Pioneers Lose Second Half Lead and Game to Syracuse, 63-59

Pioneers Lose Second Half Lead and Game to Syracuse, 63-59

Dec. 28, 2004

Final Stats

FAIRFIELD, CT (December 28, 2004) - The Sacred Heart women's basketball team lost a 12-point second half lead en route to their fifth-straight loss, 63-59, to Syracuse University Tuesday afternoon. The Orange trailed 50-38 before blitzing the Pioneers with a 25-9 run over the final 11 minutes to come away with their seventh win on the year. SHU falls to 3-6 overall and has now dropped three-straight in the Pitt Center.

The Pioneer's offensive struggles continued Tuesday afternoon as the team continues to battle out of their recent shooting funk. SHU took an early 11-9 lead in the first half but once again found a lid over the basket, missing 11-striaght shots before a pair of Lisa Moray (Hopwell Junction, NY) stopped the scoreless streak.

Trailing by seven, 20-13, a Colleen White (Richboro, PA) jumper gave the Pioneers their first bucket in over six minutes. White, who had a tremendous first half with 10 points and two steals, hit another jumper on their next possession and help start a SHU run over the final minutes of the half were the Pioneers hit six-straight shots and led at the break, 25-24.

The two teams traded the lead back and forth six times in the opening four minutes of the second half before the Pioneers would begin to take control. SHU went up by three, 34-31, on an Amanda Pape (Stamford, CT) lay up and a Kerri Burke (Saugus, MA) free throw. Syracuse's Chineze Nwagbo cut the lead to one at 34-33 with a lay up of her own but the Pioneers were just about to wake from their slumber.

The Pioneers rattled off a 14-5 run over the next four minutes capped by a Burke three to grab their biggest lead of the game, 50-38, at the 11 minute mark. The Orange quickly answered with back to back three by Rochelle Coleman to slice that lead in half in the blink of an eye. SHU bounced the lead back to nine on a jumper by Moray and a Burke free throw but six-straight points by Amanda Adamson got the Orange to within three, 53-50, with 5:15 to play.

After a Jasmine Walker (Amityville, NY) jumper from the baseline built the lead back to five, Adamson struck again, drawing contact on her way to the hoop and hitting both free throws. With the lead back to five and 3:20 on the clock, the Pioneers had a chance to put some more distance between themselves and the Orange when Syracuse head coach Keith Cieplicki was called for a technical foul. Pape went to the line for the two-shot penalty, but missed both free throws. The Pioneers retained possession but Coleman made a steal and Adamson buried her 10th straight points when she hit a jumper in the lane.

After another Sacred Heart turnover, Syracuse cut the lead to one as Vaida Sipaviciute laid her shot off the glass and in. The Pioneers were off the mark again on their next possession and SU took the lead for good on a pair of Jessica Richter free throws on their next possession. After another SHU miss, Coleman made it a two-point game, 59-57, with one of two free throws. SHU's Nicolle Rubino (Port Jefferson Station, NY) gave the Pioneers a breath of life when she stepped up and hit a jumper from the wing to tie it at 59-59 with 43 seconds to play. Prior to her make, Rubino had been held scoreless while missing all seven of her shots in the game.

SU's Richter was able to draw a foul underneath and promptly buried both shots to force the Pioneers into a final shot mode. The Orange, who used a zone for much of the game in the half court, forced a tough shot by Colleen Duggan (Newington, CT) with seven ticks on the clock. Syracuse's Adamson was able to get a piece of it and Richter came down with the board and ice two free throws to send the Orange home with the win.

Syracuse, who is a perfect 3-0 in the state of Connecticut this season with wins over Yale, Quinnipiac and now Sacred Heart, got 12 points out of Adamson and Sipaviciute. Adamson did all over her scoring in the second half while Sipaviciute added seven rebounds and six blocks to her line. Also in double digits for the Orange was Coleman who netted 10 points off the bench with five rebounds.

For the Pioneers, Pape finished with her second double double of the year, scoring 20 points with a career high 13 rebounds, nine on the offensive end. She also added five steals while playing all 40 minutes for the third time this year. Burke finished with 12 points, five assists and five rebounds while also logging 40 minutes. White fouled out with 12 points and four steals while Duggan grabbed eight rebounds in the loss.

Sacred Heart returns to action on Monday, January 3rd when they finish out the non-conference portion of their schedule facing Brown University at 7 pm.