November 22, 2008

Late Three Lifts Fairfield over Sacred Heart, 59-58, in Overtime

Nov. 22, 2008

Box Score

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (November 22, 2008) - Fairfield's Stephanie Geehan buried her first three-point of the season with one second left in overtime to lift the Stags to a 59-58 win over Sacred Heart Saturday afternoon at the Arena at Harbor Yard. The Pioneers went up 58-56 with 11 seconds left in the extra session before Geehan hit from the left win for the game winner.

The loss drops the Pioneers to 0-3 for the second-consecutive season with the cross-town rivalry coming down to the closing seconds for the second-straight year as well. SHU led by as many as seven points in the first half and had a six-point lead with just under four minutes to play in the second half but a 6-0 Fairfield run ended regulation sending the game to overtime.

The Pioneers twice had opportunities to expand on a two-point lead at the free throw line in the extra session but came up short on both occasions. SHU senior Kaitlin Sowinski (Hopkinton, RI) led the Pioneers recording her first double double of the season with 19 points and 11 rebounds. With the game tied at 54-54 in overtime, Sacred Heart looked to Sowinski and the senior center delivered on back-to-back possessions.

Sowinski hit a lay-up with 56 ticks left and after a Fairfield miss at the other end, junior Lindsey Gibson (Mechanicville, NY) corralled the rebound and was fouled to go to the free throw line for a one-and-one and a chance to make it a two-possession game. Gibson missed the front end the Stags tied in on a Tara Flaherty jumper with 26 seconds left. SHU went right back to Sowinski and the she delivered with a lay-in, drawing the foul and a chance at a three-point play with 11 ticks left. Her free throw missed the mark and the Stags raced up court with no time outs left to try and set up the last shot.

Geehan came off a screen on the left win and took a pass from Sarah Paulus, got a clean look and buried her first three-point field goal of the season. The junior forward then sealed the game away stealing the inbound desperation pass by the Pioneers as the Stags move to 2-2 on the year.

SHU shot out of the gates and led 13-7 four minutes in and 20-13 by the 8:55 mark. The Stags battle back to tie it a 22-22 with three and a half to go before a three by Callan Taylor (Overland Park, KS) and a Sowinski lay-in with one second left sandwiched around a Baendu Lowenthal jumper sent SHU into the locker room leading 27-24 at the half.

The Pioneers played the second half and overtime without Taylor who was forced from the game late in the first half with an ankle injury. The game saw its fifth tie at 34-34 five minutes into the second half before Pioneers built their lead back up to six, 47-41, with senior Stephanie Ryan (Coram, NY) burying a pair of three's on the 14-7 run.

SHU could never pull away however and despite losing Lowenthal midway through the second half with injury, the Stags ended regulation on a 6-0 run with a Geehan lay-up, a pair of Tara Flaherty free throws and a Shireyll Moore jumper in the lane. Sacred Heart had a good look at a three with 24 seconds left but sophomore Maggie Cosgrove's (Andover, MA) shot missed the mark while Geehan's final look in regulation missed as well setting up the overtime heroics.

Ryan finished with 18 on six-of-11 shooting while sophomore Alisa Apo (Freehold, NJ) came up with 11 points and four assists. The Pioneers shot just 35.5% (22-62) from the field and were out rebounded 47-37 on the glass.

The Stags got 16 points from guard Desiree Pina and 14 from Lowenthal before leaving the game. Geehan finished with seven but hauled in a game-high 14 rebounds.

The Pioneers return to the court on Tuesday night, November 25th when they play host to the Lehigh Mountain Hawks in their home opener in the William H. Pitt Center.