Men's Basketball Earns 81-74 Win At Wagner

Koreem Ozier led all scorers Saturday night with 18 points, including a career-best 10 free throws. (Photo: Steve McLaughlin)
Koreem Ozier led all scorers Saturday night with 18 points, including a career-best 10 free throws. (Photo: Steve McLaughlin)

The Sacred Heart University men's basketball team scored eight of the final 11 points to earn an 81-74 win at Northeast Conference host, Wagner College, Saturday night. The victory improves the Pioneers to 8-7 on the year and 1-1 in league play, while the Seahawks fall to 4-9 on the season an 1-1 in league action.

The Pioneers had five players score in double -figures and including Cameron Parker and E.J. Anosike who recorded double-doubles. Parker finished 13 points and 10 assists, for his fourth double-double of the season, and Anosike had 15 points and 10 boards, for his sixth double-double.

SHU shot a season-best from behind the arc, connecting on 11-22. The Pioneers 52.4 percent from the floor is the second-best single-game effort this year.

The Pioneers return to action on Thursday, January 9, when they travel to Fairleigh Dickinson University. That game is set for 7:00 pm

Turning Point

  • Tyler Thomas made three free throws at the 9:17 mark and recorded a steal and dunk two possessions later to propel the Pioneers to a 6-0 run that turned a one-point deficit into a 64-59 lead
  • When Wagner had clawed back within two points, with 93 seconds to play, Thomas knocked down a three to make it a two-possession game
  • Koreem Ozier went 5-6 from the free throw line in the final 19 seconds to secure the win

Pioneer Points

  • Ozier led all scorers with 18 points, including a career-best 10 free throws
  • Anosike hit 4-8 from behind the mark for his 15 points, and also led the team with three steals
  • Thomas and Parker both scored 13 points on the evening, while Jare'l Spellman added 10 points
  • Kinnon LaRose tallied nine points
  • Thomas was perfect shooting on the night, 3-3 from the field, two from behind the arc, and 5-5 at the stripe

By The Numbers

  • The game saw 13 lead changes and 12 ties
  • Tyrone Nesby IV scored 16 points to lead Wagner, as he shot 6-9 from the field, while Nigel Jackson and Alex Morales both tallied 14 points
  • SHU held Wagner to 33.3 percent, 10-30, from the field in the second-half
  • The Pioneers had a 33-25 edge in rebounds

First-Half

  • Wagner hit 4-6 from the field, opening an 11-5 lead on a Curtis Cobb jumper at 15:56
  • Ozier drained three free throws at 15:15, out of the media time out
  • Spellman brought the Pioneers within a point, 11-10 with a basket off an inbound play at 14:51
  • An Anosike offensive board kept the Pioneers on offense on the next possession, leading to a three from LaRose in the corner, for a 13-11 SHU lead
  • After Wagner tied the game, Anosike scored from behind the arc at 13:25 for a 16-13 advantage
  • Zach Pfaffenberger broke a 16-16 tie with a put back off an offensive rebound at 12:22
  • After Wagner tied the score again, with a Martinez basket, LaRose scored four-straight for the Pioneers to make it 22-18
  • Tyler Thomas drained a three at the 10:29 mark to give SHU a 25-18 advantage, the largest lead of the half for either team
  • The Pioneers held Wagner to one free throw from the 18-18 tie, a 3:31 stretch, 0-3 from the field, with two turnovers, to build the 25-18
  • Spellman free throws made the score 27-22, before a deep three from Chase Freeman at the 7:56 mark
  • Wagner battled back to tie the game, 27-27, at 7:14 on an Elijah Ford basket
  • Ozier gave SHU the lead back, driving the baseline at 5:26
  • Nesby answered for Wagner on the next possession, the fifth tie of the half
  • Anosike hit from behind the three-point line, for the second time, at 3:03 to ut the Pioneers in front, 32-29
  • Nesby again tied the game with a three of his own at 2:45
  • Thomas made two free throws for a 34-32 advantage with 1:58 to play in the first-half
  • Chase Freeman hit from outside the paint at 1:35 to knot the score, 34-34
  • An Ozier free throw (1:17) and a LaRose basket in the paint (:51) gave SHU a 37-34 advantage that Freeman erased with a three-pointer with 23 seconds left in the period
  • Anosike was fouled with 0.6 remaining in the half and hit both free throws, to give SHU a 39-37 lead into the intermission

Second-Half

  • Wagner again started quickly, opening the half with a 10-4 run, to build a 47-43 lead on Patrick Szpir basket at the 17:08 mark
  • Ozier (15:40) and Anosike (14:43) drained back-to-back threes to put the Pioneers back on top, 49-47
  • Neither squad could gain separation, with SHU building the largest lead at 54-50 when Parker scored a spinner in the paint at the 12:30 point
  • Wagner embarked on a 6-1 run from that point, taking a 56-55 lead on s three-pointer Nigel Jackson
  • Anosike knocked down a three at the 10:03 mark and Jackson responded at the 9:47 mark, giving Wagner its final lead of the game, 59-58
  • Thomas connected on three free throws on the next possession, and Parker made one to give SHU a 62-69 advantage with 9:00 to play
  • Thomas stole a Jackson pass on the other end of the court and went the distance for the dunk to finish a 6-0 SHU run
  • Wagner was able to claw back within two when Curtis Cobb drained a pair of free throws with 1:33 to play
  • 20 seconds later Ozier found Thomas in front of the SHU bench and he knocked down a triple, to make the lead five points
  • Alex Morales made two free throws with 17 seconds to play, getting within 77-74
  • Ozier went 4-4 from the stripe in the final 16 seconds to seal the victory