Feb. 26, 2005
FAIRFIELD, CT (February 26, 2005) - The Sacred Heart women's basketball team came away with a hard fought 63-54 win over visiting Robert Morris in a key Northeast Conference match-up Saturday afternoon. The Pioneers improve to 16-10 overall and 13-4 in the standings jumping a half game in front of the Colonials with one game to play. Robert Morris finishes the regular season 18-9 overall and 13-5.
Robert Morris got out of the gates quickly, running out to a 5-0 lead in the opening minutes. The Colonials got a pair of three's from DeSheyna Perry and another by Le'Sheala Dawson to build an eight point lead, 19-11, with 11 minutes to play in the first half. SHU sophomore Jasmine Walker (Amityville, NY) hit three-straight lay-ups and sophomore Kerri Burke (Saugus, MA) hit a runner and buried a three to cap an 11-2 run that gave the Pioneers their first lead at 22-21 with 8:14 on the clock.
The Colonials answered right back with a Sugiery Monsac lay-up that started a 9-0 run capped by Perry's third three of the half to run the lead back to eight, 30-22. Another Burke three followed by a jumper from Nicolle Rubino (Port Jefferson Station, NY) slice the lead down to three where it would hold at the half, 32-29.
SHU inched closer once again in the opening minutes of the second half, getting to within 34-33 three minutes in. After a free throw from Monsac gave the Colonials a two-point lead, the Pioneers jumped back in front after a three-point play from Walker at the 15:56 mark. Sacred Heart went up four, 39-35, when senior Colleen White (Richboro, PA) buried her first three attempt of the season.
The Pioneers then began their parade to the free throw line in the second half as Amanda Pape (Stamford, CT) and Walker hit five of six over the next two minutes to give SHU a five-point lead, 44-39. The Colonials put together another run, 9-2, to snatch the lead back, 48-46, with 10:31 to play. SHU's Rubino made a steal at half court and headed to the basket to tie. Rubino was fouled and produced the third tie of the afternoon with a pair of free throws after the media time out.
Burke would give Sacred Heart the lead for good less then three minute later. With the shot clock winding down, Burke rolled off a screen at the top of the key and let fly on a leaner that rang true just before a shot clock violation could be called. SHU never looked back as they quickly went up five, 55-50, and hit nine of 11 free throws over the final 6:46 to secure the victory.
The win gives the Pioneers an outside shot at the #2 seed in the NEC Tournament. Sacred Heart now owns two wins over Robert Morris this season and would need to beat Fairleigh Dickinson and get a Quinnipiac loss either tonight or on Tuesday to sneak in to the two seed. If QU and SHU win out, the Pioneers would have the #3 seed.
Walker and White led five Pioneers in double figures with 14 points apiece, tying a career-high for Walker. White also grabbed seven rebounds, handed out three assists and made two blocks. Also in double digits were Burke with 12, Rubino with 11 and Pape with 10. As a team, the Pioneers hit 19 of 23 at the free throw line, all in the second half, to Robert Morris' five of eight.
The Colonials got 19 points from Perry, who hit three of six from behind the arc. Monsac, the second leading scorer in the NEC, tallied 14 on five of 19 shooting with 13 rebounds. RMU turned the ball over 22 times in the loss.
Sacred Heart closes the regular season this Tuesday, March 1st when they travel to Fairleigh Dickinson for a 7 pm start.