FAIRFIELD, CONN. (November 15, 2015)—Adaysha Williams (LaCrosse, Wis.) landed a deep three at the buzzer, but it wasn't enough as the Sacred Heart women's basketball team lost a heartbreaker to Hartford 68-67 in the 2015-16 season opener Sunday.
In a dead even game, it all came down to the fourth quarter. Starting the period with a 47-46 advantage, Hartford went on an 8-2 run to open the period. Putting up the first four unanswered points, the Hawks forced SHU Head Coach Jessica Mannetti to call a timeout. The break failed slow down the Hawk offense as Jalay Knowles tacked on two more points before Hannah Kimmel (Harpursville, N.Y. ) scored the first points of the period for SHU.
The Hawks scored four more before a foul shot from Shelby Hickey (Littleton, Colo.) seemed to turn the Pioneers' game around. Her shot brought SHU within 10 of catching Hartford before Alissa Tarsi (Clinton, N.J.) tacked on another two points with a layup. With just under two minutes to play, rookie Erin Storck (Commack, N.Y.) intercepted a Hartford pass and dished it up court to Kimmel, who laid it in on the fast break sparking an 8-2 run that narrowed the gap to just two points, 64-62.
Four free throws for Deanna Mayza made the difference in the game's final minute, as Kimmel and Williams combined for five points, just one shy of sending the game into overtime.
The Pioneers continue the brief home stand Wednesday when the University of New Hampshire comes to town for a 7:00 p.m. game
Inside the Box Score
- Kimmel, who led the Pioneers with 12 double-doubles last season, posted her first of the season Sunday with 21 points and 10 rebounds
- Including Kimmel, three Pioneers reached double-digit scoring. Williams, who shot 75% (6-8) from the field, totaled 17 and Tarsi put 12 on the board
- 24 personal fouls limited Sacred Heart
- The Hawks also saw three players reach double-digit points. Mayza let Hartford with 19 points, while Hall and Alyssa Reaves each had 13
- Cleo Polyzou (Athens, Greece) and Storck made their collegiate debuts Sunday against Hartford
- Each player tallied three points. Polyzou added four rebounds and a steal to her line, while Storck had two rebounds, three assists and two steals
- Williams did not miss a single shot until taking a buzzer-beater at the end of the third quarter
- In a game that was mostly back-and-forth, the longest streak was just nine points. With 6:23 remaining in the third quarter, Kimmel landed the first of SHU's three straight triples. Junior Hickey added one moments later, and the rookie Storck landed hers for her first collegiate points
- With six rebounds in Sunday's game, Tarsi surpasses the 200 career rebound milestone and now has 201
How It Happened:
- Tarsi, who led the quarter with four points, made the first basket of the game, but Hartford answered with nine points, before another Tarsi lay in halted the streak
- A big three from Hickey and a jumper by Kimmel evened the game at nine, the first of four ties of the period
- With 29 seconds remaining in the quarter, Kimmel got fouled under the basket and sent to the line for two. Making one of her two shots, the RS-junior gave the Pioneers a 14-13 lead going into the second quarter
- The teams exchanged buckets to open the period, but Polyzou gave SHU an 18-16 lead with the first collegiate points of her career.
- Back-and-forth action continued through the second period, but Williams and Tarsi managed consecutive layups lifting SHU to a 22-18 lead prior to the 4:29 media timeout
- The Hawks finally reclaimed the lead, 23-22, as Darby Lee pulled down her own rebound and laid one in
- With SHU down 28-27 and just over five seconds on the clock, Hartford's Mallory Shickora stole a Sacred Heart pass and made the fast break to the basket. On her way, she was fouled by Storck, but missed both free throws maintaining the Hawks' one-point lead into halftime
- A Reaves layup opened scoring in the second half and expanded the Hawks' lead, but a jumper from Williams and a pair from the charity stripe put SHU back on top, 31-30
- After each team knocked down an additional basket, a Reaves jumper sparked a six-point Hartford run for a 38-33 lead
- Moments later, Kimmel, Hickey, and Storck went on a streak of their own reclaiming the lead, 42-38, with three consecutive triples, the longest streak of the game
- Katelyn Skinner cut the Pioneers' lead to just one point, 42-41 landing a three from the right wing before La'Trice Hall's jumper gave the Hawks a 43-42 edge. All part of an eight-point Hartford run
- Kimmel hit a big three from the top of the arc putting a stop to Hartford's run and bringing SHU within one, 46-45. Polyzou evened the score at 46 with 36 seconds remaining in the third quarter hitting one of two shots from the charity stripe
- The Hawks put four points unanswered points n the board in the first three minutes of the quarter forcing SHU Head Coach Jessica Mannetti to call a timeout
- The break didn't slow Hartford, who continued its offensive streak with a Jalay Knowles layup. Kimmel found the basket with a layup for the Pioneers' first points of the period, but the Hawks put another four straight on the board afterwards for a 57-51 lead
- With 1:57 remaining in the game, rookie Storck stole the ball dishing it up the court to Kimmel, who laid in the fast break cutting Hartford's lead to 62-56
- With less than a minute on the clock, Williams landed a hug three from three feet behind the circle. Hickey's great defensive effort resulted in a steal on the inbound and a lay in for the junior to bring SHU within two points as the final minute wound down
- After Mayza expanded Hartford's lead with a pair of free throws, Mannetti called a timeout to draw up a play that saw Kimmel bring the deficit back to two with a shot in the paint