Dec. 7, 2005
FAIRFIELD, CT (December 7, 2005) - The Sacred Heart women's basketball team forced 24 turnovers and held the visiting St. Francis (NY) Terriers to just 32.2% shooting to pick up a 69-51 win in the Northeast Conference opener for both teams Wednesday evening. The Pioneers turned the 24 Terrier turnovers into 26 points at the other end to improve to 4-1 on the year and 1-0 in the league.
The Pioneers got off to a shaky start, falling behind 8-2 in the early going and trailed 17-14 with 8:23 to go in the half. Thanks to their full court pressure, SHU began to shake the rust off and take control of the game. Junior Mary Rush (Waterbury, CT) pulled the Pioneers to within one, 17-16, on a lay-up and then jumped out in front for good with just over seven minutes to go on a junior Nicolle Rubino (Port Jefferson Station, NY) jumper.
From there, the Pioneers closed the half on a 21-7 run, including the final nine points, to lead 37-24 at the break. The Terrier's had 16 of their 24 turnovers in the half and helped mask some poor shooting by Sacred Heart, 14-37 (37.8%).
The second half started with a bucket by junior Jasmine Walker (Amityville, NY) and a pair of free throws by Rubino to boost the SHU lead to 40-24 two minutes in. A lay-up by Ashley Spriggs snapped the SFNY scoreless streak but the Pioneers proceeded to rattled an 11-4 run that gave them a 23-point lead at the 12 minute mark that put the game safely in check.
SHU got a season-high 26 points from junior Amanda Pape (Stamford, CT) who finished seven-of-12 from the field and 11-of-13 from the free throw line. Pape also chipped in with sic rebounds, five at the offensive end. Rubino added 14 points along with a season-high six steals with five rebounds and three assists.
Walker grabbed 12 rebounds in the win, marking the third straight game she had at least 10 rebounds. The Pioneers finished the game shooting just 38.1% (24-63) and again struggled from three, hitting just two-of-11 from behind the arc. SHU was strong from the free throw line knocking down 19-of-25 at the charity stripe.
The Terriers, now 0-6 and 0-1 in the league, got a double double from Tiffany Hill with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Center Katja Bavendam finished with 14 points and three blocks.
The Pioneers extended their winning streak to 11-straight over St. Francis (NY) with tonight's win. SHU is back on the road this Saturday, December 10th taking on St. Francis (PA) at 1:00 pm in Loretto, PA.