SMITHFIELD, RI – The Sacred Heart University women's basketball team was down just two with the shot-clock turned off in a tightly contested battle with host Bryant. A pair of missed free-throws by the Bulldogs gave hope back to the Pioneers but a rebound falling in the hands of Bryant (7-15, 6-5 NEC) put out any kindle of a SHU (7-15, 3-8 NEC) comeback. Redshirt-junior Candice Leatherwood logged a new career-high 26 points in the 60-56 loss Monday evening at the Chace Athletic Center.
How it happened…
Leatherwood revved the Pioneers comeback right behind the intermission crediting seven of her 11 first-half points in a 10-2 spurt that saw SHU down just one at the break, 25-24.
Olivia Dabney kept the energy going getting right to the rack for two and forcing a Bryant turnover that eventually sent Katherine Haines to the line. A Haines' make evened things at 27-up (7:23) prior to another tie two possessions after. Erin Storck's baseline jumper out of the inbounds play knotted the score once more before Leatherwood drilled a go-ahead dagger from the outside, 32-31 (6:15).
Adrianne Hagood, Haines and Tykera Carter supplied SHU with enough ammunition rewarding the visitors its largest advantage all game up 40-35 with 3:23 left to play in the window. Bryant went on to outscore the Pioneers, 7-2, to knot the score before the final quarter commenced, 42-up.
Leatherwood moved the Pioneers in front twice before SHU suffered a near four-minute dry spell with Bryant adding on nine more points for a 52-46 advantage at 5:07. Carter ended the drought with a tough finish through her defender making the contest a two-possession game with under four minutes remaining.
The Pioneers kept clawing back behind just two twice in the final minute. A Leatherwood mid-range basket brought SHU within two with 35 ticks on the clock. Bryant credited two makes at the stripe before a Storck runner negated the free-throws with the shot-clock turned off. The Bulldogs released two free-throw misses giving light to SHU. However, a rebound that could have seen the Pioneers out to the races fell in the hosts' possession. Bryant went on to convert both at the stripe and a Storck layup on the ensuing sequence was left off the mark as the horn sounded.
Leatherwood established a new career-high 26 points knocking down 60-percent of her looks (9-of-15). The floor general also collected five boards, two dimes and one steal in a team-leading 35 minutes of action. She was also 50-percent from downtown (2-of-4) and 75-percent from the stripe (6-of-8).
Carter and Storck each connected on three field goals as both registered six points on the evening. Storck also added seven rebounds while Carter tallied two boards and a theft.
Adrianne Hagood reached seven points in large part to going 5-of-7 at the charity stripe.
Abigail Kangudie crashed the boards nine times including four instances on the offensive glass.
- Leatherwood's 26-point production follows a 20-point effort against Central Connecticut State Saturday and becomes her third game in the twenties of the last four.
- Bryant received more second-chance points than SHU, 20-10.
Wagner gets its second opportunity at the Pioneers, Saturday, February 10 at Coach Bike Court. The action starts at 1:00 p.m.