November 16, 2012

Pioneer Offense Struggles in 62-47 Loss at Hartford

WEST HARTFORD, CT (November 16, 2012) – The Sacred Heart Pioneers shot just 32.7 percent (16-49) and made just one-of-11 from three in a 62-47 loss on the road at the University of Hartford Friday night.  SHU junior Louis Montes (Brockton, MA) notched his second double double of the young season, scoring 13 points with 10 rebounds as the Pioneers fall to 1-2.

The Hawks were led by Cole Wes who hit for 14 points off the bench to lead his team to their first victory of the 2012-13 season.  Cole hit five-of-seven and four-of-six from three.  Hartford hit 10-of-22 from behind the arch and scored 25 points off of 16 Pioneer turnovers.

Both teams struggled offensively out of the gates but it was the Hawks who snapped out of their funk first and used a 16-2 run to seize control of the game midway through the first half.  SHU's Femi Akinpetide (Sydney, Australia) made it 4-3 at the 17:31 mark, providing the only Pioneer field goal until he got a put back at 8:09. 

Hartford used the three to take a double digit lead as Wes Cole led the way.  Cole buried a triple at 11:19 and teammates Yolonzo Moore II and Evan Cooper followed suit to give Hartford a 15-6 lead.  Mark Nwakamma drilled a three at 7:13 to push the lead to 18-8 and center Jamie Schneck finished off a three-point play chance to cap off a 16-2 rally and give Hartford a 22-8 lead.

Cole gave the Hawks their biggest lead of the first half with his second three at 2:05 and the Pioneers went into the break, down 29-16.  Senior Shane Gibson (Killingly, CT) opened the game 0-for-seven before his first make, a long jumper from the win, with 45 second before the half.

The Pioneers opened the second half with a quick 7-2 spurt and cut to within six, 31-25.  Gibson drilled the Pioneers only three of the night and Akinpetide ended the really with a solid take underneath. 

Back-to-back three's by Cole and Cooper pushed the lead back to 12 before the Pioneers would cut it back to six once more.  A Gibson jumper was followed up by Phil Gaetano (Wallingford, CT) finding Montes underneath and then the sophomore point guard got a steal and easy lay-in to pull within 37-31 with 12:38 left.

The Hawks needed one last run to put the Pioneers away as Oren Faulk got Hartford started with a three-point play at 12:16 to fuel 14-2 run.  The Hawks got two more three's from Cole and Cooper on the rally and put the game out of reach.

The Pioneers did finish with three players in double figures led Montes' 13.  Gibson and Akinpetide had 10 points apiece.  The Pioneers did hold a 38-31 advantage on the glass and went to the free throw line 24 times to Hartford's 12, but hit just 14 freebies.

SHU is right back in action on Sunday afternoon taking on the Stony Brook Seawolves on the road.  Tip-off is at 2:00 pm.

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