UNCASVILLE, Conn. – The Sacred Heart men's basketball team earned its first win of the 2017-18 season Sunday afternoon, defeating the Maine Black Bears 69-68 in overtime at Mohegan Sun Arena in the consolation game of the Springfield bracket of the Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament.
Sacred Heart – 1-3
Maine – 0-4
The Turning Point
Sacred Heart trailed Maine 59-55 with 1:10 to go in regulation. Two free throws by Mario Matasovic put the Pioneers within two, 59-57, with 0:57 left in the second half. On the Pioneers' final possession, Joseph Lopez put in a layup with 0:07 left to tie the game 59-59 and force overtime.
The two teams traded baskets to start overtime. Layups by Sean Hoehn and Lopez were answered by an Ilker Er three and Aaron Calixte jumper for Maine that gave the Black Bears a 64-63 lead with 3:31 to play in the extra period. Lopez and E.J. Anosike then scored four straight points to put the Pioneers up 67-64 with 1:20 remaining. Maine cut the deficit to one twice, but it's last gasp effort in the final second was blocked by Hoehn to secure the SHU win.
- The lead changed 15 times in the first half.
- An 8-0 run put SHU up 23-17 at the 9:47 mark. Back-to-back threes by Zach Radz started the run.
- Alex Watson scored first collegiate points on a three-pointer at the 6:15 mark He had five points off the bench in the first half.
- SHU got 19 points from the bench in the half. It's highest bench point total for the season up to Sunday was 13 against Holy Cross on Nov. 10.
- Anosike had six points and nine rebounds in the half.
- Charles Tucker Jr. made two threes in the second half. His second trey put the Pioneers ahead 50-48 with 7:00 to go.
- Maine used a 7-0 run in 1:06 to take a 55-50 lead with 4:18 to go. That was the Black Bears' largest lead of the game.
- Matasovic scored seven of his 10 points in the second half before fouling out with 0:31 left.
- Lopez's only two points of the second half came on the game-tying basket. He had seven rebounds in the second half.
Key Stats and Notes
- SHU had four players score in double-figures. Lopez led the Pioneers with 11 points, adding nine rebounds. Matasovic, Radz, and Watson each had 10.
- Anosike had a game-high and season-high 17 rebounds to go with eight points. Six of his boards came on the offensive end.
- The Pioneers made a season-high nine three-pointers and shot 31% from long distance.
- SHU's reserves accounted for 30 of the Pioneers' 69 points.
SHU hosts Mitchell at the Pitt Center on Wednesday at 1 p.m.