FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Led by 16 points apiece from Sean Hoehn and Mario Matasovic, the Sacred Heart men's basketball team defeated the Central Connecticut Blue Devils 67-54 at Coach Bike Court at the Pitt Center Saturday afternoon.
Central Connecticut – 12-13, 5-7 NEC
Sacred Heart – 8-17, 3-9 NEC
The Turning Point
SHU opened the second half on a 9-0 run, erasing CCSU's 30-27 lead and taking a 36-30 advantage with 14:33 to go. The Blue Devils closed the gap to two, 45-43, on a Joe Hugley three-pointer at the 9:08 mark. The Pioneers them went on a 13-2 run over the next 5:08, with a pair of Mario Matasovic free throws giving SHU a 58-45 lead with 4:00 to go. Matasovic and Joseph Lopez combined for 10 of the Pioneers' 13 points over that stretch. CCSU would only get as close as nine the rest of the way.
- There were eight lead changes in the first half.
- A LaRose three-pointer and Hoehn layup put SHU ahead 12-9 with 11:32 to go. The Pioneers would lead for the next 7:03 before a Joe Hugley three gave CCSU a 23-21 lead.
- The Blue Devils scored seven of the last 10 points of the half, as Tyler Kohl's buzzer-beating three-pointer gave CCSU a 30-27 halftime lead.
- SHU made five three-pointers in the first half after having just four in the whole game against LIU Brooklyn Thursday night.
- Lopez, Kinnon LaRose, and Sean Hoehn scored all nine points of SHU's opening run in the second half. The Pioneers held CCSU to 0-for-4 from the field to start the half, including 0-for-3 from the three-point line, and two turnovers.
- SHU used a 13-2 run to take a 58-45 lead with 4:00 left. Lopez and Matasovic had 10 of the 13 points, with Hoehn adding a three-pointer. The Pioneers were 5-for-7 from the field over a stretch of 5:08, holding CCSU to 1-for-6.
- The Pioneers shot 64% from the field in the second half, holding CCSU to 39.1%.
Key Stats and Notes
- SHU's win snapped a five-game losing streak, the Pioneers' longest since 2015. It was also SHU's fifth straight win over CCSU.
- Matasovic recorded his third double-double of the season with 16 points and a team-high 10 rebounds.
- Hoehn also scored 16 points, adding a game-high six assists and four steals.
- The Pioneers had 18 assists to 10 turnovers Saturday, a season-high for assists. SHU also forced 16 Blue Devil turnovers.
- SHU shot 50% from the field for the game, the Pioneers' highest mark since Jan. 13 at St. Francis Brooklyn.
- Kohl led all players with 25 points and 11 rebounds.
SHU travels to Fairleigh Dickinson for a pivotal NEC showdown on Thursday, Feb. 8 at 7 p.m.