Women's Basketball Wins NEC Regular Season Title with Win Over SFU

Women's Basketball Wins NEC Regular Season Title with Win Over SFU

FAIRFIELD, CONN. (February 27, 2016)—With Saturday's 80-67 victory over Saint Francis U, the Sacred Heart women's basketball team is Champion of the regular season in the Northeast Conference and have clinched home court advantage for every round of the NEC Tournament. Hannah Kimmel (Harpursville, N.Y.) led the second-half comeback scoring 15 of her season-high 28points in the third and fourth quarters as the Pioneers overpowered the Red Flash in the second half by 20 points. The win improves SHU's season record to 17-11, while pushing its conference record to 15-2. SFU fell to 14-15 overall and 11-6 against NEC opponents with the loss.

 

After a first half that saw SHU shoot 39.3% from the floor to Saint Francis's 55.2%, the Pioneers were down 38-31 heading into the third quarter. Less than a minute into the period, Shelby Hickey (Littleton, Colo.) got the Pioneers' offense going getting the and-one basket after draining a three from the left side. The big play sparked an 11-point run for SHU that saw the Pioneers take their first lead of the game, 42-40, on a three-pointer from Kimmel. SFU managed to tie the game once from there at 45 points, but it always broke in Sacred Heart's favor

 

The Pioneers hit the road for the final game of the regular season. Monday night, they travel to Mount St. Mary's for a 7:00 p.m. game. SHU will open NEC Tournament play on Sunday, March 6 at 1:00 p.m. against the No. 8 seed in the William H. Pitt Center

 

Noteworthy:

  • This is the fifth time in program history that the Pioneers clinched a share of the Regular Season title, and the fourth time they have been in sole possession. Each of the previous times that SHU has owned the Regular Season title and the top seed in the Northeast Conference Tournament, it has gone on to win the NEC Championship
  • For the first time this season, every Pioneer who took the floor put points on the board
  • Tykera Carter (Alexandria, Va.) and Kimmel both tallied season highs with 11 and 28 points respectively
  • Alissa Tarsi's (Clinton, N.J.) recorded her eighth double-double of the season with 10 points and 11 rebounds
 

Turning Point:
Sacred Heart outscored the Red Flash 25-12 in the third quarter shooting 60.0% from the floor. Saint Francis took the first points of the second half, but Shelby Hickey (Littleton, Colo.) converted the rare four-point play getting the whistle as her three landed, to spark an 11-point SHU run. During the hot streak, the Pioneers took their first lead of the game, 42-40, on a Kimmel three. The RS-junior made it a four-point game seconds later with a layup. SFU managed to even the score once at 45, but Tarsi tipped the score back in favor of Sacred Heart with a jumper. The Pioneers expanded their lead to six points by the period-ended buzzer to go into the game's final period with a 56-50 lead.

 

First Quarter:

  • The Red Flash wasted not time jumping out to an 8-0 lead with the game's first three field goals
  • Adaysha Williams (LaCrosse, Wis.) put the Pioneers on the board with a quick layup off the inbound pass from Hickey with 7:28 on the clock
  • Rookie Jessica Kovatch answered with a driving basket before Lerae Ettienne (Kensington, Md.) and Carter combined for four points cutting SFU's lead down to four-points, 10-6, with just under six minutes left in the period
  • Aisha Brock sparked a 12-3 lead right before the media timeout that culminated with a layup from Katie Reese to push the Red Flash's lead to 22-9
  • Williams kicked off a 6-2 streak for SHU that cut SFU's lead down to nine points, 24-15 with 18 seconds back, but Brock pushed it back to double-digits just before the buzzer landing a jumper in the paint
 

Second Quarter:

  • Kelcey Castro (Fair Lawn, N.J.) opened second-quarter scoring nearly 90 seconds on with a triple. Kimmel tacked on five straight points making it an eight-point run for the Pioneers that cut SFU's lead to just three points, 26-23 inside the eight-minute mark
  • Maya Wynn fended off Sacred Heart's advances with a triple from the right wing, before SFU Head Coach Joe Haig called a timeout to make some adjustments. The break proved fruitful for the Red Flash who added five more points to their total coming out of the break
  • Castro drained a trey from the right corner to put a stop to Saint Francis's run, but the Pioneers still couldn't get something going as the teams traded points until the buzzer. At the half, the Red Flash held onto the lead 38-29
 

Third Quarter:

  • Saint Francis U tacked on two more points from Katie Reese from the foul line to start the second half, but Hickey prevented a run before it started converting the four-point play after getting a whistle as her triple landed. The junior ignited an 11-point hot streak for SHU that saw the Pioneers take their first lead of the game, 42-40, on a Kimmel triple. The RS-junior expanded Sacred Heart's lead to four points capping the run with a layup with 6:42 on the clock
  • Courtney Zezza landed a three with 6:20 remaining in the period putting an end the SHU's streak, but the teams exchanged baskets from there. The Red Flash managed to even the score at 45, but Tarsi broke the tie in SHU's favor with a jumper in the paint
  • The Pioneers ended the quarter with seven straight points to own a 56-50 lead heading into the game's final stanza
 

Fourth Quarter:

  • The Red Flash made it just a three-point game, 58-55, taking four of the first six points of the period, but Carter answered with back-to-back layups to bring SHU's lead back to nine-points, 64-55
  • Kimmel continued to build on Carter's streak, making it an 11-point game, capping off the eight-point run with a pair of foul shots
  • The teams traded buckets throughout the rest of the game, but the Red Flash was never able to catch up