Pioneers Drop Non-Conference Finale to Buffalo 66-53

Pioneers Drop Non-Conference Finale to Buffalo 66-53

FAIRFIELD, CONN. (December 29, 2015)—Alissa Tarsi (Clinton, N.J.) and Kelcey Castro (Fairlawn, N.J.) led the Pioneers with 10 points each as the Sacred Heart women's basketball team fell to the State University of New York Buffalo 66-53 Tuesday night in the non-conference finale. Tarsi shot .444 (4-9) from the floor and pulled down seven rebounds as SHU completes the non-conference schedule 2-9.

The Pioneers makes the long trip to Pittsburgh to open Northeast Conference play this Saturday against the Robert Morris Colonials at 1:00 p.m. Then they head the Saint Francis U to face the Red Flash at 7:30 p.m. on Monday night. Both games will be streamed live on



  • Tarsi had a career-best four steals

Inside the Box Score:

  • Buffalo outscored the Pioneers by nine points in both of the first quarters, but SHU came back to win the third and fourth quarters 12-11 and 19-15 respectively
  • While the teams were even in most categories, Buffalo was more efficient, outshooting the Pioneers 42.4% to 29.7%

First Quarter:

  • Tarsi gave SHU an early lead with consecutive buckets. After Buffalo got on the board with Joanna Smith's layup, Hannah Kimmel (Harpursville, N.Y.) tacked on two more for SHU landing a jumper for a 6-2 advantage
  • Smith gave the Bulls their first lead of the game hitting back-to-back triples, one before the 4:49 media timeout and one right after.  The junior's were the first six of a 10-point Buffalo run, which was stunted by a pair of free throws from Tarsi with 2:08 remaining
  • The Bulls' offense wasn't stopped for long as Courtney Wilkins, Mariah Suchan and Camera Miley combined for seven points in the final two minutes of the period
  • Once again it was Tarsi who managed to find the basket, accounting for SHU's only points in the final period shortening Buffalo's lead to nine points, 19-10, going into the second quarter

Second Quarter:

  • Buffalo tallied the first four points of the second quarter before Castro landed two from the charity stripe to make it 23-14 in favor of the Bulls
  • On their next possession, Liisa Ups laid one in for the Bulls starting a 9-2 run before the 3:42 media timeout
  • In the final three minutes, the teams exchanged baskets with Shelby Hickey (Littleton, Colo.), Castro and Ettienne each putting two on the board for the Pioneers before the halftime buzzer

Third Quarter:

  • Both teams were scoreless through the first 90 seconds of the first half until Castro landed a jumper in the paint with 8:24 on the clock
  • The teams traded points through the 2:25 Buffalo timeout, allowing the Bulls to maintain their 18-point lead
  • SHU outscored Buffalo 12-11 in the period thanks to three last-minute points from Ettienne and Cleo Polyzou (Athens, Greece) ending the quarter down 51-34

Fourth Quarter:

  • After the Bulls and Pioneers exchanged points in the beginning of the period, Castro's pair of free throws sparked SHU's longest run of the game of seven points cutting Buffalo's lead to 14 points, 60-46, with 4:53 left to play
  • The Pioneers managed five straight points in the final 45 seconds thanks to a triple from Danielle Durjan (Montgomery Village, Md.) and a pair from the line from Ettienne, but it wasn't enough to overcome the Bulls