STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – The Sacred Heart men's basketball team moved to 1-2 in the Northeast Conference Thursday night after a 69-63 loss to the Wagner Seahawks at Spiro Sports Center.
Sacred Heart – 6-10, 1-2 NEC
Wagner – 9-5, 2-1 NEC
The Turning Point
Sacred Heart outscored Wagner 25-12 in the final 10:28 of the first half to cut a 13-point deficit to one at halftime, 35-34. The Pioneers took their first lead of the game with 19:05 to go in the game, with a Joseph Lopez layup putting SHU ahead 36-35. SHU led by as much as four in the half, with a Zach Radz three-pointer giving the Pioneers a 46-42 lead with 13:50 to play. With the score tied at 54-54, Wagner got five straight points from Blake Francis to take a 59-54 lead at the 3:02 mark. SHU got as close as three, but seven late points from the Seahawks' Romone Saunders put Wagner ahead 69-61 with 0:12 left.
- Wagner opened the game on an 12-0 run, getting threes from Nigel Jackson and Blake Francis.
- Matasovic scored SHU's first six points, making three straight baskets in a span of 1:12 to make the score 14-6.
- Kinnon LaRose's three-pointer with 0:56 left cut the deficit to one, 35-34.
- SHU outscored Wagner 25-12 in the final 10:28 of the half. Seven different Pioneers scored during that stretch, as SHU held the Seahawks to 3-for-13 from the field with forced three turnovers.
- After their cold start from the field, the Pioneers shot 40.6% from the field in the half.
- The Pioneers took their first lead of the game 0:55 into the half, when a Joseph Lopez layup gave SHU a 36-35 lead.
- The lead changed hands eight times in the half.
- Three-pointers by LaRose and Radz bookended a 10-2 run that put the Pioneers ahead 46-42 with 13:50 to go.
- A 7-2 Wagner run put the Seahawks up 54-50 with 7:16 remaining.
- Matasovic's layup with 1:02 left snapped a 10:24 field goal drought for the Pioneers and made the score 62-58.
- Wagner shot 46.2% from the field in the half, holding SHU to 33.3%.
Key Stats and Notes
- Sacred Heart was outrebounded for only the second time this season, 46-40.
- Matasovic led the Pioneers with 16 points.
- Lopez had his sixth double-double of the season with 10 points and 12 rebounds. It was his first double-double since Dec. 11 at Hartford.
- Radz had 12 points off the bench.
- The Pioneers committed a season-low eight turnovers.
- Saunders led all scorers with 24 points.
SHU hosts Bryant at the Pitt Center on Saturday, Jan. 6 at 1 p.m.