STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. (January 31, 2013) – Sacred Heart senior Shane Gibson (Killingly, CT) finished with 22 points including a pair of late three's to help force overtime but the Pioneers came-up short at Wagner College Thursday night, falling to the Seahawks 84-78, snapping a three-game win streak. The Pioneers outscored Wagner 8-2 over the final 50 seconds to force overtime but were outscored 13-7 in the extra session to fall to 6-3 in the Northeast Conference.
Gibson extended his streak to eight-straight games with 20 or more points, the longest such streak of his career. The senior guard was 0-for-four from three before knocking down his two in the final minute. Phil Gaetano (Wallingford, CT) battled back from a first half where he turned the ball over six times to finish with 12 points and 11 assists in the loss. His nine miscues were a career-high for the point guard.
The Seahawks (12-8, 6-3 NEC) gave the Pioneers fits offensively in the first half and benefited from some SHU foul trouble as Gaetano and junior Louis Montes (Brockton, MA) were forced to the bench with two fouls apiece. A 12-5 run sent the Seahawks into the locker room leading 36-31 at the break.
The Pioneers turned it over 12 times in the first half, six from Gaetano and Wagner took advantage with 13 points at the other end. The Seahawks did a nice job on Gibson in the first half, holding him to just two-of-seven shooting and nine times. SHU shot just 32.0 percent but stayed in the game going 11-of-13 at the line. Latif Rivers finished the first half with 11 of his 14 points for Wagner, hitting three times from behind the arc.
The Seahawks opened the second half with a 10-5 spurt and then built their lead to 11 on a Marcus Burton three at 14:01. The Pioneers refused to go away, dug in and chipped away at the Wagner lead. Gibson pulled the Pioneers to within five with free throws at 8:40 and a De'Aires Tate (Lathonia, GA) jumper capped an 8-3 spurt to pull within 56-53 with just over eight to go
SHU got within one at 4:28 on a Gibson runner and had a chance to tie with 3:42 left when Steve Glowiak (New Britain, CT) was fouled on a three in the corner. Glowiak made just one of the three leaving the Pioneers down a bucket. SHU would twice more cut the lead to just two before Gibson's back-to-back three's gave the Pioneers life in the final minute.
Wagner turned in over at 30.1 up two and Kenneth Ortiz was called for a foul off the ball. Gaetano goes to the line for two at 28.0 and buried both to tie it at 71-71. Jonathan Williams got loose in the lane, looking to lay it in for the win, but Gibson came over on help defense and blocked the shot preserving overtime.
In the extra session, SHU tied the game at 73-73 but Wagner did the job at the line making nine-of-13 while the Pioneers turned it over three times en route to the loss.
Glowiak finished with 15 points for SHU, making four from behind the arc in the loss. SHU finished the game with 22 turnovers and were outscored inside, 38-16.
Ortiz finished with 17 for Wagner who also got 16, six rebounds and three steals from Williams.
The Pioneers stay on the road and pay a visit to Mount St. Mary's on Saturday afternoon. Tip-off is a 4:00 pm in Emmitsburg, MD.