AMHERST, Mass. – The Sacred Heart women's basketball team dropped a 78-61 decision at UMass on Tuesday afternoon in the season opening game for both squads. Grad student Erin Storck scored a game-high 20 points for the Pioneers on 7-of-15 shooting. Redshirt senior Candice Leatherwood and grad student Katherine Haines each tallied nine points and six rebounds, and sophomore Adrianne Hagood also scored nine points, all in the fourth quarter.
After struggling to connect in the second quarter, SHU turned things around in the second half by connecting on 48.3 percent (14-for-29) of their field goals. SHU also rebounded by committing only three turnovers in the second half, after a dozen giveaways in the opening 20 minutes.
The Pioneers finished the game 21-of-56 (37.5 percent) from the field and 7-of-25 from three-point range. UMass connected on 35 of their 68 attempts and shot 41.7 percent (5-for-12) from three-point range. UMass held advantages of 54-26 in the paint and 11-0 on second chance opportunities.
- SHU grabbed an early 5-2 lead on a three from Storck and a layup from Haines.
- After falling behind 9-7, Allyson Murphy drove the lane untouched for an easy lay in and Storck followed with another triple to put SHU up 12-11 at the under-five media timeout at the 4:59 mark.
- SHU started 6-for-11 from the field.
- Storck added another layup following the break to make it 14-11, but UMass then closed the frame with a 10-1 run over the final 4:17 to take a 21-15 lead after one quarter.
- Storck started 4-of-7 from the field with 10 points in the opening quarter, as SHU shot 6-of-14 from the field. The Minutewomen connected on 10-of-15 through the first 10 minutes.
- Leatherwood hit a pair of free throws to start the second, but UMass then ran off four straight points off two Pioneer turnovers to take a 25-17 lead, forcing a SHU timeout at the 7:46 mark.
- SHU missed eight straight field goal attempts before Dabney ended the skid with a three-pointer at the 4:41 mark to cut the deficit to 29-20.
- UMass ran off six straight before Storck hit three consecutive free throws to get with 36-23 with just over one minute left, but UMass used a three-pointer, and a jumper in the lane in the closing seconds to take a 41-23 advantage going into the locker room.
UMass closed the half on a 30-7 run as SHU finished the half 7-for-27 from the field, including just 1-for-13 in the second quarter. The Pios connected on one of their last 16 field goal attempts of the opening half. The Minutewomen shot 55.9 percent (19-for-34) in the opening 20 minutes and held a 17-5 advantage in points off 12 SHU turnovers, and also outscored SHU 28-8 in the paint.
Storck finished the half with 13 points on 4-of-10 shooting. Bre Hampton-Bey led UMass with 15 points on 7-of-9 shooting.
- Haines got SHU going in the third with a foul line jumper. Storck answered a UMass bucket with a triple (53-28).
- SHU hit four of their first six shots, but UMass had the answer each time, as Destiney Philoxy hit a three from the corner to get the lead back to 18 at 50-32 with just over five minutes remaining.
- UMass turned a block on the defensive end into a fast break layup to get their lead to 20 for the first time, 52-32, just ahead of the media timeout at 4:08.
- Haines took a feed from Jayla Davis in the lane and got the baseline roller to fall and drew a foul to make it 60-36 with 1:39 to go, which stood through the end of the quarter.
- SHU went 6-of-14 from the field in the third.
- Leatherwood drained a three from the left wing to answer a UMass three-point play in the opening moments of the fourth.
- Murphy followed with a layup and drew a foul to make it 65-41.
- Leatherwood followed with her second straight three, and Hagood drained her first basket with a three from the right wing to get within 67-48 as UMass called timeout with 6:52 remaining.
- Haines found Storck down low for two more just before the final media timeout with 4:40 to go with the score 70-52.
- Davis hit two free throws with 56 seconds remaining, then took a pass from in the lane, hit the layup and competed the three-point play from the foul line with four seconds left to bring the score to its final of 78-61.
The Pioneers will return to the court one week from today on Nov. 13 for their next game against Siena in the home opener at the Pitt Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m. on NEC Front Row.