Sowinski Nets a Career-High 24 points but SHU Falls Short at Fairfield, 58-56

Sowinski Nets a Career-High 24 points but SHU Falls Short at Fairfield, 58-56

Nov. 18, 2007

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BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (November 18, 2007) - The Sacred Heart Pioneers got a career-high 24 points from junior center Kaitlin Sowinski (Hopkinton, RI) as they erased an 11-point halftime deficit but came up just two points short in a 58-56 loss to Fairfield University Sunday at the Arena at Harbor Yard. The Pioneers and Stags renewed their cross-town rivalry, meeting for the first time since the 1980-81 season.

The Pioneers (0-3) dug themselves into that 11-point hole at the half thanks in most part to the effectiveness of the Stags on the glass. Fairfield outrebounded SHU 22-13 over the first 20 minutes of action, pulling down 13 offensive caroms leading to 16 second chance points. The Stags jumped out to a quick five point lead three minutes in and then used a 10-2 run to go up 24-13 at the seven minute mark. SHU got it under double digits on a Lisa Moray (Hopewell Junction, NY) at the 4:17 mark but the Stags answered and bounced it back to 11 at the break.

The second half saw a different Pioneer team came out of the locker room and back-to-back lay-ups from Sowinski started a 9-2 run that pulled SHU to 36-24 five minutes in. Fairfield's Tara Flaherty extended it back to a five point lead on the Stag's next possession converting on a three-point play opportunity but Moray kept the Pioneers right in burying another three next time down.

The Stags (2-0) tried to pull away again, extending their lead back to six points twice more before the seven minute mark but SHU refused to go away. Down 47-41, the Pioneers used a quick 5-0 spurt to get within one, 47-46, with just over five to play. A good dribble drive by junior Stephanie Ryan (Coram, NY) and a three-point play from Sowinski put the Pioneers in position to possibly take their first lead since the game's opening bucket.

Fairfield's Baendu Lowenthal answered next time down with a lay-in but missed the chance at a three-point opportunity on the ensuing free throw. SHU's Khalia Cain (Manchester, CT) again got the Pioneers within one hitting a baseline jumper, 49-48. Fairfield's Megan Caskin hit the first of what proved to be huge three-pointers to answer Cain and the Stags again found themselves leading by six, 54-48, on a Meka Werts jumper with 2:32 on the clock.

The Pioneers again had an answer as Sowinski drew a foul underneath, hitting the hoop and sank her free throw and Moray buried a three from a few feet behind the line just before the shot clock went off to tie the game 54-54 with 1:06 to go. Fairfield used a time out and Caskin struck again, burying her second three with 44 ticks left to give her team a 57-54 lead.

SHU went back in to Sowinski as freshman Maggie Cosgrove (Andover, MA) found her open underneath for an easy two with 19 seconds to go. Needing to foul, the Pioneers faced a tough situation having only committed two team fouls during the entire second half. SHU managed to foul five times on the ensuing inbounds chances but the Stags were able to run all but one second off the clock before Stephanie Geehan went to the free throw line to shoot one and one. Geehan hit the front end but the Pioneers attempt at a court long pass was knocked away and the Stags held on for the 58-56 win.

Sowinski's career-night came on 10-of-16 shooting from the field and four-of-five at the line. The junior center pulled down five boards and had six blocks in the loss. Her 10 makes also marked a career-high. She has scored in double digits in all-three games this year.

Moray came off the bench to bury five-of-eight from behind the three-point arc to finish with 15 points. She added four assists and a steal to her totals. Ryan scored eight points with nine rebounds just missing her first career double double. The Pioneers shot 40.7% (22-54) as a team and hit six-of-14 from behind the arc.

SHU is now 0-3 on the year, marking the first time since the 2000-01 season a Pioneer team has lost it's first three ball games.

The Pioneers will return to action next Sunday, November 25th when they play host to Binghamton University in their home opener in the William H. Pitt Center.