March 5, 2005
FAIRFIELD, CT - Sophomore Amanda Pape (Stamford, CT/Trinity Catholic) scored a game-high 24 points to go along with eight assists and six rebounds to help second-seeded Sacred Heart University defeat number-seven Mount St. Mary's 76-56 in the quarterfinals of the Northeast Conference Women's Basketball Tournament Saturday afternoon.
Sacred Heart, now 18-10, jumped out to a 9-2 lead in the first four minutes of the game, taking advantage of five turnovers by the Mountaineers. Pape started the run with a layup, then sophomore point guard Kerri Burke buried a three-pointer to make it 5-0.
Dita Krumberga (Rija, Latvia/Grammer School of Nordic Languages) put The Mount on the board with a layup just over three minutes into the game, but the Pioneers answered with inside buckets by sophomore center Jasmine Walker (Amityville, NY/Copiague) and senior forward Colleen White (Richboro, PA/Council Rock).
A Pape jumper with 14:32 to play in the first half stretched the Pioneer lead to 13-4. The Mountaineers used an 8-0 run over the next three minutes, capped by a Krumberga jumper, to crawl back within one at 11:26 left.
Another Krumberga jumper with 6:40 left had the Mountaineers down 24-21, before the Pioneers exploded on a 18-4 run. White had a pair of jumpers during the spurt and Walker converted a three-point play that have SHU a 34-21 lead with 4:30 left in the half. The Pioneers continued to apply full-court press, forcing the Mountaineers into six turnovers down the stretch of the half, and coasted into the locker room with a 42-25 lead.
Sacred Heart scored the first eight points of the second half on two buckets apiece from White and junior Nicolle Rubino (Port Jefferson Station/Comsewogue) to double up the Mountaineers 50-25. A Walker layup with 12:20 to play in the game put the Pioneers up 63-33.
The Mountaineers scored eight of the next ten points, four of them by NEC Rookie of the Year Tiffany Green (Arlington, VA/Washington-Lee), to trail 65-41 with 8:57 left but time simply ran out on The Mount as the Pioneers.
"This is the best we've played in an opening round playoff game since I have been here," said SHU head coach Ed Swanson. "The team did a good job moving the ball and finding the open player."
"Amanda did exactly what I expect her to do," he continued. "I expect her to get us going on defense and on the glass and she did that for us today."
The Mount was led by Krumberga with 19 points and eight rebounds. Green finished with 17 points, while senior Rebecca Wike (Westminster, MD/Carroll Christian) had a game-high 12 rebounds.
"We came out nervous and the turnovers really hurt us in the first half," said Mount coach Vanessa Blair Treadwell. "As a young team, it was tough for us to come back against a good team like Sacred Heart."
White finished the game with 16 points for the Pioneers, along with seven rebounds. Walker also finished in double figures with 14 points to go along with her seven boards. Sacred Heart shot an even 50 percent from the field in the game (34-68), while holding The Mount to just 34 percent shooting (23-68).
Sacred Heart advances to play #3-seed Robert Morris University in the semifinals on Tuesday, March 8 at 7 p.m. in the Pitt Center. Robert Morris rolled #6 Central Connecticut 72-39 in another quarterfinal game. #1 St. Francis (PA) advanced to the semis by defeating St. Francis (NY) by 20 points, and will play #5 Quinnipiac who came back to defeat #4 Monmouth, 75-68.