MOON TOWNSHIP, PA (January 17, 2013) – Sacred Heart senior Shane Gibson (Killingly, CT) led all scorers with 27 points but Robert Morris answered with 15 apiece from Lucky Jones and Mike McFadden for a 66-62 Northeast Conference win in Moon Township, PA Thursday night. The Pioneers shot 47.7 percent (21-44) but turned the ball over 21 times in the loss, falling to 3-2 in NEC play.
Gibson's 27 point night came on eight-of-13 shooting, including four threes, and seven-of-eight at the free throw line. He added six rebounds, three steals and three assists. Freshman De'Aires Tate (Lathonia, GA) came off the bench for a career-high 12 points.
RMU (11-7, 3-2 NEC) had four players in double figures led by McFadden and Lucky's combined 30 points. Russell Johnson and Coron Williams added 10 points apiece. The Colonials took advantage of the 21 Pioneers miscues, leading to 19 points at the other end, while only turning it over 11 times.
The Pioneers (5-11, 3-2 NEC) got off to a blazing start, making five of their six shots with threes by Gibson and r-sophomore Steve Glowiak (New Britain, CT) to lead 12-7 early on. RMU got going and pulled within 15-11 before Glowiak drilled another three at 14:17 for a 15-11 edge. That would be SHU's last field goal until 8:40 as the Colonials went up 21-15 helped by a second three from Johnson. After opening the game five-of-six, SHU went just five-of-17 the rest of the first half.
Freshman Tevin Falzon (Newton, MA) ended the drought with a jumper and the Pioneers pulled within 27-26 at 1:30 as Gibson made his second three of the first half. McFadden ended the scoring in the first stanza with a lay-in for a 29-26 lead at the break.
Sacred Heart started the second half with two quick Greenbacker lay-ins to give the Pioneers a 30-29 lead, their first since early in the first half. The Pioneers took the lead back twice in the first six minutes of the second half only to have RMU take it right back on their next possession.
The Colonials used a 13-0 run to take their biggest lead of the night at 49-37 with 9:43 left. Anthony Myers-Pate drilled a three and McFadden capped the rally with a tip-in to produce their biggest lead of the night. Gibson killed the run with a three, his third at 9:33 and the Pioneers began to chip away. A strong dunk on the break by Tate earned an and-one and the rookie drilled a jumper to pull the Pioneers within 58-53 with 3:28 left.
Gibson tried to pull the Pioneers all the way back, scoring the Pioneers' next nine points. Gibson's lay-in at 1:27 got SHU within 62-59 and the defense produced a stop at the other end. Junior Louis Montes (Brockton, MA) got a clean look at a three to tie with 25 seconds left but missed the mark. Robert Morris hit four-straight free-throws from there to keep the Pioneers at bay for the win.
Sacred Heart ends a four-game NEC road swing on Saturday at Saint Francis U. The clash with the Red Flash will be televised live on Fox College Sports and on ESPN3. Tip-off is at 2:00 pm.