FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Despite trailing by as many as eight on the brinks of the fourth quarter's clutch period, the Sacred Heart women's basketball team (2-4) rallied back to force overtime, Thursday evening at the Pitt Center. At the conclusion of the first period, both the visiting Hofstra Pride (4-3) and the Pioneers played to a draw before another five minutes of action resumed. In the final session, a flawed Pioneers' defense in waning time would help the Pride turn the tide as the foe converted an old-fashioned three resulting in a lead the hosts would fail to combat.
Two Pioneers gained entry into the 20-point club as Candice Leatherwood credited her second 20-plus point game with 21 and Katherine Haines tied her career-high, 23 points, in her return. Leatherwood used a career-high eight-assist effort, six rebounds, and one steal to help her lineage while Haines netted 11 shots from the field, the most of her career through one outing, on 64-percent shooting. The forward also earned her third double-double this season, the 13th of her career pulling down a team-high 10 boards.
Erin Storck tallied nine of her 11 points through the contest's first 10 minutes while also contributing five points, five assists, and a block. The junior also drilled three triples.
Tykera Carter added 10 points and three dimes while also recording a theft and a rebound. Adrianne Hagood, earning her first collegiate start, finished with seven points earning five of them at the charity stripe.
How it happened…
Sacred Heart saw itself behind eight points, 61-53, with just 4:03 left to play in regulation. Haines, Leatherwood and Carter each netted a bucket before Haines' second basket in the window leveled the playing field capping an 8-0 spurt by the hosts. The Pride's Aushunae Durant flipped one in but a pull-up jumper from Leatherwood evened play with a 1:10 pictured on the clock.
Four unlucky heaves followed, a pair from both squads, before the buzzer sounded allowing the first extra session to commence.
Out of the brief intermission, Leatherwood caught the tip from Haines and immediately beat her defender for the easy lay-in. Durant committed another turnover on the ensuing possession before Leatherwood fed Haines tying the hosts' largest lead of the game, 67-63. E'Lexus Davis credited a basket before both teams endured a near two-minute scoring drought. With under a minute left in the first extra window, Olivia Askin tossed up a long-ball before Hagood negated the Pioneers' three-point deficit with an old-fashioned triple putting SHU up, 70-68. An E'Lexus Davis jumper with the shot-clock turned off extended the game another five minutes.
Despite Hofstra stepping in front first, Sacred Heart managed to claim a three-point advantage to the credit of Carter's go-ahead shot from distance and Haines' close-range finish, 77-74, compelling the Pride to call for time.
Following the break, the visitors earned four of the game's next six points to tie things up at 78-up. Hofstra netted a jumper and Leatherwood completed her trip at the line to deadlock play yet again, this time propelling a timeout for Sacred Heart with 1:14 remaining, 80-up.
Out of the huddle, Durant managed to eke in a layup as the contact came late resulting in an and-one that turned the contests' final tide.
Carter's three-ball opportunity was off the mark and so was Marianne Kalin's down the other end. Hagood soared for the rebound before she was fouled and sent to the line. The freshman went 1-for-2 evidently rounding out scoring for the Pioneers. Working against time, SHU forced Hofstra to the line but the Pride would capitalize netting three of its four tries to conclude scoring at the Pitt.
- Today's contest was the first double-overtime match for the Pioneers since hosting St. Francis Brooklyn, February, 13, 2017 resulting in a 61-58 victory.
- This is the first time Sacred Heart had four players finish in double-figures. Before tonight, Haines (22), Hannah Kimmel (19), Carter (13) and Shelby Hickey (12) tallied in a New Year's Eve contest against Saint Francis U in 2016.
- Before tonight, the last time the Pioneers had two or more players score 20-plus points came at the hands of Kimmel (21) and Adaysha Williams (20) on January 3, 2015 versus St. Francis Brooklyn.
- Hofstra has topped Sacred Heart 3-0 all-time.
The Pioneers stay at home and welcome Lehigh Sunday, December 3 in time for a 1:00 p.m. tip.