FAIRFIELD, Conn. – The Sacred Heart men's basketball team rallied from an eight-point deficit to tie the Holy Cross Crusaders 67-67 with 0:45 to play Wednesday night, but the Crusaders scored the final five points to come away with a 72-67 win at the Pitt Center.
Sacred Heart (5-8) trailed 65-57 with 3:57 to play in the game after a Malachi Alexander three-pointer. Quincy McKnight got the comeback started with four straight points to cut the deficit to four, 65-61, with 2:58 remaining. Sean Hoehn then made a three with 2:00 to play to make the score 65-64. After a Karl Charles layup put Holy Cross back ahead by three, Hoehn tied the game with his second three-pointer with 0:45 left.
Alexander put in a layup on the Crusaders' next possession to give Holy Cross a 69-67 lead. SHU had a chance to tie on its next possession, but Charles Tucker Jr. missed a pair of free throws. Holy Cross made 3-of-4 foul shots in the final 0:10 to make the final score 72-67.
Holy Cross (5-7) opened the game on a 7-2 run as Alexander scored five straight points in the span of less than a minute. The Pioneers then exploded for an 11-3 run over 3:10 to take a 13-10 lead with 14:44 to play in the first. SHU went 4-for-5 from the field during that stretch, which was capped off by a Chris Robinson three. Sacred Heart took its largest lead of the game at the 11:50 mark on a pair of Matej Buovac foul shots which made the score 20-14. The Crusaders came back with to take the lead with 7:11 left in the first as a Robert Champion three capped a 7-0 run that gave Holy Cross a 26-23 lead. Holy Cross used a 9-0 run late in the half to take a 35-27 advantage and led 41-35 at halftime.
The Pioneers cut into Holy Cross' lead early in the second half. Robinson's second three-pointer of the game at the 14:04 mark capped a 9-2 run for SHU that made the score 47-46. The Crusaders responded with their own 9-2 run to go back up by eight, 56-48, with 10:21 to go. The Pioneers got within three at the 7:04 mark before Holy Cross extended its lead back up to eight at the 3:40 mark.
Holy Cross shot 50% from the field while SHU shot 42.4%. Alexander led all scorers with 38 points and 10 rebounds. Lopez had his third double-double of the season posting a season-high 22 points with 10 rebounds. Hoehn had 10 points and tied a season high with six assists. Buovac had 10 points off the bench.
Sacred Heart opens Northeast Conference play at the Pitt Center on December 29 against Robert Morris at 3:30 p.m. For the doubleheader on the 29th, youth can purchase a ticket for $2 to the game and bring their grandparents for free.