FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Trailing once again in the second half, this time by 12 with 17:21 remaining, the Sacred Heart women's basketball team rallied behind a tremendous all-around performance to walk away with a 66-58 victory over in-state NEC foe CCSU on Wednesday from the Pitt Center. This marks the third straight win for SHU (6-8, 3-0 NEC) to start conference play, all of which featured second half come-from-behind victories, while the Blue Devils (1-13, 0-3 NEC) remain winless early in the NEC slate.
What was a 12-point Blue Devil advantage was quickly cut down to four over a span of just three minutes as the Pioneers rode an 8-0 run to get right back in the game. Still trailing by two heading into the fourth, Adrianne Hagood drove to the lane for two consecutive layups midway through the fourth to give SHU a three-point lead and with the margin still at one in the closing minutes, Jayla Davis buried a huge three from the wing that put the Pioneers up 61-57 with 2:14 remaining. CCSU was held without a basket for the final 3:48 of play as SHU came up with the defensive stops and clutch free throw makes to put this one away late.
JAYLA ��‼️�� Right in the defender's face ... SHU leads by 4 pic.twitter.com/MM57R5HvTR— Sacred Heart WBB (@SacredHeartWBB) January 8, 2020
An inconceivable run for the Pioneers continued this afternoon as SHU came in with just eight healthy/active players and yet still managed to overcome sizeable second half deficits in come-from-behind NEC wins. A 40-28 third quarter deficit in this one goes down as the largest second half margin overcome for SHU in this three-game run. Outscoring CCSU 38-18 over the final 17+ minutes, including a 22-12 margin in the fourth quarter alone, SHU has now outscored their opposition by a combined margin of 129-86 (76-40; +36 in the fourth quarter alone) in the second halves over the current win streak.
These #⃣'s are NOT typos ��— Sacred Heart WBB (@SacredHeartWBB) January 8, 2020
We're ＋3⃣6⃣ combined in the 4th quarter �� our opponents in the 3-game win streak pic.twitter.com/JDR1qcu4nR
As a team, the Pioneers won despite the Blue Devils shooting 48 percent from the floor and 44.4 percent from three as the difference in this one came in the turnover department. The Pioneers forced 20 CCSU turnovers which turned into a 21-6 advantage for SHU in points-off-turnovers while the home side committed just five turnovers on the offensive end. The five turnovers committed by SHU matches a program record for the fewest turnovers in a single-game, something the Pioneers have accomplished just three times in program history with the most-recent occurrence coming back in the 2009-10 season.
This is how we win ball games ��— Sacred Heart WBB (@SacredHeartWBB) January 8, 2020
Just 5️⃣ turnovers is tied for the fewest we've ever committed in a game and its only been done 3️⃣ times now in program history �� pic.twitter.com/I4hlsTKXCk
Hagood led the way for SHU with 18 points (7-13 FG, 3-7 3FG), 14 of which were scored in the second half, while Davis added 11 and Olivia Dabney put up 10 points to go along with five assists, four rebounds, three steals and two blocks over 37 minutes. Allyson Murphy steadied the Pioneers at the point guard spot, tying her career-high with six assists while adding nine points. Madison Cheatham came off the bench to play one of the best games of her career, breaking her previous career-high of five rebounds with 12 on the day including eight on the offensive end.
1st Quarter (17-15 CCSU)
- A slow start by both sides saw just one field goal for each team in the first four-plus minutes of play
- Neither team led by more than four in the opening quarter as SHU took their largest lead on a Murphy free throw while CCSU went up 17-13 on a Dejah Jenkins jumper from outside the paint with 13 seconds left
- Marie-Laeticia Ziba drove the lane and finished with her right before the buzzer sounded as SHU trailed by just two after the first
- SHU generated 21 field goal attempts in the first quarter as the Pioneers recorded a 7-2 advantage in offensive rebounds while winning the turnover battle 4-0 after the opening 10 minutes
Ziba betas the ⏰ and we trail by just 2 at the end of 1Q pic.twitter.com/SpVWz3VSAC— Sacred Heart WBB (@SacredHeartWBB) January 8, 2020
2nd Quarter (36-28 CCSU)
- Davis scored the first bucket of the second quarter to tie the score at 17-17 but the Blue Devils followed with a 11-3 run to claim an eight-point lead with 6:11 left in the first half
- SHU went nearly four minutes between makes as Cheatham hit a bucket deep in the paint to stymie the a strong defensive first half from the Blue Devils
- CCSU would lead by as many as 10 in the first half before going ahead 36-28 at the halftime break
- The Blue Devils shot 14-for-26 (53.8 percent) in the first half and went 4-for-5 from the three-point line to build the early advantage at the break
Madi down low gets us a much needed bucket �� pic.twitter.com/GxHi8bZp9N— Sacred Heart WBB (@SacredHeartWBB) January 8, 2020
3rd Quarter (46-44 CCSU)
- A bleak start to the second half saw the Blue Devils score the first four points, building their largest lead of the game at 40-28 with 7:21 remaining in the quarter
- SHU didn't hit their first shot of the second half until there was 5:54 left in the frame as Hagood canned her first of three triples on the day to make it 40-31 Blue Devils
- After going over four scoreless minutes, SHU continued to find open shooters as Hagood hit again from the wing as what was a 12-point Blue Devils lead dwindled down to just 40-36 after an 8-0 SHU run
- Another mini 6-2 SHU run to end the third again cut into the CCSU lead as the Pioneers trailed by just two with 10 minutes to go
- Hagood scored eight of the 16 points for SHU in the quarter while the Pioneers forced seven CCSU turnovers
8️⃣ - 0️⃣ SHU run ��— Sacred Heart WBB (@SacredHeartWBB) January 8, 2020
Hagood cans her 3rd triple of the game ‼️ pic.twitter.com/8d1R4lH6h3
4th Quarter (66-58 SHU)
- Murphy and Dabney hit from deep in the first two minutes of the fourth, with Dabney's triple putting SHU out in front by two, their first lead since the early stages of the second quarter
- The two sides traded shots back-and-forth deep into the quarter as Hagood drove the lane twice for a pair of makes before Dabney pulled up for a 10-foot jumper that made it 58-55 SHU with 4:05 remaining
- With still plenty of work to be done, CCSU responded with a bucket but it was to be their last field goal make of the game as Davis hit a triple right in front of a Blue Devil defender's face to make it 61-57 SHU with 2:14 left
- Two straight defensive stands still had SHU ahead by four now in the final minute as Davis was fouled and stepped to the line, hitting both clutch makes from the charity stripe to build a six-point SHU lead
- Another impressive defensive stand was followed by more free throws as SHU iced away yet another come-from-behind victory
SHU LEADS ��‼️��— Sacred Heart WBB (@SacredHeartWBB) January 8, 2020
12-pt deficit no more ... we lead for the first time since the 2Q pic.twitter.com/noaR8pnwA2
- SHU tied their season-high with 10 three-pointers for the third time in four games
- The Pioneers won despite going just 6-for-14 (42.9 percent) from the free throw line
- SHU lost the rebounding battle 39-37 but tallied a 17-10 advantage in offensive rebounds to finish with a 12-6 edge in second chance points
- Hagood led the team in scoring for the seventh time in 13 games played this season
- Hagood's 18 points gives her double figures in four straight games
- Murphy recorded a new career-high with six assists against just two turnovers
- Dabney filled up the stat sheet with her fourth straight 10+ point game, finishing with 10 points, five assists, four rebounds, three steals and two blocks in 37 minutes
- Dabney led the team in minutes played for the fourth straight game
- Cheatham's 12 rebounds is easily a career-high as her previous-best was five (accomplished twice in her career prior to today)
- Davis also hit double figures for the fourth straight game and the seventh time in 12 appearances this season
The Pioneers begin a key portion of their NEC schedule, starting a season-long three-game NEC roadtrip on Monday with a 7 PM tip-off at Fairleigh Dickinson. The game can be seen on ESPN3. SHU plays five of their next six away from home.