FAIRFIELD, Conn. – The Sacred Heart women's basketball team (3-4) used a balanced attack to knock off visiting Lehigh (5-4), Sunday afternoon at the Pitt Center.
How it happened…
In the contest's early onset, both teams traded buckets and would draw for the final time at the 5:10 mark of the first, 9-up. Tykera Carter forced the ball out of the hands of Hannah Hedstrom as the guard quickly raced down the hardwood to sink a layup that awarded the hosts a two-point advantage and custody of a lead they gripped for the duration of the game.
The home team worked up a lead as large as 18 exhibited at the 2:44 point of the second as Katherine Haines credited an old-fashioned three, 36-18. The forward planted herself in the lane and swished a jumper through the contact before netting a free throw to cap a 17-4 second quarter spurt by the Pioneers.
Lehigh managed to make things interesting with about five minutes left to play. Camryn Buhr finished by the rim on a feed from Hedstrom that nearly filled in their gap as the Mountain Hawks only trailed one, 55-54.
Olivia Dabney's defensive prowess helped to hold off the foe as the freshman corralled a steal and served up a rejection that eventually led to a Haines layup down the other end of the floor, 57-54 (3:50). Mariah Sexe would split her showing at the charity stripe about a minute later cutting the Pioneers' lead to just two, but a Carter triple by the direction of Haines and then a Haines' trey assisted by Candice Leatherwood separated by just a minutes' time snowballed an 8-0 run by SHU to put the game away for good.
Storck led the Pioneers' balanced attack earning 15 points on 50-percent shooting. Storck also knocked down three triples as she went 75-percent from distance, added five rebounds, two assists, a theft and no turnovers through a team-leading 39 minutes of playing time.
Leatherwood and Haines both finished with 12 points as Haines was just one board shy of a double-double. Leatherwood also registered four boards, two assists, and two steals while the forward tied her teammate Dabney with two blocks. Dabney put up a personal best four points in her early career but pulled down seven rebounds, including a crucial board down the stretch, a pair of helpers and a game-high five steals.
Carter's 11-point production came as a result of 62.5-percent shooting as the senior credited a momentum-changing three-ball to help cast the Pioneers victory. She also came down with two rebounds and grabbed a steal.
For the Mountain Hawks, Grundhoffer recorded a double-double comprised of a game-high 18 points and 13 rebounds. Buhr (13) and Bernadette Devaney (12) also dropped in double-figures.
SHU also won 17 points off of Lehigh's 12 turnovers while the visitors only benefitted seven points. The Pioneers also registered 12 points in transition as the Mountain Hawks failed to score in the open court.
- The group of Storck (15), Leatherwood (12), Haines (12) and Carter (11) each credited double-figure point totals for the second consecutive time. This quartet also netted double-figures in a double overtime game earlier this week versus Hofstra.
- Sacred Heart becomes the first Northeast Conference member to knock off Lehigh avenging last season's loss during the Mountain Hawks' 5-0 streak dating back to the 2013-14 season.
- The Pioneers picked up their first win against the Mountain Hawks under head coach Jessica Mannetti's direction.
- Sacred Heart held Lehigh to 55 points which is the lowest offensive output by an opponent tallied in a Pioneers' win. The 55 points is also the second-lowest netted by Lehigh this year.
- The 10-point win marks the largest margin of victory for the Pioneers this season.
The Pioneers will look to Wednesday's matchup at Brown. The action in Providence, Rhode Island begins at 7:00 p.m.