Koniszewski Free Throws Lift Pioneers Past Siena, 61-60

FAIRFIELD, CT (December 30, 2012) - Sacred Heart junior Blair Koniszewski (Vienna, VA) buried both ends of a one-and-one with 1.5 seconds left to lift the Pioneers to a 61-60 win over visiting Siena College Sunday afternoon in the William H. Pitt Center.  The Pioneers battled back from down six with 1:37 left to steal their third-straight win, improving to 7-4 on the season.

Koniszewski finished with 10 points with the last two coming after she was fouled after getting a pass and looking for a shot as time ticked away.  Siena's Ida Krogh was whistled for the foul to send the junior guard to the line, seconds after missing a pair of free throws with six seconds left that could have extended the Saints lead to three.

SHU sophomore Gabrielle Washington (Mesa, AZ) made 10-of-19 including five threes on her way to a season-high 25 point afternoon.  Senior Morgan Merriman (Seattle, WA) went for 15 points and seven rebounds in the win.

Both teams battled their way through a sloppy first half as SHU shot just 26.5 percent (9-34) while Siena was just a tick better at 27.3 percent (6-22) but had 14 turnovers.  The game featured 11 ties and 15 lead changes, nine of which came in the second half.

The Saints started the second half hot and jumped in front by four just four minutes into the action.  Lily Grenci, who scored 15 of her team-high 21 points in the second half, gave her team at 31-27 lead on a jumper inside.  Koniszewski hit the first of a pair of three's at 14:40 to tied the game at 32-32 and her second at 11:01 to give the Pioneers a 39-37 lead.

After a Tehresa Coles fast break lay-in tied it at 39-39, Grenci gave her team a two-point lead with a lay-in but the Saints couldn't pull away as SHU tied the score three more times in the next three minutes.  Washington drilled a three at 6:01 for a 48-47 lead and the Pioneer lead hit it's high point at 52-47 when she buried another with 5:39 left.

Siena dug in an put together an 11-0 run to take their biggest lead with 1:37 left, 58-52.  Grenci hit a pair of free throws, a three-point play and a jumper on the run and Kate Zarotney capped it with a jumper.

A pair of Merriman free throws pulled SHU within four and a Washington jumper cut the lead down three, 59-56, with 23 ticks left.  Coles went one for two at the line, and Washington buried her fifth three to pull the Pioneers within 60-59 with 10 seconds left.  SHU fouled Krogh and sent her to the line for two with six seconds left.  Krogh missed both with Koniszewski grabbing the rebound to set up SHU with a final shot. 

Koniszewski go the ball on the right wing and a foul was called on Krogh before she could get a shot off, sending her to the line for a one-and-one.  The junior promptly buried both out of a Siena time-out and the Saints final look at a three was no good sealing an improbable win of the Pioneers.

Sacred Heart will close out the non-conference portion of their schedule on Wednesday night when they host in-state rival Yale in the Pitt Center at 7 pm.

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