November 27, 2005

Pioneers Squeeze Orange, 84-57, Improve to 2-0 over the Big East

Nov. 27, 2005

Final Stats

SYRACUSE, NY (November 27, 2005) - Junior Amanda Pape (Stamford, CT) scored a season-high 20 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead the Sacred Heart women's basketball team to an 84-57 win at Syracuse University Sunday afternoon. The Pioneers are now 2-1 on the year and are 2-0 against the Big East Conference this season.

SHU opened the game sluggish offensively; missing their first six shots as Syracuse build an early 11-6 lead five minutes in. The Pioneers chipped away and began to find their offensive legs. A Mary Rush (Waterbury, CT) offensive rebound and put back underneath pulled the Pioneers to within 18-17 and a Pape jumper next time down the floor gave SHU their first lead at 19-18.

Freshman Liz Gruber (Staten Island, NY) drilled a three to give SHU a four-point advantage but SU quickly answered and tied the game at 22-22 with 6:51 to play. From there, junior point guard Kerri Burke (Saugus, MA) buried a three and ignited a 16-3 Pioneer jaunt that closed the half and gave Sacred Heart a lead they would never relinquish.

Burke's three snapped an 0-11 streak to start the season for the co-captain and she finished with nine points over the first 20 minutes. The Pioneers held a 27-20 rebounding lead with Jasmine Walker (Amityville, NY) and Pape leading the way with seven and five, respectively.

The Pioneer offensive stayed hot throughout the second half, outscoring the Orange 46-32 to close the game. Pape scored 14 of her game-high 20 in the half and had three three-point plays. SU's Vaida Sipaviciute single handedly tried to pull the Orange back in it, scoring the first six points of the half and finishing with 20 of her own.

The closest Syracuse would get in the second half was 15 points, 56-41 with 13:15 to play but a 15-4 SHU run over the next seven minutes safely put the game away for the Pioneers.

Pape finished with her first double double of the year while Walker added 11 rebounds of her own to go with seven points. Burke finished the afternoon seven-of-13 for a season high 16 to go with five assists. Rush scored 13 on eight-of-eight from the free throw line, her highest total since her freshman year against Louisiana-Lafayette (15 pts).

Senior Nicolle Rubino (Port Jefferson Station, NY) had 11 points and is now just four points away from becoming just the 10th player in school history to reach the 1,000-point plateau.

SHU held the rebound advantage, 52-39, grabbing 50 rebound for the first time since Quinnipiac last January. "Energy level the kids played with was the key to this win," stated head coach Ed Swanson. "We shoot the ball better when we rebound the ball. We get more in rhythm when we can get out in transition. Amanda and Jasmine did a great job on the defensive glass."

The Pioneers will return to action on Thursday, December 1st when they host Yale University in the William H. Pitt Center for the 2005 home opener.