EMMITSBURG, Md. – The Sacred Heart Pioneers came close to history Wednesday night, narrowly missing out on becoming the first eighth-seed in Northeast Conference Tournament history to win in the quarterfinals in a 76-73 loss to top-seeded Mount St. Mary's at Knott Arena.
Sacred Heart (13-19) erased a nine-point second half deficit in 5:35, going on a 19-5 run to take a 57-52 lead with 10:27 remaining. Mount St. Mary's (17-15) rallied back to tie the game at 61-61 with 7:40 to play. With the game tied at 67, Junior Robinson made a three-pointer to give the Mountaineers a 70-67 lead with 2:10 to play. The Pioneers got within one three times in the last 2:00 but could never get back in front.
SHU was the closest to beating the top seed since 2006, when Quinnipiac lost at Fairleigh Dickinson 66-65. Quincy McKnight led SHU with 19 points, adding six rebounds and four assists. De'von Barnett had a double-double of 18 points and 10 rebounds. Joseph Lopez was 8-of-11 from the field for 17 points and pulled down seven boards.
- McKnight went on a 6-0 run over 1:53 to give Sacred Heart a 6-4 lead at the 15:44 mark.
- The Mountaineers responded with an 8-0 run over the next 1:41, as two Robinson three-pointers gave Mount St. Mary's a 19-13 lead.
- Mount St. Mary's took its largest lead of the half with 6:16 to go as a Chris Wray basket put the Mountaineers up by eight, 27-19.
- Sacred Heart outscored the Mountaineers 12-7 over the last five minutes to cut the deficit to three at halftime, 37-34. McKnight and Lopez each scored six points during that span.
- The Pioneers shot 54.2% from the field in the first half. Mount St. Mary's shot 50%.
- Mount St. Mary's opened the second half on a 10-4 run, as a Miles Wilson three-pointer put the Mountaineers up by nine, 47-38, with 16:02 remaining.
- SHU went on a 6-0 run to cut the deficit to three, with Charles Tucker Jr.'s jumper at the 14:34 mark making the score 47-44.
- The Mountaineers led 49-44 with 14:11 to play when SHU went on a 13-3 run to take a 57-52 lead. A Hoehn three at the 11:43 mark put the Pioneers in front 53-52. Buovac made a three with 10:27 to go to give SHU a 57-52 advantage.
- Sacred Heart led 61-56 with 8:38 to go when the Mountaineers scored five straight points to tie the game with 7:40 remaining.
- Robinson broke a 67-67 tie with a three-pointer at the 2:10 mark. He also made a jumper with 0:52 remaining to make the score 74-71.
Sacred Heart shot 52.7% from the field and outscored Mount St. Mary's in the paint 48-30. The Pioneers also outrebonded the Mountaineers 33-31. Robinson led all scorers with 22 points. Elijah Long added 19 points.
The Pioneers finish the 2016-17 season with a 13-19 record.