Dec. 10, 2007
NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (December 10, 2007) - Sacred Heart junior Stephanie Ryan (Coram, NY) led three players in double figures with 15 points and seven rebounds as the Pioneers improved to 2-0 to start Northeast Conference play with a 71-40 win at Central Connecticut Monday night. The Pioneers shot a season-high 51.9% (27-52) from the field while holding an opponent to their lowest point total of the year.
The Pioneers (5-4, 2-0 NEC) got off to a slow start, missing their first five shots of the game while falling behind 4-0. SHU got on the board on a Maggie Cosgrove (Andover, MA) three but still trailed in the game at the 13 minute mark, 7-6, thanks to a three-point play from Kerrianne Dugan. From there, the Pioneers started to pour it on, jumping in front for good on a Kaitlin Sowinski (Hopkinton, RI) lay-in and running out to a 16-7 lead capped by an Alisa Apo (Freehold, NJ) three.
The Blue Devils (0-9, 0-1 NEC) cut to within five, 16-11, but a 12-2 run gave the Pioneers their biggest lead of the half, 28-13 with just under three minutes to play in the half. CCSU pulled to within 30-19 at the break but were plagued by 15 first half turnovers that led to 21 SHU points at the other end.
Sacred Heart's lead grew to 15 at the 13:08 mark of the second half, 44-29, but Central once again found a spark as Justina Udenze hit a couple of lay-ups to pull her team to within 11. The Blue Devils had the ball and a chance to get the lead under double digits but another turnover proved costly and junior Khalia Cain (Manchester, CT) made them pay, burying just her second three of the season to get the Pioneer offense started on a furious run.
SHU ran off seven-straight points and bolted to a 63-35 lead with 3:52 remaining thanks to a 17-2 jaunt that put the game away. The Pioneers outscored the Blue Devils 27-7 over the final 10 minutes of the game to post their most lopsided victory of the year. Central finished with 28 miscues, leading to 41 points on the other end.
The Pioneers, who have now won 13-straight over Central Connecticut, hit 42.9% (6-14) from behind the arc and finished with a season-best 21 assists. Ryan added three steals and an assist to her game totals, hitting six-of-11 from the floor on the night.
Sowinski found double figures for the ninth-straight game, scoring 12 points with eight rebounds and three blocks. Off the bench, Apo added 14, her second-straight game in double digits. Cosgrove was solid as well, scoring eight with five assists and a pair of steals in the win.
The Pioneers will be off until next Wednesday, December 19th when they travel to Lehigh University. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 pm