Feb. 20, 2010
LORETTO, PA - Senior Devin Sweetney poured in 31 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, nailing 14 of 16 from the free line, to help the Saint Francis University men's basketball team hold off visiting Sacred Heart 73-68 in a Northeast Conference game Saturday afternoon. The loss puts the Pioneer playoff hopes in serious jeopardy, as they fall to 13-14 overall and 6-10 in the NEC.
The Pioneers fell behind 15-1 in the first four minutes of the game before the offense began to click. SHU outscored the Red Flash 25-5 over the next 15 minutes to take a 26-20 lead. Sophomore Steve Zazuri hit a floater in the lane with 6:07 left in the period to give the Pioneers their first lead at 19-17.
The Pioneers held a 27-26 lead at the intermission, holding the Red Flash to just 34 percent shooting in the half (8-23). Senior Liam Potter grabbed seven boards in the half for SHU, which was led by senior Ryan Litke's seven points.
The Red Flash, 11-16 overall and 9-7 in the NEC, scored the first seven points of the second half to take a 33-27 lead, before Chauncey Hardy stopped the bleeding with a driving layup. Hardy gave the Pioneers the lead back with a three with 15:01 to play, 39-38.
The two teams traded the lead back and forth until the Red Flash opened up a four-point lead at 57-53 after a Sorena Orandi three with 8:02 to play. The Pioneers battled back and a pair of Corey Hassan free throws tied the game at 61-61 with 4:13 left.
Sweetney put the Red Flash back on top with a layup and Cedric Latimer made it a four-point bulge again with a driving dunk. A Litke three with 1:58 to go got SHU back within a bucket, but Sweetney hit a couple of free throws at the other end to give his club a 70-66 with under a minute to go. Hassan cut it to two with a pair of free throws of his own, but Orandi again made it four with a layup with :17 to play. Hassan missed a three at the other end that sealed the Pioneer fate.
Hassan led the Pioneers with 20 points, to go along with eight rebounds. Litke finished with 17, while Chauncey Hardy with 15.