Balanced Scoring and Tough Defense Give Pioneers 70-52 Win Over Seahawks

Pioneer Vision Post Game - Ericka Norman (Video)

Fairfield, CT - Five Pioneers scored 11 points as the SHU women's basketball team forced 28 turnovers in a 70-52 victory over Wagner Monday night in the William H. Pitt Center.  Blair Koniszewski (Vienna, VA) posted a career high with her 11 points while Ericka Norman (Chino Hills, CA) also added six steals and five assists to her stat line. Callan Taylor (Overland Park, KS) recorded her fourth double-double of the season with ten rebounds in addition to 11 points. Kiley Evans (Cazenovia, NY) and Maggie Cosgrove (Andover, MA) rounded out the SHU double figure scorers.

Wagner (7-6, 0-2 NEC) used an 8-0 spurt in the early moments of the game to grab a 12-4 advantage after five minutes of play.  Kelly Clark, who finished with a game high 24 points and 10 rebounds for the Seahawks, scored all eight points during the run.  However, SHU would clamp down on the center and forced Clark to turn the ball over on the next three Wagner possessions. The Pioneers would battle back over the next six minutes to close the gap and took a 22-21 lead on a Morgan Merriman (Seattle, WA) layup.  SHU dominated the end of the first half and put together a 21-3 run to take a ten point lead at 34-24.  Four Wagner free throws at the end of the half would make it a 34-28 game at the intermission.

Sacred Heart (8-5, 2-0 NEC) forced 16 turnovers while only committing four in the opening twenty miutes.  The Pioneers shot 36 percent from the floor in the first half, including a 45.5 percent mark from three-point range.  Konsizewski and Cosgrove both drained two of their overall three treys in the first stanza.  In the first period Wagner shot 39 percent from the field, 25 percent from beyond the arc, and held a commanding 30-11 rebounding advantage.

Clark scored the Seahawks first four points of the second half to trim the SHU cushion to just four at 36-32.  Taylor responded for the Pioneers with buckets on the next two possessions, the second coming after a steal from Norman.  Two minutes later another Cosgrove deep ball extended the Pioneer lead back to 46-32 while Taylor hit a pair of free throws on the next trip up the floor to cap what was a 12-0 Sacred Heart run.  The Seahawks got a pair of free throws to end the spurt, and score for the first time in six minutes, but Koniszewski buried a long range three to make it a 17 point affair.

The Seahwaks used an 8-2 surge of their own to try and climb back into the game, cutting the Pioneer advantage to 53-42.  That would be the closest the visitors would get as the Sacred Heart defense locked down Wagner, forcing the Seahawks into a six minute drought without a field goal.  The Pioneers allowed just two baskets in the final eight minutes of regulation.  A pair of Evans free throws and a jumper from Alexis Campbell (Ashburn, VA) down the stretch rounded out the 70-52 victory.

Maureen Reilly (Cherry Hill, NJ) had a solid game off the bench for SHU, tallying seven points in her 13 minutes of action.  Sacred Heart has now won five of its last six games and move to 5-2 at home in 2010-11.  The Pioneers finished the game shooting 40.6 percent, racking up 33 points off of turnovers and 20 points from the bench.

The Pioneers return to action Friday night as they travel to Teaneck, NJ to take on the Knights of Fairleigh Dickinson.  Tip-off is set for 7:00 pm.