FAIRFIELD, Conn. – After playing a triple overtime game three weeks ago, the Sacred Heart Pioneers and Bryant Bulldogs went to overtime once again Saturday afternoon at Coach Bike Court at the Pitt Center with the Pioneers winning 73-70.
Saturday was the fourth time in the last six meetings between Sacred Heart and Bryant that the game went to overtime. SHU led 61-58 with 0:10 left in regulation when Nisre Zouzoua hit a three at the buzzer to force the extra period. Quincy McKnight hit two three-pointers in the first 2:22 of overtime to give the Pioneers a 69-63 lead. Bryant scored five straight points to cut the deficit to one, 69-68, with 1:39 to go. Joseph Lopez made a key layup with 1:10 remaining to put SHU up three, 71-68. The two teams then traded free throws the rest of the way.
- Sacred Heart (10-15, 5-7 NEC) took a 6-2 lead in the first 3:33 with McKnight scoring four straight points.
- Bryant (8-17, 5-7 NEC) took a 12-9 lead at the 11:54 mark on a Hunter Ware three-pointer.
- SHU forced three ties at 14-14, 18-18, and 20-20. The Bulldogs broke the 20-20 tie with baskets from Adam Grant and Zouzoua to go up 24-20 at the 5:21 mark.
- The Pioneers closed the half on a 15-2 run to take a 35-26 halftime lead. Sacred Heart held Bryant to one field goal over the final 5:21, and made six of its last seven free throws. Five different Pioneers scored during that run with Matasovic and McKnight each scoring four points.
- The first half had seven lead changes and eight ties.
- The Bulldogs opened the second half on a 9-0 run, getting all nine points from Zouzoua and Grant to tie the game 35-35 at the 17:42 mark.
- Sparked by a Chris Robinson layup, the Pioneers went on a 9-2 run over 3:41 to take a 48-42 lead with 12:00 to go. SHU held Bryant to 0-for-5 from the field during that stretch.
- SHU led 55-49 with 5:03 to play with Bryant went on a 6-0 run, capped off by a Zouzoua layup, to tie the game 55-55 with 1:41 left in regulation.
- Before he forced overtime, Zouzoua missed a three-pointer with 0:04 left. Bryant's Taylor McHugh got the rebound and got the ball to Zouzoua again to make the tying shot.
McKnight led all scorers with 25 points, adding seven rebounds and four assists while going 9-for-10 at the free throw line. Lopez had 19 points and five rebounds. SHU shot 87% at the free throw line as a team while Bryant was 68.8% at the foul line. The Pioneers also dominated the glass 46-32, and turned 18 offensive rebounds into 17 second chance points. Grant led Bryant with 19 points as Zouzoua added 18.
The Pioneers continue their current four-game homestand on Thursday, Feb. 9 against St. Francis Brooklyn for the Pack The Pitt game. Tipoff is at 9 p.m. and will be televised on MSG Plus and Fox College Sports.