Dec. 30, 2008
FAIRFIELD, Conn. (December 30, 2008) - Sacred Heart sophomore Alisa Apo (Freehold, NJ) tallied 22 points and dished out a career-high nine assists to lead the Pioneers past the Binghamton Bearcats, 79-61, Tuesday night in the William H. Pitt Center. Fellow sophomore Maggie Cosgrove (Andover, MA) chipped in with a career-best 18 points hitting five-of-seven from behind the arc as the Pioneers end a two-game slide and improves to 5-7 on the season.
Apo led four Pioneers in double figures Tuesday night as she finished the game shooing eight-of-17 from the field and three-of-six from three. Her nine assists came against just three turnovers as the Pioneers turned it over a season-low 13 times after coming in averaging 21.2 per game. Senior center Kaitlin Sowinski (Hopkinton, RI) hit eight-of-10 to finish with 19 points while coming up with six rebounds and three blocks. Freshman Callan Taylor (Overland Park, KS) finished with 10 points, five rebounds, four assists, two blocks and a steal in the win.
Cosgrove showed the hot hand early on, hitting a trio of three's in the game's first seven minutes. Tied at 15-15, Cosgrove buried her third trey to put SHU on top at 13:02. The Bearcats went in front three, 21-18 at the 10 minute mark and led 23-22 at 8:34 before Apo started a quick Pioneer rally. The sophomore guard hit on a dribble drive to the hoop and set up teammate Stephanie Ryan (Coram, NY) on SHU's next possession for a lay-up. After a Sowinski free throw, Apo buried a three and gave the Pioneers a 31-25 lead at the 5:16 mark.
Binghamton (4-8) quickly answered with a 9-2 spurt to grab back the lead. Muffy Sadler started the run with a jumper followed by a pair of lay-ins by Viive Rebane and a three from Erica Carter to lead 34-33 with 2:27 left in the half. SHU answered the Bearcat run with one of their own before the halftime horn as Sowinski got underneath for a lay-up followed by matching three's from Taylor and Apo, hers coming at the buzzer, to lead 43-37 at the break.
The second half opened much like the first half with Cosgrove burying a three on the Pioneer's first possession and Apo gave Sacred Heart their first double digit lead of the night at 17:14 with her third triple of the game to lead 53-41. The Bearcats were able to whittle the SHU lead down to seven, 55-48, at 13:30 but that would be as close as they would get. Apo answered an Orla O'Reilly three with a jumper followed by a Taylor three and the Pioneer lead was back to double digits.
Cosgrove's fifth three of the night made the lead 13, 71-58, with 4:37 to go. Facing an 11-point deficit with 2:18 left, the Bearcats elected to foul and the Pioneers answered knocking down six-of-eight over the final minutes as they ended the game outscoring Binghamton 8-1 to seal the win.
SHU shot 47.5% (29-61) in the win and 50.0% (10-20) from behind the arc. Their 21 assists matched their season-high. The Pioneers held a 39-32 edge on the boards and got 12 second chance points on 13 offensive caroms.
The Bearcats got 14 points and nine rebound from Viive. As a team, they shot 42.4% (25-59) from the field but just 33.3% (10-30) in the second half.
The Pioneers will be back in action in the New Year as they return to Northeast Conference play at Monmouth Saturday afternoon. Tip-off is scheduled for 3:00 pm.