Sacred Heart Drops Fourth-Straight Losing at Saint Francis (PA), 75-69

Feb. 20, 2010

Final Stats

LORETTO, Pa. (February 20, 2010) - Sacred Heart got matching 20-point games from sophomore Callan Taylor (Overland Park, KS) and freshman Kiley Evans (Cazenovia, NY) but couldn't overcome a big Saint Francis (PA) second half as the Red Flash surged to a 75-69 win over the Pioneers in Northeast Conference action. The Red Flash scored 46 points and shot 54.8% (17-31) in the second half to deal the Pioneers their fourth-straight conference loss, a first in program history.

The Pioneers (18-9, 11-5 NEC) shot out of the gates and took an early 12-3 lead as Maggie Cosgrove (Andover, MA) buried a three and Evans came up with a quick seven points. SHU pushed their lead to 18-6 on a Taylor put back forcing a Red Flash time out at 13:04. Taylor made her first four shots to give the Pioneers a 20-8 lead into the second media time out at 11:30.

Saint Francis (12-14, 9-7 NEC) began to pull back into the game, getting within 24-19 at the 5:46. A Samantha Leach three extended the Red Flash run to 13-0 as they pulled within 24-22 a minute later. SHU's Alisa Apo (Freehold, NJ) halted the run with a cross-over pull-up jumper in the right corner and the Pioneers used a quick 5-0 spurt to take back control Evans came up with a fast-break lay-up for a three-point play at 1:13 and the Pioneers went to the locker room up 34-29. Taylor finished the first half with 10 points and six rebounds while Evans tallied 12 as the Pioneers had a 20-8 scoring advantage in the paint.

Red Flash senior guard Brittney Hodges came out and buried a three to open the second half and a quick five point spurt tied the game at 34-34 just over a minute in. Hodges was the key to the Saint Francis comeback in the second half, scoring 17 of her team-high 25 points.

SFPA took their first lead at 17:43, on a Quinessa Johnson free throw, 35-34, and with the game tied at 41-41 took the lead for good thanks to a 16-4 run over the next seven minutes. A Leach lay-in at 9:35 gave her team their first double digit lead at 55-45 and Hodges followed with a fast-break lay-up at 9:08 forcing a Pioneer time out at 57-45. Leach kept the lead at 12-points with back-to- back jumpers, 63-51 with 6:41 to play.

SHU try to chip away at the lead pulling within eight, 65-57, on an Evans lay-up at 5:22 but the Red Flash answered with a jumper by Allison Smith. The Pioneers twice cut it to nine, but could Saint Francis answered each time. Down 71-61 with 2:10 left, a Taylor three and an Evans jumper cut it to five with 30 second s left but Leach and Brittany Lilley buried their free throws to seal away the win.

Taylor finished with her 14th double double of the season, a new Sacred Heart Division I record, scoring 25 points with 10 rebounds. Evans finished with 23 points and seven boards. The Pioneers held the rebounding edge, 40-30.

Hodges 25 points came on nine-of-12 shooting and five-of-seven at the line. She added five rebounds and five assists. Leach finished with 20 points while Lilley came off the bench to score 11 points with even rebounds and three steals. The Red Flash shot 46.6% (27-58) in the win and had 19 points of 23 Sacred Heart turnovers. Saint Francis clinched a spot in the NEC Tournament with the win.

Sacred Heart is back in action on Thursday, February 25th when they play host to Fairleigh Dickinson on "Senior Night". The Pioneers will honor senior Lindsey Gibson (Mechanicville, NY) before the game.

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