Women’s Basketball Holds Off Fairleigh Dickinson Late in 68-62 Victory

Women’s Basketball Holds Off Fairleigh Dickinson Late in 68-62 Victory

FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Leading by 18 with 7:19 remaining and in complete control, the Sacred Heart women's basketball team saw their lead cut to three but were able to hold off a gutsy performance from Fairleigh Dickinson in a 68-62 win from the Pitt Center on Monday night.

Owning a 58-40 advantage in the fourth quarter, FDU staged a 19-4 run to cut the gap to just three with 1:52 remaining but a pair of timely buckets from Candice Leatherwood and Katherine Haines helped ice the game away late for the Pioneers.

SHU wins their second straight and closes out a three-game homestand with an overall mark of 12-10 while moving to 8-3 in NEC play. With Wagner taking down Saint Francis Brooklyn 86-85, the Pioneers are now tied with just Saint Francis U for second place in the league standings. FDU drops to 6-16 overall and 3-8 in the NEC. 

Sacred Heart 68 / Fairleigh Dickinson 62

Sacred Heart (12-10, 8-3 NEC) / Fairleigh Dickinson (6-16, 3-8 NEC)

Pitt Center / Fairfield, CT

First Quarter (16-12 SHU)

  • FDU, the worst shooting team from three-point range (26.5) heading into tonight, came to play from the jump as the Knights hit a pair of triples to build an early 12-6 lead
  • SHU, meanwhile, went just 3-for-11 from the opening tip before finding a rhythm late
  • Once the Knights took the six-point lead, the Pioneers responded with a 10-0 run over the remaining 2:27 of the frame
  • Leatherwood drained back-to-back three-pointers to close the quarter and give SHU a four-point lead

Second Quarter (33-25 SHU)

  • The three-point shots were falling in the second quarter as each team hit three triples in the period
  • FDU reclaimed the lead, going ahead 20-19 before Olivia Dabney made a highlight-reel worthy play, deflecting a pass before corralling the loose ball, dribbling around her back and shouldering contact at the rim for a three-point play
  • Dabney's play seemed to swing momentum as the Pioneers reeled off a 14-2 run over the next six-plus minutes of play

Third Quarter (46-38 SHU)

  • The Knights again came out strong to start a quarter, scoring on the first two possession to immediately cut the lead the one
  • With momentum again swinging to the road side, it was Dabney who came up big again, first canning a three-pointer at the wing followed by another three-point finish on the fast break
  • FDU closed the gap to six before a Haines finish in the lane pushed the margin back up to eight heading into the fourth quarter
  • Defense dominated the third as the two sided combined to go 9-for-27 (33 percent) from the floor

Fourth Quarter (68-62 SHU)

  • After an FDU bucket to open the period, SHU blitzed the scoreboard with a 12-0 run over the course of just 2:00 to build the biggest lead of the game for the Pioneers
  • The three-point shot was falling in the scoring spree, started by Allyson Murphy's first three-pointer in six games while Jayla Davis hit a triple, Haines converted a three-point play and Adrianne Hagood hit her fourth triple of the game to make it 58-40 with 7:19 left
  • Right when it seemed the game was finished, the Knights came storming back with a 19-4 run over a span of just over four minutes that saw the Pioneers' lead slip from 18 all the way down to three
  • Needing a big play to finish the game off, SHU went to the hot hand as Leatherwood drained a pull-up jumper in the lane before she found Haines cutting to the basket for an easy bucket to seal the win
  • Leatherwood (seven) and Haines (six) combined for 13 of the 22 points for the Pioneers in the fourth quarter alone while going a combined 5-for-6 from the floor


  • SHU moves to 30-5 all-time against FDU and an impressive 18-0 at home in the series against the Knights
  • Leatherwood dropped 19 points, seven assists and four rebounds in 34 minutes
  • The three-point shot continues to fall at an elite level for Leatherwood as she is shooting 17-for-33 (51.5 percent) from three over the last six games (14.7 PPG in that span)
  • Haines recorded her second double-double in the last three games with 16 points (7-13 FG) and 10 rebounds in 37 minutes
  • Haines continues to lead the NEC in double-doubles with nine now on the season and six through 11 NEC contests
  • Hagood connected on her three-point shot, netting all 12 of her points off the three-point shot (4-6 3FG) in 39 minutes
  • For Hagood, the sophomore now has nine double digit scoring games through 11 NEC contests
  • Dabney was a key player in the win, finishing with 11 points, three rebounds, three steals and two assists in just 20 minutes
  • After being held to under 10 points in each of her first 10 games of the season, Dabney has scored 10+ points in five of the last nine games
  • Generating a halftime lead continues to pay big dividends for the Pioneers as SHU now stands 11-2 on the season when holding the lead at halftime
  • The 11 made three-pointers for SHU stands tied for the second-most made triples in a single-game this season
  • After going 13-for-26 (50 percent) from three in the Pioneers' 76-41 home win on Saturday over Mount St.  Mary's, the Pioneers have hit 24 three-pointers over the last two games combined  
  • FDU came into tonight's contest ranked last in the NEC in three-point field goals per game (4.7) but turned in a solid 8-for-21 (38.1 percent) effort from three in the loss

Following what was the longest homestand of the season for SHU, the Pioneers now hit the road for a season-long four-game road swing starting with a Saturday afternoon showdown with Bryant (3 PM). These two sides met in a back-and-forth defensive duel in January as the Pioneers held on for a 49-48 victory as Erin Storck blocked a potential game-winning shot attempt in the closing seconds.