LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Despite playing nearly even with their Big Ten foe for a majority of play, the Sacred Heart women's basketball team dropped a 72-49 decision to Nebraska on Saturday night at the South Point Shootout on the Vegas strip. SHU's loss drops the Pioneers to 3-4 in 2019-20 while the Cornhuskers improve to 7-1 on the season.
A valiant effort made by the Pioneers was evident in the score line as SHU was outscored by just one point (41-40) for the final 25:14 of play. Despite the steady play, the Pioneers weren't able to overcome slow shooting to start the game as Nebraska jumped out to a 31-9 advantage midway through the second quarter as the closest they got to the lead was a 16-point fourth quarter margin.
Adrianne Hagood followed up a 21-point effort in last night's South Point Shootout opening victory over Detroit Mercy with a team-high 16 points to go along with a season-high five rebounds in 29 minutes. Hagood has led the Pioneers in scoring in two straight games and four of the last five on the season.
Jayla Davis added 10 points in 19 minutes, providing a key spark off the bench while Olivia Dabney added eight points while Nikki Johnson registered five steals for the second time in seven games this season.
1st Quarter (19-7 NEB)
- The outcome was largely decided in the opening 15 minutes of play, specifically the first quarter, as the Cornhuskers limited the Pioneers to 1-of-9 shooting including an 0-for-6 effort from three in the first
- On the other end, Nebraska went 7-of-10 from the floor to seize the 12-point lead
- SHU went to the free throw line 10 times in the quarter but only managed to convert 50 percent of the attempts into makes
2nd Quarter (36-18 NEB)
- Both sides struggled in extended periods in the second quarter as the Pioneers went 3-for-13 from the floor while Nebraska was held to 6-for-21 (28.6 percent) shooting
- The first made field goal for either side didn't come until 2:35 had elapsed in the quarter as Hannah Whitish canned a triple to break the cold streak
- Davis came off the bench to hit what was just the second field goal of the game up to that point for SHU with 4:29 left in the frame
- That Davis make kickstarted several good possessions from the Pioneers as Woods converted a three-point play and added a layup to give SHU buckets on three straight possessions
3rd Quarter (59-38 NEB)
- Easily the most productive quarter of the game on the offensive end for SHU came in the third quarter as the Pioneers shot over 50 percent (7-for-12) while hitting four three-pointers in the period
- Four different Pioneers banged in a triple while Davis posted seven of her 10 points in the third quarter alone
- Despite the resurgent offense, SHU struggled to contain Nebraska on the defensive end as the Cornhuskers went for 23 points, their highest quarter total in the course of play, to counter SHU's breakout period on offense
4th Quarter (72-49 NEB)
- Another defensive quarter finished the game off as the two sides combined for 24 points (13-11 in favor of Nebraska)
- Dabney connected on a three with 7:15 remaining that cut the deficit below 20 points while Hagood converted a three-point play to make it a 63-47 margin, the closest the Pioneers would get to the lead in the second half
- SHU showed very well for a side that came in with an all-time record of 1-32 in games played against non-Big East Power 5 schools at the Div. I level (since 1999-00)
- This first-time matchup against Nebraska marked just the third Big Ten program that SHU has ever faced (0-4 vs. Ohio State, 0-1 vs. Penn State)
- SHU will face one more Big Ten foe this season with a Sunday, Dec. 22 matchup scheduled at Penn State
A fourth straight game played away from the Pitt Center looms for the Pioneers as SHU heads to Saint Joseph's on Wednesday, Dec. 4 for a 7 PM tip-off. The Hawks came into the Pitt Center and defeated the Pioneers, 61-44, last season.