HACKENSACK, N.J. – Redshirt-Senior Mario Matasovic scored a career-high 27 points Thursday night, but it was not enough to get the Sacred Heart men's basketball team past the Fairleigh Dickinson Knights in a 77-67 loss at Stratis Arena.
Sacred Heart – 8-18, 3-10 NEC
Fairleigh Dickinson – 9-15, 6-7 NEC
The Turning Point
FDU built on its 40-33 halftime lead by outscoring SHU 12-5 in the first 4:25 of the second half, with a Noah Morgan three putting the Knights ahead 52-38. After another Morgan three-pointer put FDU ahead by 12, 59-47, Mario Matasovic and Kinnon LaRose combined to go on a 10-2 run to get the Pioneers back within four, 61-57, with 7:11 to play. The Knights responded with an 11-3 run over the next 4:37 to take a 72-60 lead with 2:34 to play.
- SHU led 5-3 early on thanks to a Hoehn three-pointer and a Matasovic putback.
- Two three-pointers by Morgan put FDU ahead 11-7 at the 14:41 mark.
- The Knights took a 10-point lead with 8:59 to go, as a Kaleb Bishop three-point play capped an 11-2 run that put FDU up 22-12.
- Trailing 28-17, SHU went on an 11-4 run over 3:13 to get within four, 32-28, with 3:44 to go. Lopez and Matasovic combined for all 11 points, making five straight baskets.
- FDU shot 54.8% from the field in the first half, as the Pioneers shot 40.6%. Matasovic led all scorers in the half with 12 points.
- The Knights scored nine of the first 12 points of the second half, with a Morgan three and Jenkins layup putting FDU ahead 49-36 with 16:43 to play.
- A Matasovic dunk sparked a 10-2 run that got SHU within four, 61-57, with 7:11 to go. Matasovic scored the first six points during that stretch with LaRose adding back-to-back baskets for the other four.
- LaRose scored 10 of his 13 points in the second half.
Key Stats and Notes
- FDU snapped a four-game losing streak against the Pioneers Thursday night.
- Matasovic led all scorers with his career-high 27 points. His previous high was 19 set on Nov. 22 against Mitchell. It's the highest point total for a Pioneer this season. He also led SHU with nine rebounds.
- LaRose was 5-for-8 from the field, with three three-pointers, for his fifth double-figure scoring game in the last six.
- All five FDU starters scored in double figures, led by Morgan's 21 points.
- The Knights shot 51.7% from the field and held the Pioneers to 41%. FDU also scored 22 points off 13 SHU turnovers.
SHU travels to New Britain to take on Central Connecticut Saturday at 4 p.m. The game will be telecast on ESPN3.