Taylor and Koniszewski Power Pioneers Past FDU, 62-47
Koniszewski had the hot hand early and kept it throughout the first 20 minutes, knocking down five-of-nine with four three's for 14 first half points. After a pair of Alexis Campbell (Ashburn, VA) free throws, Koniszewski hit a jumper and then buried her first triple from the right corner for a 10-5 lead. She buried her second three to force a FDU time-out at 15:40 with SHU up 13-7.
The Knights (10-13, 5-6 NEC) pulled even at 13-13 with a 6-0 spurt led by Erika Livermore who made a pair of free throws and a lay-up. The two teams traded buckets and with the game tied at 15-15 with 12:22 left, the Pioneers began to take charge. Koniszewski hit from left corner, her third three for the half at 11:05, and the Pioneers were off and running on what would amount to a 16-5 run over the next ten minutes.
A fourth three from Koniszewski, again from the left corner, made it 25-17 with eight minutes left. Taylor converted consecutive lay-ups to cap the run and the Pioneers took their biggest lead of the half at 31-20 with 2:38 left. Livermore ended the Knight's scoring slump with a make underneath with 1:05 on the clock, and that's where it would stay into the locker room with SHU up 31-22.
The Pioneers (17-5, 10-1 NEC) held FDU leading scorer Mariyah Laury to just two points in the half while getting the senior guard into foul trouble with three in the first 20 minutes. The Knights came out with full court pressure to open the second half and struck first on a Mariah Nunes steal and lay-up. Coach Swanson was forced to burn a quick time-out just 56 seconds to adjust.
Koniszewski would finish the day with all 14 of her points coming in the first half but where she left off at the half, Taylor more then picked up the team in the second half. She finished seven-of-10 from the field with four of her five three's coming in the second stanza.
The Knights would cut the lead to nine, 35-26, on a Laury lay-in at 16:26 and were down 39-31 at 12:47 on a Danielle Panky three from the left wing. From there, SHU took off behind Taylor who scored 14 of the Pioneers next 19 points to put the game out of reach.
With the lead down to 39-33, Taylor buried a three, a high bank jumper and another triple from the right wing to push SHU up 47-35 with 8:40 left. A straight-away three for the senior gave SHU a 15 point lead and her fifth of the afternoon gave the Pioneers a 55-39 lead with 4:48 as the cruised home with the win.
Defensively, Sacred Heart forced 24 FDU turnovers and turned them into 17 points at the other end. The Knights shot just 32.0% (16-50) in the loss.
The Pioneers stay on the road and head further down the Jersey Turnpike Monday night to battle the Monmouth Hawks in West Long Branch, NJ. Taylor will need just three rebounds to tie the Sacred Heart all-time rebounding mark (Kelley Gray – 1,032). Tip-off is 7:00 pm from The MAC.