Women’s Basketball Departs for Midweek Meeting at Brown

Women’s Basketball Departs for Midweek Meeting at Brown

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PROVIDENCE, RI – The Sacred Heart women's basketball team (3-4) looks to slow the streaking Brown Bears (7-1) Wednesday, December 6 at the Pizzitola Sports Center at 7:00 p.m. The Pioneers will try for their third win in five games while the Bears seek their sixth straight. 

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We've done this before…

Brown has seen Sacred Heart eight times prior, as the Bears lead 5-3 including last season's 88-66 win. Then Pioneers, Hannah Kimmel and Adaysha Williams, credited 13 and 12 respective points. Katherine Haines (8), Erin Storck (8) and Tykera Carter (7) also chipped in points while Haines contributed seven boards. On the Bears behalf, returners Justine Gaziano, Taylor Will and Shayna Mehta combined for more than half of their team's total points (46).

Pioneers leaving the nest…

Away from the Pitt, Sacred Heart is 1-3 coming up short to Monmouth and Harvard by five and seven points, respectively. The Pioneers were toppled by nationally ranked Florida State ahead of a five-point victory over Florida A&M. Sacred Heart is enduring a -20.7-scoring margin on the road.

The Fantastic Four

The quartet of Haines (23), Candice Leatherwood (21), Storck (15) and Carter (11) re-scripted history as they each managed to register double-figures in a vigorously fought double-overtime battle against Hofstra last Thursday. Three days later, this same group led a Pioneers' balanced attack, all amassing 10-plus points, to knock off Lehigh as Sacred Heart was dubbed the first Northeast Conference member to do so dating back to the 2013-14 season.

Wait, you said what?

SHU used a relatively leveled offense to put the visiting Mountain Hawks away Sunday afternoon at the Pitt Center. Besides the cohort aforementioned, Jenna Silletti (6), Allyson Murphy (5) and Olivia Dabney (4) also tallied and in doing so, helped sever a brief two-game skid for the Pioneers.

In the contest's early onset, both teams traded buckets and would draw for the final time at the 5:10 mark of the first, 9-up. Carter credited a steal and go-ahead lay-in just seconds later that put the Pioneers in front where they would stay for the duration of the game. Lehigh managed to make things interesting with about five minutes left in regulation but an active Dabney helped neutralize the foe's offensive output while fueling the Pioneers' momentum.

Dippin' and Dab-bing

Dabney's four points were in great support of her near team-high seven boards but perhaps more impressively, her game-high five steals. The freshman's defensive prowess helped to hold off Lehigh as she corralled a steal and served up a rejection that eventually led to a Haines layup down the other end of the floor which made way for a three-point cushion in the game's waning time. In fact, Dabney's career-high thefts accounted for more than half of the team's nine steals as her total helped Sacred Heart benefit 17 points off of Lehigh's 18 miscues. The Mountain Hawks only secured seven from SHU's errors. Dabney finished with a pair of blocks in her season-high 33 minutes of action.

It's raining, it's pouring, the three-ball is falling…

Prior to Sunday, three-point territory has not been very inviting to Sacred Heart. The Pioneers only shot over 30-percent from the outside once which came in a loss to Harvard three games into the season. Adrianne Hagood netted three long-makes as the Pioneers went 7-of-22.

However, against the Mountain Hawks, Sacred Heart splashed 42.1-percent of its looks from downtown only shooting under 40-percent in the third quarter. Storck drilled three triples and Haines sank her only two attempts, one from the wing and the other from the top of the key. Carter, Leatherwood, and Murphy rounded out SHU's three-point production netting one look apiece.

Murphy is leading the club with a 50-percent clip (4-of-8) but Storck and Leatherwood are both shooting over 40-percent with 14 or more attempts from distance.

How you like me now?

Coming into Sunday, Sacred Heart suffered a -9.6-scoring margin allowing its opponents to score in the neighborhood of 75 points a game while only securing 66.2. However, the Pioneers held Lehigh to 55 points which is the lowest offensive output by an opponent tallied in a Pioneers' win. The 55 points is also the second-lowest netted by the Mountain Hawks this year. The 10-point win also marked the largest margin of victory for the Pioneers this season. 

On the Bear's behalf…

In the second annual Ocean State Tip-Off which also featured NEC affiliate, Bryant, Brown reigned victorious for the second consecutive time. First, the Bears topped Providence Saturday, 64-59, a team the Pioneers will face this weekend. Last Sunday, the Bears topped the Bulldogs 72-60 for another title. Sunday's win marks the fifth straight for Brown. 

Gaziano was dubbed the Tournament MVP and landed a spot on the All-Tournament team after amassing over 40 points this past weekend. Her 26 points against Bryant came on 11-of-19 shooting from the field which included a 40-percent clip from distance to lead all scorers.

Will, who accompanied Gaziano on the All-Tourney team, netted 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting and tied her career high with five steals. The junior guard has scored in double figures in all of the Bears' eight games this season.

Shayna Mehta also emerged totaling 13 points, a team-high eight rebounds, a personal-best seven steals, a team-high four assists, and a career-best two blocks. Erika Steeves also grabbed eight boards.