneers put together another quick 8-2 run capped by Burke's second three of the night to get within two, 41-39. On the ensuing inbounds, the sophomore point guard tipped an errant pass to Pape who was fouled on her way to the basket. On the ensuing inbounds, a jumper by Colleen White (Richboro, PA) missed its mark and the Red Flash would grab a loose ball and hold the Pioneers at bay once again.

Swink and the Red Flash would answer with a 9-0 run to take a 11-point lead, 50-39, with 8:06 to play, a lead the Pioneers would never seriously threaten the rest of the way. Swink led the way for St. Francis, finishing with a game-high 24 points and hitting a perfect 10-of-10 from the free throw line in the process. As a team, St. Francis shot just 37.3% (22-59) in the game but protected the basketball all game with just seven turnovers.

Joining Swink in double figures were teammates Amber Hein with 11 points and Sarah Bolten and Christin Black with 10 points apiece. Regina Schlichter just missed a double with nine points and nine rebounds.

The Pioneers received 15 points and seven rebounds from Pape in the loss while Burke hit four-of-seven from behind the arc for 12 points. Rubino chipped in with 10 points and five assists while sophomore Jasmine Walker (Amityville, NY) pulled down a game-high 10 boards.

Sacred Heart continues it's homestand this Saturday, February 19th when they host Long Island at 12 noon. The game is being broadcast live on Metro-TV.