Men's Basketball Win Streak Ends With Late SFU Basket, 70-68

Koreem Ozier scored 16 in the Pioneers game versus Saint Francis U on Thursday. (Credit: Steve McLaughlin)
Koreem Ozier scored 16 in the Pioneers game versus Saint Francis U on Thursday. (Credit: Steve McLaughlin)

The Sacred Heart University men's basketball team fell 70-68 to visiting Northeast Conference foe Saint Francis University, Thursday night at the Pitt Center. The loss drops the Pioneers to 14-10 on the season and 7-4 in league play, while the Red Flash improve to 15-8 on the season and 8-4 in NEC play.

Keith Braxton drove the lane and put the ball high off the glass and through the basket, with 1.6 seconds left, to break a 68-68 tie. The Pioneers ensuing inbound pass was tipped by a Red Flash defender and SFU earned the victory.

E.J. Anosike had his 13th double-double and Koreem Ozier scored in double figures for the 17th time to pace the Pioneers. 

The Pioneers are home again on Saturday afternoon, hosting Robert Morris University at 3:00 pm.

Turning Point

  • Aaron Clarke drained a corner three with 31 seconds to play, tying the score at 68-68
  • After a Pioneer timeout, Braxton dribbled the clock down and drove the right side of the paint, laying the ball high off the glass for the win

Pioneer Points

  • Ozier was 3-6 from behind the arc on Thursday, as he tallied a team-best 15 points
  • The sophomore also handed out four assists and collected four rebounds
  • Anosike recorded 12 points and a game-high 11 boards, to go along with six assists
  • Kinnon LaRose hit 4-6 from behind the arc on his way to a 14-point effort
  • Jare'l Spellman shot 4-5 from the field and finished with eight points
  • Clarke tallied nine points, four boards and three assists 

By the Numbers

  • Braxton led all scorers with 23 points, shooting 10-17 from the field
  • Isaiah Blackmon was the only other Red Flash player in double-figures, hitting 5-16 for his 14 points
  • Myles Thompson tallied nine points and a team-best nine rebounds
  • SFU shot 10-11 from the free throw line on the night, while SHU went 7-12
  • The Red Flash had a 36-32 rebounding edge and a 14-9 advantage on the offensive glass
  • The Pioneers handed out 16 assists in the game

First-half

  • Ramiir Dixon-Conover scored on a fast break and made the free throw, to open the scoring at 19:33
  • Spellman put SHU on the board, with a put back dunk, corralling a rebound in midair and slamming it home
  • Neither team converted a point for nearly 3:00 before Mark Flagg laid the ball in for SFU for a 5-2 advantage
  • After an Ansosike answer, the Red Flash scored five straight, with Braxton jumper make the score 10-5 8:01 in the game
  • The Pioneers clawed back, within two, on a Pfaffenberger dunk at 10:28, 14-12
  • Blackmon scored exactly midway through the half and followed with a three 27 seconds later to account for five of a 7-0 Red Flash run, that pushed the lead to 21-12
  • Thomas hit from behind the arc at the 8:31 mark and Pfaffenberger followed with a short jumper to close to 21-17
  • Blackmon and Braxton scored back-to-back to push the lead back to eight, 25-71 with 7:01 to play before the break
  • The SHU defense forced four turnovers over the next 3:07 and the Pioneers scored seven unanswered to close to within a point, 25-24 
  • Myles Thompson and Deivydas Kuzavas scored 39 seconds apart, pushing the lead back to five, 29-24
  • Ozier drained his third three of the game at 2:42 and Anosike made a free throw at 2:07 to cut the deficit to 29-28
  • Braxton made it 31-28 with a lay-up at the rim and LaRose answered 40 second later in the paint to bring SHU within a point
  • Anosike persevered at the rim, and laid in his third look, giving SHU a 32-31 lead with 32.1 seconds to play in the half

Second-Half

  • The Red Flash scored eight straight to start the half, with four from Dixon-Conover from to take a 38-32 advantage
  • Spellman hit with his back to the basket at 18:24 to stop the run
  • Braxton responded with a three to give the Red Flash their largest lead, 41-34, 2:05 into the half
  • A Spellman jumper from the foul line started a 7-0 SHU answer, that included a three from LaRose and ended with an Anosike basket at 16:07 and the score tied 41-41
  • The squads traded three-point field goals over the next several possessions, with Anosike beating the shot clock and LaRose connecting as well for the Pioneers, making the score 47-47
  • After a Pfaffenberger basket at the 12:05 mark tied the score 50-50, Braxton scored six straight points for his team, over 2:14 of action, to give the Red Flash a 56-52 advantage
  • Clarke his from behind the arc at 9:41 to make the score 56-55 and a pair of Ozier free throws at 8:29 put SHU on top 57-56
  • Thompson and Kuzavas scored four points to build a 60-57 advantage, that Ozier at 6:45 on a fast break and then Spellman at 4:26 erased, putting SHU back in front 61-60
  • That would be the last Pioneer lead, though they would draw even twice in the final 1:54 of play
  • A Blackmon free throw and a Flagg basket with ":47 to play put the Red Flash in front by three, 68-65
  • Anosike found Clarke in the far corner, tying the score, before Braxton made the game-winner