Nov. 24, 2004
LAWRENCE, KS (November 24, 2004) - It was a tale of two halves for the Sacred Heart women's basketball team Wednesday night in Lawrence, Kansas. The Pioneers held a 29-25 halftime lead over the University of Kansas Jayhawks but went cold to start the second half, missing their first seven shots while turning the ball over 11 times over the first eight minutes en route to an 11-point loss in their first-ever meeting with a team from the Big 12 Conference.
Both teams struggled offensively in the first half with the Jayhawks shooting 34.4% (11-32) and the Pioneers hitting just 33.3% (10-30) from the field. Kansas held an early 17-13 lead roughly half way through the half when the Pioneer offense started to click. SHU pulled to within one at 17-16 at the 9:20 mark on a Nicolle Rubino (Port Jefferson Station, NY) three.
Just two minutes later, senior center Colleen Duggan (Newington, CT) went to the free throw line with a chance to give SHU a lead. Duggan promptly hit both ends of a one-and-one to put the Pioneers up 19-18. KU stormed right back with a quick 7-0 run to grab the league back on a three by Erica Hallman and a lay-up by Blair Waltz.
As it looked like the Jayhawks were ready to build on their lead, SHU had an answer of their own. The Pioneers rattled off an 11-1 run to close the half capped by a Lisa Moray (Hopewell Junction, NY) three-pointer. The Pioneers held the rebounding advantage over the first 20 minutes, grabbing 23 boards to KU's 21. SHU was also solid at the line, knocking down six-of-six.
The Jayhawks came out flying to start the second half, hitting three of their first four shots to grab the lead back at 31-29 less than two minutes into play. The Pioneers however, went stone cold from the field with a pair of Amanda Pape (Stamford, CT) free throws their only points until the 11:53 mark. The result: a 14-2 Kansas run where they hit five-of-nine from the floor and built an eight point lead, 39-31.
The lead grew to as many as 11 with just over six minutes to go before Sacred Heart would mount one last run. Fueled by Duggan, who hit three-straight shots and a free throw, the Pioneers cut the lead down to six, 52-46, with 1:39 to play. Duggan missed the second of a two shot free throw and the Pioneers would retain possession. Rubino made a quick move toward the baseline and hit a jumper to bring SHU within four at 52-48 just second later.
Needing a defense stop, the Pioneers came up empty when Hallman drove through the lane and banked in her lay-up to push the lead back to six. A costly SHU turnover on the next possession and some solid shooting from the free throw line, 4-of-6, and the Jayhawks would close the game with a 7-0 run to earn their first win on the year.
The loss drops Sacred Heart to 1-1 on the season. Rubino led all scorers with 16 points to go with four rebounds and three steals. Pape finished with seven points but grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds. The Pioneers finished the game just 32.1% from the floor and 37.5% from behind the arc. Turnovers also plagued SHU, with 17 of their 27 coming in the second half.
Kansas, who shot 47.8% in the second half, got 11 points apiece from Taylor McIntosh and Aquanita Burras. McIntosh also grabbed eight boards in the win. Despite their poor free throw shooting in the first half, KU shot 11-of-16 in the second stanza to help preserve the win.
The Pioneers will return to the hardwood on Tuesday night, December 1st when they open the home portion of their schedule against Rider University at 7:00 pm. SHU finished a perfect 14-0 in the Pitt Center last season and has not lost a regular season game at home since February of 2003.