January 9, 2010

Sacred Heart Trio Leads Pioneers Past Mount St. Mary's, 67-56

Jan. 9, 2010

Final Stats

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (January 9, 2010) - Sacred Heart junior Maggie Cosgrove (Andover, MA) hit a career-high seven three's, one off the school record, on her way to a 21 point afternoon as the Pioneers posted their 22nd-straight Northeast Conference regular season win with a 67-56 victory over Mount St. Mary's. Sophomore Callan Taylor (Overland Park, KS) recorded her eighth double double of the year with 19 points and 10 rebounds while junior Alisa Apo (Freehold, NJ) came up with 18 on Saturday to lead SHU to 11-4 and 4-0 in the NEC.

The Pioneers (11-4, 4-0 NEC) struggled offensively in the first half, shooting just 29.4% (10-34) but took advantage of 12 Mount turnovers and a quick run to close the half for a 27-23 lead at the break. A pair of Cosgrove three's in the game's early minutes put the Pioneers up 14-9, their biggest lead of the first half, with 13:27 on the clock. After Cosgrove's second three, the Pioneers would go nearly seven minutes with just two points, but would only trail by five.

The Mount (5-9, 1-3 NEC) quickly closed the gap as Mary Dunn scored a pair of lay-ups on consecutive possessions to start an 8-0 spurt for a 17-14 lead. Taylor hit underneath off a feed from sophomore Alexis Campbell (Ashburn, VA) at the 8:50 mark, their only points during the drought, and the Mountaineers extended their run to 12-2 for a 21-16 advantage.

With the Mount took up 23-18 with 5:27 left, SHU turned up the heat defensively and forced four of their 12 first half turnovers to help fuel a 9-0 run into the locker room. Freshman Morgan Merriman (Seattle, WA) started the rally with a jumper in the lane and Cosgrove and Apo hit on back-to-back three's at 26 seconds and the buzzer to send the Pioneers into the break up 27-23. Mount's 12 miscues turned into 11 points at the other end.

Cosgrove buried two more from downtown to open the second half, giving the Pioneers an eight point lead, 35-27, two and a half minutes. The Mount would pull even at 35-35 but Sacred Heart pulled back in front by five thanks to a three-point play from Merriman and a steal and break-away lay-in from Apo. The Mountaineers again battled back and tied it at 42-42 at the 11:18 and was down one, 51-50 at 7:14 before the Pioneers put the game away.

Apo started a game-clinching 14-4 run with a lay-up followed by Cosgrove three that just beat the shot clock. Apo hit on three straight shots inside on three-straight possessions and Taylor finished the rally with a lay-up off a feed from the junior point guard for a 65-54 lead with 1:53 left. Apo added a pair of free throws in the closing seconds to finish with 18 on the day.

Cosgrove's 21 point day came on seven-of-14 from behind the arc. Apo added six rebounds, six assists and a pair of steals to her 18. Merriman finished with seven points and five rebounds off the bench for the Pioneers.

The Mount held a 42-35 edge on the glass, scoring 14 second chance points. Dunn finished with 16 points and seven boards while Leah Westbrooks had nine points and 11 caroms.

The Pioneers will hit the road on Thursday, January 14th to take on the NEC's newest member Bryant University. Tip-off is 5 pm in the first part of a double header with the Pioneer and Bulldog men's game.

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