FAIRFIELD, CT (February 26, 2011) – Sacred Heart sophomore Shane Gibson (Killingly, CT) buried six-of-nine from three on his way to 24 points while freshman Louis Montes (Brockton, MA) recorded a double doubled with 21 points and 13 rebounds as the Pioneers closed out the 2010-11 season with an 88-66 win over Monmouth Saturday afternoon in the William H. Pitt Center. The Pioneers honored their two graduating seniors, Jerrell Thompson (Plainfield, NJ) and Mehmet Sahan (Istanbul, Turkey).
"I know I am going to miss this place," stated Thompson. "I learned so much, met a bunch of guys who will be lifelong friends, had coaches I will never forget and taught me so much. I am going to miss it."
"Today was kind of emotional being the last day of basketball after four years," stated Sahan.
The Pioneers (11-18, 6-12 NEC) shot 54.4% from the field (31-57) and held a 38-26 advantage on the glass in the win. SHU got 14 points and seven assists from Thompson while Sahan scored four points with a pair of blocks in the final games of the their Pioneers careers.
Sacred Heart raced out to a 48-18 lead at halftime and trailed just once in the Saturday's game after the first basket 24 seconds in. SHU led 24-17 with 7:24 on the clock as Ed Waite hit a lay-up for the Hawks final field goal of the first half. The Pioneers blew the game wide open ending the first half on a 28-1 run to lead by 30 at the break. Both Montes and Gibson scored 15 points in the first half as the Pioneers shot 62.1% as a team (18-29). The Hawks shot just 25.0% over the first 20 minutes (8-32) and made just one-of-14.
The closest Monmouth (9-21, 5-13 NEC) would come in the second half is down 16 with seven minutes left, 69-53, but SHU quickly responded. The Pioneers answered with a 15-3 spurt over the next four minutes to erase any doubt.
Junior Stan Dulaire (Bloomfield, CT) finished with 10 points and pulled down six rebounds to round out the Pioneers in double figures. Dulaire finished the season as the team's top-rebounder, averaging 5.3 caroms per game. Gibson finished the year with 11 20-point games and led the team in scoring at 17.2 points per game. Thompson was second on the team in scoring at 11.4 points per game and led the team with 108 assists.
The Pioneers as a team knocked down a season-high 11 three's, shooting 42.3% (11-26) behind the arc in the win.
"I am glad we finished the season with a win but we have a lot of work to do," commented Bike. "We lose two seniors who did good work and I want to thank them."
Prior to the tip-off, Sacred Heart raised a new banner to their rafters honoring head coach Dave Bike's 500th career victory. Bike earned his 500th win earlier in the year beating Holy Cross on January 2nd. SHU also honored the 25th Anniversary of the 1986 Division II National Championship at halftime.