FAIRFIELD, Conn. – The Sacred Heart University women's basketball team (8-15, 4-8 NEC) put up its strongest defensive effort through the game's first 20 minutes before coasting to a 61-49 victory over Wagner (5-18, 3-9 NEC), Saturday afternoon on the Pitt Center hardwood.
How it happened…
SHU managed to keep Wagner off the board for the game's first 7:12 which included four Pioneers-Olivia Dabney (3), Tykera Carter (3), Adrianne Hagood (2) and Erin Storck (2) scoring in the window for the early 12-0 command. Sierra Clark's layup on the run out at the 2:48 mark commenced scoring for the foe but was just half of the team's first-quarter production (4).
Moreover, the Pioneers held the visitors to just 14 points through the first half of action tabbing SHU's best defensive effort all season. Such prowess fabricated a cushion that withstood a late push from the foe two quarters after.
The hosts barraged the Seahawks with a 21-point advantage just 33 ticks behind the halftime horn, 33-12 but dug the hole deeper for Wagner as the Seahawks trailed by 27 1:30 prior to the final quarter's start, 50-23. However, Wagner still had some fight in it.
The opposition packaged nearly half of its offensive cry in the fourth quarter adding 21 points to the scoreboard in the final window. On the other side of the ball, the visitors managed to contain SHU's live-ball activity as the hosts' scoring hailed strictly from the charity stripe (11-of-14).
Wagner managed to claw its way back facing just a 10-point deficit with 1:23 remaining but a 7-5 edge by the Pioneers kept the game in the hosts favor as the final horn sounded.
Candice Leatherwood rattled off 19 points in a team-leading 34 minutes of action. The point guard dished out a game-high four helpers, interrupted two Wagner possessions and raised for a block. The Detroit, Michigan product shot 57.1-percent from the floor, logging the most field goal makes of any Pioneer (4-of-7) and was two short of perfect at the free-throw line (9-of-11).
Carter added 10 points for SHU marking her third game in double-figures in the last four. More than half of her points were registered from downtown and the guard went seamlessly at the stripe (4-of-4).
All but one Pioneer who checked in tallied in the point column-Storck (9), Hagood (6), Katherine Haines (6), Abigail Kangudie (6), Dabney (3), Jayla Davis (2). Kangudie added a team-high eight rebounds to her line, as well
- Wagner's 14 points scored through the first half presents the best defensive effort for the Pioneers this season.
- SHU went 26-of-30 from the stripe marking the most makes for the team this year. The 30 trips are the most in a victory.
- SHU completes the season sweep of Wagner.
- Today's SHU win is the first Northeast Conference victory at the Pitt Center this season.
Women's hoops host Mount St. Mary's for a Pack the Pitt game to be aired on ESPN3, Monday, February 12 at 6:00 p.m.