FAIRFIELD, CT (February 7, 2013) - Senior Shane Gibson (Killingly, CT) poured in a game-high 27 points to lead the Sacred Heart Pioneers to their fifth-straight win at home, beating Fairleigh Dickinson 77-70 in Northeast Conference action Thursday night. The Pioneers are 5-0 in NEC play at home this season and raise their league mark to 7-4 with the win.
Gibson just missed out on his first double double of the season, collecting nine rebounds to go with his 27 points. The senior guard hit eight-of-seven from the field including four threes and went seven-of-10 at the free throw line. SHU got 14 points from sophomore Steve Glowiak (New Britain, CT), 12 coming in the first half. Junior Louis Montes (Brockton, MA) had 13 points, three assists, three steals and two blocks in the win.
The Pioneers (9-13, 7-4 NEC) got off to a fast start and kept it going for much of the first half, shooting 53.8 percent (14-26) as a team over the first 20 minutes. Gibson got SHU started drilling a three on the game's first possession. SHU ran out to an 8-2 lead to force a FDU time-out at 15:14. The lead hit double digits for the first time at 14-4 after a second Gibson three on helped continue the opening run.
SHU's lead hit its high-water mark of the night with 5:46 left in the half, just after Gibson was forced to the bench with his second foul. SHU went up 27-16 thanks to a quick 6-0 spurt helped by a three-point play by senior Nick Greenbacker (Coventry, CT). Gibson would finish the half with just seven of his 27 points. The Knights cut the lead down to four on a Lonnie Robinson three with 3:10 left but SHU ended the half with a three and steal and lay-up by Glowiak to lead 36-28 at the break.
Gibson hit a third three in the early minutes of the second half as the Pioneers twice pushed their lead to nine. Fairleigh Dickinson refused to let the Pioneers pull away and cut the lead down to a bucket, 45-43, thanks to a 9-2 run. With the Pioneers up 49-43, FDU cut the lead down to one twice by the nine minute mark, both times thanks to Trevor Charles makes in the paint.
The Knights (7-17, 2-9 NEC) took their first and only lead of the night at the 9:03 mark as Melquan Bolding's two free throws put FDU up 52-51, capping another 9-2 rally. The lead was short lived as Gibson hit a runner next time down the court and the Pioneers quickly got off on a 9-2 run of their own, that included Gibson's fourth three of the night to lead 60-54 with 5:17 left.
FDU's Kinu Rochford twice pulled his team back within two in the final five minutes but the Pioneers went to work at the free throw line to keep the Knights at bay. The Pioneers went a perfect 12-for-12 at the charity stripe over the final three minutes to keep any FDU rally from materializing.
Rochford came off the bench for a team-high 20 points in the loss while Bolding finished with a double double, scoring 16 points with 10 rebounds.
Sacred Heart will hit the road for one game before opening a four-game homestand. With the pending snow storm, Saturday's game at Bryant has been moved to Sunday afternoon at 4:00 pm. The game will be available on NEC Front Row.