Feb. 23, 2008
HAMDEN, Conn. (February 23, 2008) - The Sacred Heart Pioneers got 16 points from freshman Alisa Apo (Freehold, NJ) but shot a season-low 23.9% (16-67) as a team falling at Quinnipiac, 59-48, Saturday afternoon in a battle for first place in the Northeast Conference. The Bobcats dominated the boards, holding a 53-39 edge as they improve to 14-1 in the NEC and taking sole possession of the top spot. The Pioneers took a season-high 67 shots and 33 three's in the loss as they see their five-game winning streak stopped, falling to 18-9 overall and 13-3 in the league.
QU (22-3, 14-1 NEC) got out of the gates quickly, jumping up 5-0 in the game's opening minutes thanks to a Nicole Duperron lay-in and an Erin Kerner three. The Pioneers went down 10-7 just before the 15 minute media timeout before putting together their first run of the game. SHU's Kaitlin Sowinski (Hopkinton, RI) got the run started with a jumper in the lane and Stephanie Ryan (Coram, NY) followed with a three next time down. Sowinski powered up a put back off a Ryan miss and senior Lisa Moray (Hopewell Junction, NY) capped the 10-0 run with a long three for a 17-10 lead with 12:21 to play.
Senior forward Monique Lee ended the Bobcat drought with a put back of her own and QU pulled within 17-16 at the nine minute mark on a Kerner jumper. Sowinski put SHU up 19-16 on a lay-in at the 8:54 mark but the Pioneer offense went cold from there, suffering an over seven and a half minute scoring drought. SHU missed nine shots during the span and went 0-3 at the line as well. The Bobcats took advantage and pieced together a 9-0 run to lead 25-19 with 1:52 to go.
Apo end the drought with a jumper at 1:28 and SHU was able to cut the Quinnipiac lead down to just three at the break, 27-24, thanks to a freshman Maggie Cosgrove (Andover, MA) three. The Bobcats held a 29-15 rebounding edge over the first 20 minutes and held SHU to just 28.6% (8-28) shooting.
The second half started with a three-point barrage by both teams as Cosgrove picked-up right where she left off in the first tying at 27-27 on the first possession. QU's Brianna Rooney answered with a three ball of her own before Cosgrove came right back burying another to tie it at 30-30. Kerner joined the party next time down at 17:54 and Apo answered right back at 17:26 to knot the game at 33-33. Quinnipiac grabbed the lead for good the next time down as Lee delivered a lay-in and the Bobcats led 37-35 at 14:36 when another offensive funk struck Sacred Heart.
The Pioneers (18-9, 13-3 NEC) went without a field goal for the net 5:28, managing just a pair of Sowinski free throws during the stretch. QU failed to fully capitalize, building a six point advantage, 43-37. Apo hit a driving lay-up at 9:08 to end the slump but SHU could only get as close as three, 43-40, at 8:44 before the Bobcats would pull away. Quinnipiac built a nine-point lead, 52-43 over the next four minutes and hit double digits with a minute to go as the Pioneers were forced to foul the rest of the way. Mandy Pennewell hit all four of her free throws and Lee hit one of two down the stretch to ice the game away.
Joining Apo in double figures was Sowinski and Cosgrove, each with 12 points. Cosgrove matched her season-high with four three-point field goals in the loss. Sowinski pulled down nine boards and had four blocks for the Pioneers. Sacred Heart did turn the ball over a season-low five times but couldn't overcome the poor shooting afternoon.
Both Kerner and Pennewell scored 17 points in the win while Duperron chipped in a double double with 13 points and 13 rebounds. The Pioneers will close out the regular season at home facing Central Connecticut next Saturday, March 1st and Robert Morris on Monday, March 3rd.