FAIRFIELD, CONN. (January 9, 2016)—Alissa Tarsi's (Clinton, N.J.) led the Pioneers fourth-quarter comeback tallying ten points in the stanza as the Sacred Heart women's basketball team outlasted Fairleigh Dickinson 72-61 Saturday afternoon in the William H. Pitt Center. The senior led the team with a career-best tying 18 points in the contest as SHU improves to 2-1 in Northeast Conference play and 4-10 overall. FDU's (4-12, 1-2 NEC) Brianna Thomas led the game with 19 points.
With the Pioneers down by just five points, 55-50, with just over eight minutes left in regulation, a Tarsi sparked an eight-point Pioneer streak as Shelby Hickey (Littleton, Colo.) added four and Adaysha Williams (LaCrosse, Wis.) tacked on two to the senior's layup reclaiming the lead for Sacred Heart 58-55 with 5:33 left to play.
The Knights came within just one point twice before the final buzzer, 58-57 and 60-59, but Hickey, Tarsi and Hannah Kimmel (Harpursville, N.Y.) combined for 10 unanswered points over a three-minute span for a 70-59 lead, SHU's largest of the game. Fairleigh Dickinson managed one more field goal in the final minute, but it wasn't enough to catch the Pioneers.
- During their first comeback 10-2 streak in the third quarter, the Pioneers had 10 offensive rebounds
- Tarsi tied her personal-best with 18 points
Inside the Box:
- The Knights won the first quarter holding SHU to just nine points, but the Pioneers took the next three. Sacred Heart chipped away taking the second and third quarters by one point, 15-14 and 22-21 respectively, but dominated the fourth 26-10
- Kimmel narrowly missed a double-double by just one rebound tallying 10 points
- Overall, FDU outshot Sacred Heart .490-.375, but, like on the scoreboard, the SHU offense took the fourth quarter shooting an impressive .688 from the floor
Down by five points in the fourth quarter, Tarsi brought the Pioneer offense to life, igniting an eight-point streak, during which a Hickey layup boosted SHU to a 56-55 lead, an advantage the Pioneers would hold onto until the final buzzer
How It Happened:
- Sacred Heart got on the board first with a layup from Williams, but FDU quickly countered with a lay-in from Erika Livermore. Kimmel netted one giving SHU a 4-2 advantage, but back-to-back buckets for the Knights put Fairleigh Dickinson up 7-4
- The Knights maintained the lead through the end of the period using consecutive shots from Kelsey Cruz and Livermore to expand their lead to seven points, 16-9, before the buzzer
- FDU opened the second period with four straight points forcing SHU Head Coach Jessica Mannetti to call a timeout. The Pioneers scored four coming out of the break, but the Knights immediately brought the lead back to nine points with a layup from Amina Markovic before the six-minute mark
- Kimmel and Castro combined for four points to cut the Knights' lead to five points, 24-19. FDU expanded the margin back to nine points with back-to-back shots from Markovic and Thomas
- Kimmel had the last shot of the half, cutting Fairleigh Dickinson's lead to six points, 30-24, before the halftime buzzer
- After neither team scored in the first minute of the half, Livermore notched the first point making one of two shots from the free throw line. Ten seconds later, Hickey found an opening under the hoop for two points, sparking a 10-2 SHU run, which culminated with Castro giving the Pioneers a 34-33 lead with 6:27 left in the quarter
- Thomas landed a triple on the Knights' next possession for a short lead, but Casto evened the score at 36 from the foul line before the five-minute media timeout
- After Jackie Jackson tipped the score in Fairleigh Dickinson's favor, Castro again knotted the score making both her free throws. The Knights countered with a six-point run for a 44-38 lead with 3:10 remaining before Castro landed her fifth and sixth free throw of the game narrowing the gap to four points
- Over three of the final four minutes of the Fairleigh Dickinson went on a 13-2 spree improving its lead to 51-40 by the 1:46 mark
- With Hickey grabbing an o-board and feeding Castro for the layup, the senior once again got the SHU offense started. Castro landed the next shot as part of an 8-1 Pioneer run that cut the Knights' lead to five points, 51-46, before the end of the period
- The teams exchanged baskets to start the final stanza. With SHU down 55-50 with 7:35 to play, Tarsi, Hickey and Williams combined for eight straight points for a 58-55 lead
- The Knights came within one point, 60-59, as Thomas went two-for-two from the line before the four-minute mark, but Hickey drove into the paint to fend off FDU, the first of ten unanswered Pioneer points expanding SHU's lead to 70-59 with left than a minute left in regulation
- Sacred Heart allowed the Knights just one basket through the final 51 seconds to hold onto the win