BROOKLYN, N.Y. – In a game that featured 16 lead changes and eight ties, this Saturday afternoon NEC battle was destined to come down to the final minute. Unfortunately for the Sacred Heart women's basketball team, St. Francis Brooklyn made the plays when they mattered most in a 71-70 victory for the Terriers at the Pope Athletic Complex.
Trailing by five with 1:55 left, SHU scored a pair of buckets within the final minute to close the gap to just one with 37 seconds remaining but a missed three from Cayln Richardson was secured by the Terriers' Alyssa Fisher as the offensive rebound with five seconds left was the ultimate decider. The Pioneers had only committed one foul up to that point in the fourth quarter so the Terriers were able to ice the game away with the Pioneers franticly trying for a steal.
The late-game sequence denied what was a tremendous effort from Adrianne Hagood who pumped in 26 points on 11-for-19 shooting after going scoreless for the entire first quarter. Hagood has now scored double figures in 10 straight games while this is her fourth 20-plus point effort over the last five games and her eighth in 19 games played this season. Olivia Dabney was great all-around with 11 points, eight rebounds, three assists, four steals and two blocks in 39 minutes while Jayla Davis recorded 10 points to account for the three Pioneers in double figures
Ally Lassen was incredible for the Terriers as she recorded 22 of her career-high 30 points in the first half alone. Lassen's 30 points are the most scored by an opposing player against the Pioneers this season. Nevena Dimitrijevic tallied 17 points, nine assists and six rebounds in 40 minutes while Alyssa Fisher scored all 12 of her points, going 4-of-5 from three-point territory.
A close game throughout, neither side led by more than six points for the entire 40-minute battle while the win was needed for the Terriers (6-14, 2-7 NEC) who came in losers of six straight. The Pioneers (8-12, 5-4 NEC) were denied of a third straight win and now must turn the page quickly as SHU plays host to the three top teams in the NEC starting with Mount St. Mary's on Monday night.
1st Quarter (18-15 SFBK)
- The biggest lead for either side came in the first quarter when St. Francis Brooklyn rode a 7-0 run to give the Terriers a 9-3 lead 3:32 into play
- Sonia Smith responded with a triple two minutes later to break up the scoring run while SHU answered back with a 6-0 run of their own to give the Pioneers their first lead of the game
- Nikki Johnson, who was appearing in her first game since Dec. 4 at Saint Joseph's (11 straight games missed with injury), hit a pair of shots to cap the run of six unanswered points
- The lead continued to trade hands as SFBK went on a 6-0 run before Carly Stroemel hit a spinning layup in the paint that made it 18-15 Terriers after one
She's backkkkkkk �� pic.twitter.com/w6LcvPzaCk— Sacred Heart WBB (@SacredHeartWBB) February 1, 2020
2nd Quarter (38-37 SFBK)
- Hagood finally got on the board with 9:24 left in the second quarter as she canned a triple at the wing for her first points of the game
- Dabney followed with a three on the next Pioneer possession as SHU retook the lead at 21-20
- The second quarter was an epic seesawing battle as the lead changed hands an incredible 13 times in an offensive flurry that featured 42 combined points between the two sides
- Hagood posted 10 of her 26 points in the second quarter alone as she went a perfect 4-for-4 from the floor, hitting both of her three-point attempts, while playing all 10 minutes
Not a single dribble from the Pios leads to an Abi ✌️ pic.twitter.com/lZ7mEUpU0O— Sacred Heart WBB (@SacredHeartWBB) February 1, 2020
3rd Quarter (57-54 SFBK)
- After Dabney hit a go-ahead layup 49 seconds into the second half, Lassen followed with a two-point bucket of her own as the Terriers held the lead or the score was tied throughout the third quarter
- Neither side led by more than five points and that moment came late in the frame when Melody Van Ness hit a triple with 21 seconds remaining in the frame
- Hagood was able to get a runner to go with five seconds left as that make made it a one-possession game at 57-54 in favor of the Terriers
Shooters gotta shoot �� Dri has 17 pts since the start of the 2nd qtr pic.twitter.com/F6iHRAYWyY— Sacred Heart WBB (@SacredHeartWBB) February 1, 2020
4th Quarter (71-70 SFBK)
- Every time the Terriers looked to have seized control, going up two possessions on multiple occasions in the fourth, the Pioneers had an answer every time
- When Lassen made a layup 27 seconds into the fourth that made it 59-54 Terriers, Davis followed with a pair of jumpers on consecutive possessions that made it a one-point game
- The Terriers later led 71-66 with 1:55 remaining but Hagood started a rally attempt with a jumper and later finishing a feed from Dabney on a fast break that made it 71-70 Terriers with 37 seconds left
- With the ball and a chance to extend their lead, SFBK kicked out to a wide open Fisher who missed her three but the rebound caromed out to Fisher
- Fisher then swung the ball to the corner and by the time the Pioneers were able to foul, the clock wound under one second left to play and the outcome was decided
Liv steals �� Dri finishes ✌️— Sacred Heart WBB (@SacredHeartWBB) February 1, 2020
71-70 SFBK leads w/ 25 seconds left pic.twitter.com/0WuQaKOQ7e
- SHU went 28-for-60 from the floor for a season-high shooting percentage of 46.7 percent
- SHU reached the 70-point plateau for just the fourth time in 20 games this season as well as just the second time in the last 16 games
- This loss signals the first time SHU lost a game when the Pioneers score 70+ points since the 2017-18 season (snapping a 14-0 streak)
- Hagood continues to produce at an elite level, tallying her eighth game of 20-plus points this season after coming into the 2019-20 campaign with four such games in her first two seasons as a Pioneer
- Hagood was efficient, hitting a career-high 11 field goals while going 11-for-19 from the floor and 4-of-9 from three-point territory
- Hagood ranks second in the NEC, averaging 17.2 points per game while she's putting up 18.7 points per game in conference-only games
- Abigail Kangudie went for eight points, nine rebounds and three blocks in a productive 27 minutes of action
- Kangudie's eight points are a season-high while she led the team in rebounding for the second straight game
- Smith went for six points and a team-high five assists
- Johnson finished with six points and two assists in 14 minutes in her first game back from injury
The Pioneers are back home for a three-game homestand starting on Monday at 7:00 PM against Mount St. Mary's in a game that can be seen live on SNY. The Pioneers head into Monday armed with a 3-0 record at home against NEC opponents but the next three games will be a challenge as the Pioneers face the top three teams in the league in the Mountaineers (11-9, 6-2 NEC) on Monday, Robert Morris (14-6, 9-0 NEC) on Saturday and Saint Francis U (9-12, 7-2 NEC) next Monday.