Men's Basketball Falls 72-65 At Saint Francis U

E.J. Anosike recorded a 13-point, 12-rebound double-double, his fourth straight, Saturday night. (Credit: Steve McLaughin)
E.J. Anosike recorded a 13-point, 12-rebound double-double, his fourth straight, Saturday night. (Credit: Steve McLaughin)

The Sacred Heart University men's basketball team fell 72-65 to Northeast Conference host Saint Francis University Saturday night. The Pioneers fall to 10-8 overall and 3-2 in league play, while the Red Flash improve to 12-7 on the season and 5-1 in NEC action.

The Pioneers had five players finish in double-figures on the evening. E.J. Anosike had his fourth consecutive double-double, finishing with 13 points and 12 rebounds.

The Pioneers continue their road swing through Western Pennsylvania on Monday, at Robert Morris. The 5:00 pm game will air on CBS Sports Network, with Dave Popkin, Joe DeSantis and Paul Dottino on the call.

Turning Point

  • Jare'l Spellman made two free throws with 6:35 to play, to give the Pioneers at 61-59 lead and cap a 9-2 SHU run
  • The Red Flash scored the next nine points, and held SHU scoreless for 3:59 to open a 68-61 lead
  • The Pioneers would get within three, 68-65 on a Spellman layup with 1:40 to play, but would get no closer

Pioneer Points

  • Anosike shot 5-6 from the field, including a pair of three pointers, and now has nine double-doubles on the season
  • Spellman recorded a double-double as well, with 10 points and a dozen boards
  • Aaron Clarke finished with 13 points, while Kinnon LaRose and Tyler Thomas both tallied 10
  • Koreem Ozier handed out four assists to go along with five points

By the Numbers

  • Both teams recorded 35 rebounds
  • Keith Braxton recorded a double-double for SFU, scoring a game-high 24 points and collecting 10 rebounds
  • SHU was 8-20 from behind the three-point line
  • Isaiah Blackmon scored 18 for the Red Flash and Tyler Stewart added 11
  • SHU shot 44.4 percent from the floor, while the Red Flash hit at a clip of 46.7 percent

First-Half

  • The Red Flash scored first, 38 ticks into the game on a Myles Thompson jumper
  • Spellman put the Pioneers on the board on the next possession, and LaRose followed at 18:41 for a 4-2 lead
  • LaRose took a Parker pass in the corner and knocked down a three at 17:04 to give SHU a 9-6 lead
  • The Red Flash took a 13-9 lead, scoring seven straight points over 82 seconds
  • Anosike snapped a 2:21 scoring drought at the 14:43 mark and began a 6-0 run, that included an Aaron Clarke (12:58) jumper and a pair of Tyler Thomas free throws (12:36)
  • Braxton tied the score at 9:51, 15-15, ending a 5:51 Red Flash scoreless stretch
  • Clarke (9:26) and Thomas (8:44) made three-point shots to push the SHU lead to 21-15
  • SFU closed to 21-20, but Spellman (6:39) hit a jumper and then Thomas drained a three, to push the advantage to 26-20, with 6:14 to play before the break
  • The Red Flash scored 10 of the next 12 points – six from Braxton - in 1:57, to take a 30-28 lead
  • After a Deivydas Kuzavas layup gave SFU a 32-30 lead, Clarke found LaRose on the wing for a three, that put the Pioneers in front, 33-32
  • Blackmon hit a pair of free throws with 10.6 to play before the break, to put the Red Flash back on top, 34-33, that they took into the break

Second-Half

  • Braxton started the second-half scoring with a floater, that Clarke answered from behind the arc at 18:52 to tie the score 36-36
  • 36-38
  • Anosike hit a three to briefly put the Pioneers in front 39-38 and after Thompson put the Red Flash back in front, he hit a free throw at 16:18 to tie the score, 40-40
  • The teams went back and forth and when Ozier hit at 13:40, the Red Flash lead was 46-45
  • Braxton made a free throw at 13:14 and then hit a jumper 60 seconds later to push the lead to 49-45 and Blackmon drained a three at 11:50 to make the lead 52-45
  • Ozier scored at 10:50 to end the Red Flash run and the Pioneers drought
  • Anosike hit a three, following a Tyler Steward basket, to get SHU within 54-50 at 10:01
  • Stewart's reverse layup at 9:29 made the Red Flash lead six once again, 56-50
  • Watson fouled Braxton at 9:08 and he hit 1-2, before Clarke hit 3-4 free throws resulting from SFU technical fouls to get SHU back within four, 57-53
  • Thomas reached double figures as he hit a fall-way at 8:12 to get the Pioneers within two, 57-55
  • After a defensive stop, LaRose drove to the hole to tie the score, 57-57
  • Spellman got the offensive put back at 7:01 to give SHU its first lead of the second half, 59-57
  • Blackmon evened the score for the Red Flash on the next possession, on a put back, 
  • Spellman hit two free throws at 6:35 for the 61-59 advantage
  • Stewart collected an offensive board and converted a traditional three-point play, to give SFU the 62-61 lead with 6:20 to play
  • Braxton hit a three, after a SHU offensive fouls, at 5:54 to make it 65-61 Red Flash
  • Blackmon made one free throw at 5:14, and Gaskin picked up a steal and a fast break layup at 3:16 to make the lead seven, 68-61
  • Clarke stole a Blackmon pass at 2:40 and went coast-toc-oast to end a nearly 4:00 scoring drought for the Pioneers
  • Spellman cleaned up an SFU shot on the other end and that led to his layup with 100 seconds left, and the Pioneers within three, 68-65
  • The Pioneers did not score again and the Red Flash made 4-7 from the line in the final 1:28 to seal the victory