Feb. 27, 2007
HAMDEN, Conn. (February 27, 2007) - The Sacred Heart Pioneers won their fifth-straight game Tuesday night, topping Quinnipiac 73-63 in the season finale, claiming a share of the Northeast Conference regular season title. SHU finishes the regular season at 15-3 and tied for first place with Long Island and Robert Morris.
The Pioneers will be the #3 seed in this weekend's NEC Tournament via tie breakers and will host the #6 seed Mount St. Mary's Saturday afternoon. LIU will be the #1 seed and RMU will be the #2 seed. The Pioneers finish with a 20-9 record, their third 20 win season in the last four years while they claim their second-straight regular season title.
The first half Tuesday night was all Pioneers as senior Kerri Burke (Saugus, MA) hit a three to open the game. A jumper by Courtney Kaminski and a lay-up by Mandy Penne well lay-up gave Quinnipiac it's only lead of the night, 4-3, two minutes in.
SHU bolted out in front with a 15-0 run over the next seven minutes capped by a senior Mary Rush (Waterbury, CT) lay-in at 13:04. After a Charmaine Steele hoop underneath cut the lead to 20-10 at 10:27, the Bobcat offense went stone cold again, going scoreless until the 3:44 mark. The Pioneers took full advantage and ran their lead to 28-10. Brianna Rooney hit a three to end the slide and the Bobcats cut it to 28-16 before senior Amanda Pape (Stamford, CT) took over, scoring the final seven points of the half capped by a running lay-up at the buzzer.
Sacred Heart's lead hit the 20-point mark, 49-29, with 13 minutes left when Quinnipiac began to chip away at the lead. QU used an 8-0 spurt to cut it to 12, 52-40, at the seven minute mark and sliced to single digits, 58-50, with 3:44 on the clock. SHU looked to its seniors to deliver the win and Jasmine Walker (Amityville, NY) got the Pioneer lead to double digits on their next possession with a lay-up. Pape pushed it to 12, 62-50, after a QU miss on a sweeping lay-up and the Pioneers hit 11-of-12 at the free throw line over the last 1:02 to seal the win.
Pape finished with a team-high 22 points, clinching the NEC regular season scoring title in the win. She added seven assists, with three assists and two steals. Walker chipped in with her second-straight double double and her fifth in the last six games with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Sophomore Kaitlin Sowinski (Hopkinton, RI) finished with 15 points, seven rebounds and three blocks.
Junior Lisa Moray (Hopewell Junction, NY) hit a pair of three's in the game, setting a new school record for three-point field goals in a season with 65, snapping the previous mark of 63 held by Maureen Delaney (1995-96).
Freshman Courtney Kaminski scored 19 of her game-high 23 points in the second half in the loss. Rooney finished with junior Monique Lee registering a double double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Tip off is slated for 3:00 pm on Saturday in the Pitt Center. For tournament and ticket information, go to www.NortheastConference.org.