LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. (November 26, 2013)—Katie Shepard (Lone Tree, Colo.) tallied a career-high 10 points in the Sacred Heart women's basketball team's 58-53 loss to Siena Tuesday night. Junior Gabrielle Washington (Mesa, Ariz.) led the game with 19 points as the Saints topped Sacred Heart for the first time in three years. With the defeat SHU falls to 2-3 on the season.
The Pioneers trailed for most of the first half due to poor shooting—Sacred Heart only shot 21.7%. Thanks to a tough defense, Sacred Heart was able to keep the Saints' lead to a minimum. With less than five minutes in the half, Shepard drained a three to tie to game at 12.
After trading points, SHU took its first lead thanks to a pair of free throws from Washington, 16-14. It was short-lived as a layup and one for Siena's Ida Krough put the Saints back on top.
The teams battled through the final minutes of the half with neither able to get an edge up, but with 39 seconds on the clock, Shepard, once again, put SHU up 20-19 with one from the charity stripe to go into halftime with the lead.
Washington put up the first five points of the second half kick-starting a nine-point run for the Pioneers. The Saints battled back though, and on a 12-point run reclaimed the lead 38-33.
Siena maintained the lead playing tough defense to fend off the surging Pioneers. With just over three minutes left to play, Washington hit back-to-back shots giving Sacred Heart back the lead. From there the teams exchanged baskets with the Saints always coming out on top.
Coming down to the final minute, Emia Willingham landed a free throw to give Siena a two-point advantage, but Washington quickly answered with another trey putting SHU ahead for the final time. Just seconds later, Kanika Cummings laid one in starting a six-point Saints run that would give them the win.
Sacred Heart returns home after the Thanksgiving break to host Iona on Tuesday, December 3 in the William H. Pitt Center at 7:00 p.m.