Women’s Hoops Battles NEC Top Contender RMU On ESPN3 Monday

Women’s Hoops Battles NEC Top Contender RMU On ESPN3 Monday

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MOON TOWNSHIP, Pa. – The Sacred Heart University women's basketball team (10-15, 6-8 NEC) aims to upset another Northeast Conference threat ahead of the pack, Monday, February 18 in Robert Morris (18-6, 11-2 NEC). The Colonials play host at the North Athletic Complex and will tip-off with the Pioneers on ESPN3 at 7:00 p.m.

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All-time series…

SHU leads the all-time series with Robert Morris 23-13, most recently falling to the Colonials 91-57 in the second NEC game of the season.

Pioneers last time out…

SHU gutted out a crucial win in dramatic fashion knocking off the NEC's leader, Saint Francis U 69-68, Saturday afternoon inside DeGol Arena. The win marks the 75th career victory for Head Coach Jessica Mannetti and tabs the longest win streak for the Pioneers this season. 

After going up by as many as 14 points, six ticks behind the intermission, an SFU 6-0 run to start the third quarter brought the game back within single digits with 7:18 pictured on the clock.

Olivia Dabney drilled an outside dagger by the direction of Erin Storck several possessions after to expand its lead back to nine-the largest for the remainder of the game, 48-39 midway through the third window.

The hosts remained stubborn clawing its way back evening the playing field twice in the onset before trailing just one before the final period commenced. 

Allyson Murphy and Adrianne Hagood both provided go-ahead baskets but Hagood's would prove the winner as the freshman's nifty scoop made way for the one-point edge, 63-62 with 5:03 left in regulation.

The Red Flash continued to answer nearly filling its deficit, leaving all but one point to separate the two teams, 69-68 with less than a minute to play.

Using the clock, Leatherwood was the ball-handler stalling at the top of the key. Once ready to execute a play, Caitlin Kroll blocked the guard's path giving SHU a fresh 30 to try again (0:36).

Leatherwood repeated the same game plan and with ten seconds to go, was on the move. Unfortunately, the guard drove right into a trap committing a near costly turnover allowing SFU some light.

Out of the hosts' timeout, Kroll tried a heave from the left baseline that was too strong and Leah Morrow's put-back was off the mark as time expired icing SHU with the victory.

Colonials last time out…

RMU team made up a 10-point second half deficit and outscored Fairleigh Dickinson, 23-9, in the fourth quarter to pick up a 62-49 victory over the Knights on Senior Day this afternoon in NEC action from the North Athletic Complex.

After carrying a 23-22 lead into the halftime break, Robert Morris saw Fairleigh Dickinson score the first nine points of the second half to make it 31-23. Following a Nina Augustin jumper, Courtney Blankenship split a pair of free throws and then sank a three, giving the Knights their biggest lead at 35-25 with 5:08 left in the third quarter.

Megan Callahan began the Colonial comeback, drilling back-to-back threes to make it 35-31. After Jenna Clark answered with a trey on the other end, Callahan found nothing but net once more to keep the gap at four points. Mikalah Mulrain then made one of two free throws, and Irekpitan Ozzy-Momodu collected a pair of buckets to complete a 14-3 stretch in 4:22. 

The Knights took back the lead with 20 seconds left in the third after two Amina Markovic foul shots. Jocelynne Jones made sure that deficit was short-lived, sinking a corner three to set the score at 42-40 in favor of the hosts. Honoka Ikematsu then found Megan Smith with a pass over the top of the defense, and the senior converted the layup to force an FDU timeout.

The visitors scored three straight points out of the timeout, but Ikematsu rattled home a trifecta to make it a two-possession game. Augustin then got in on the fun with a trey of her own, making it 50-43.

FDU pulled within four with 2:18 remaining after a Natalie Zamora free throw, but Ikematsu found herself open from deep once more and took advantage, sealing the victory with 1:25 to play.

Earlier this season…

On December 31, the 39-point guard play from Adrianne Hagood and Tykera Carter and the squad's aggression at getting to the line were not enough against the two-time defending Northeast Conference Champion Robert Morris. The visiting Colonials overpowered SHU, 91-57, Sunday afternoon at the Pitt Center.

Katherine Haines won the tip granting SHU the game's first possession. The forward kept the opening sequence alive grabbing the board off a Hagood miss ultimately setting Candice Leatherwood in position to attract the RMU contact on her shot. The guard split her showing at the line to give the Pioneers their first and only lead all afternoon, 1-0, 28 ticks in.

From there, the Colonials rattled off eight unanswered points before Hagood drilled a triple from the left corner in an attempt to halt RMU's streaking offense at 7:09.

Honoka Ikematsu and Carter traded takes to the cup on the following two plays before RMU made back-to-back baskets. With force, Carter drew contact to get the line where she would cash in on both but Nina Augustin credited the game's next four points to put the visitors up by double-digits, 19-8 (3:05).

The Pioneers would close out the quarter down just eight, but another Ikematsu trey three seconds into the second period pinned another double-digit deficit the hosts were unable to negate for the duration of the contest.

Coach's corner…

Head Coach Jessica Mannetti stated. "It doesn't matter what the other team is going to do, it matters what we're going to do. By shifting our mentality, in a sense of controlling what we can control, we've done such a better job coming together. We're playing with each other and for each other."

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