March 1, 2005
HACKENSACK, NJ (March 1, 2005) - The Sacred Heart women's basketball team closed out the regular season Tuesday night posting a 66-58 win at Fairleigh Dickinson. Sophomore Jasmine Walker (Amityville, NY) scored a career-high 16 points to go with 10 rebounds to lead the Pioneers to their 17th win on the year as SHU now advances to this weekend's Northeast Conference Tournament quarterfinal round.
The Pioneers finished the season with a 14-4 mark in conference play, matching their best-ever finish in the league in earning the number two seed. SHU will play host to the seventh seeded Mount St. Mary's Mountaineers this Saturday at 2:00 pm in the opening round.
FDU's Kay Odenwaelder scored the first basket of the contest for the Knights, but Sacred Heart hit four of six from the field and got eight points from Kerri Burke (Saugus, MA) in a 12-1 run to take a 12-3 lead at the 15:09 mark. The Knights snapped back and cut the lead to three, 12-9, after Erin Mills scored the next four points and Shanay Freeman hit a lay-up after a steal. Sacred Heart answered by going on a 15-5 spurt that stretched the margin to 13 with 9:10 left in the half at 27-14. Colleen Duggan (Newington, CT) sparked the run for the Pioneers, netting eight points.
The Knights again chipped away at the Pioneer lead, pulling to within six, 35-29, on a three-point by Vanessa Gercke with 1:42 to go. Fairleigh Dickinson would pull no closer though as the Pioneers scored the final five points of the frame, including four by Walker, and took a 40-29 lead into the break.
The Pioneers wasted little time in putting some distance between themselves and the Knights in the second half, rattling off another 14-3 outburst to extend its largest lead of the contest to 20 at 54-34 with 13:57 remaining. FDU had one last run left when trailing by 20 with 7:27 left, the Knights exploded on a 20-8 run that sliced the margin to eight at 62-54 with 5:22 to go. But that would be as close as they would get as Sacred Heart scored four of the next five points to get an 11-point cushion.
Joining Walker in double figures was senior Colleen Duggan (Newington, CT) who netted 12 of her 14 points in the first half to go with eight rebounds. Burke and fellow sophomore Amanda Pape (Stamford, CT) each had 11 points in the win. The Pioneers shot 40.6% (28-69) but did a poor job of taking care of the basketball with 24 turnovers.
Fairleigh Dickinson turned the ball over 27 times, which resulted in 30 points for Sacred Heart. Mills led the Knights with 11 points, four assists, four steals and a block. Krissy Suckow had nine points and five rebounds.
The Pioneers and Mountaineers will face-off for the third time this season come this Saturday. SHU won both meetings this season and has won seven-straight in the all-time series. The two teams faced off once before in the NEC Tournament with the Mount coming away with a 50-45 win in 2001.
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