March 3, 2008
FAIRFIELD, CT (March 3, 2008) - The Sacred Heart Pioneers turned the ball over a season-high 26 times and went the final 6:25 without a field goal falling to the Robert Morris Colonials, 66-52, Monday night in the Northeast Conference regular season finale for both teams. The Pioneers finished the season 19-10 and 14-4 in the league, claiming the #3 seed in this weekend's NEC Tournament. The Colonials claim a share of the regular season title with Quinnipiac with a 16-2 mark and will be the #2 seed in the field of eight.
The Pioneers (19-10, 14-4 NEC) got out to a 7-0 lead in the game's first minute and a half thanks to a Maggie Cosgrove (Andover, MA) three and a pair of Kaitlin Sowinski (Hopkinton, RI) lay-ins. SHU grabbed an 11-4 lead at 16:37 but the Colonials got it going offensively and pulled even at 11-11. The Pioneers got the lead to five but Sade Logan led her team back and tied it at 21-21 after a pair of free throws and a three.
Stephanie Ryan (Coram, NY) got Sacred Heart started on a 9-2 run with a lay-up at 7:42 and Sowinski gave her team their biggest lead of the night at 30-23 with 5:36 to play. A quick RMU 7-0 spurt tied the game again at 30-30 and the Colonials grabbed their first lead of the night at the 2:11 mark. SHU's Khalia Cain (Manchester, CT) answered back and sent the Pioneers into the locker room up one, 35-34, with a jumper at 1:15.
An Alisa Apo (Freehold, NJ) three in the opening minutes of the second half gave the Pioneers a four-point lead but Sacred Heart could never pull away as the Colonials grabbed the lead back at 15:21 on a Kendra Williams three. RMU took the lead for good at the 8:20 mark on a Nesbit jumper and never looked back, outscoring SHU 18-3 over the last 8:58. SHU's last field goal came at the 6:25 mark, an Apo jumper, as they missed their last six shots and turned the ball over five times in the closing minutes.
RMU's (20-9, 16-2 NEC) Logan scored 15 or her 18 points in the first half while teammate Angela Pace matched her with a career-high 18 of her own. Nesbit did the bulk of her damage in the second half, scoring 10 of her 15 points while adding nine rebounds, six assists and two steals to her game totals. The Colonials took full advantage of the Pioneer miscues, converting the 26 turnovers into 20 points.
Sowinski notched her ninth double double of the season with 16 points and 11 rebounds to go with five blocks. She will head into the first round match-up of the tournament needing just two points to reach 1,000 for her career. Apo tallied 13 in the loss while both Ryan and Cain had 10 apiece.
The Pioneers will be matched up with #6 seeded Monmouth in the first round of the NEC Tournament on Saturday, March 8th. The game will tip-off at 7:30 pm and will be carried live on WICC 600 am. The first two rounds of the tournament will be played at Long Island University. For tournament information go to www.NortheastConference.org.