Women's Basketball Upsets #4 SFU To Advance In NEC Tournament

Adrianne Hagood scored 17 in the Pioneers quarterfinal win over Saint Francis. (Credit: Steve McLaughlin)
Adrianne Hagood scored 17 in the Pioneers quarterfinal win over Saint Francis. (Credit: Steve McLaughlin)

The Sacred Heart University women's basketball team earned a 73-70 win over host Saint Francis University in the quarterfinals of the Northeast Conference Tournament, Monday night. The Pioneers improve to 13-17 on the year and advance to face top-seeded Robert Morris University in the semifinals on Thursday night.

The Pioneers, who never trailed in the game, had four players score in double-figures led by the 17-point efforts of All-NEC honorees, Adrianne Hagood and Sonia Smith. The Pioneers shot 42.9 percent as a team and knocked down 8-21 from behind the three-point line in the win.

Turning Point

  • Allyson Murphy's three-pointer 44 seconds into the fourth quarter and gave the Pioneers a 58-44 advantage
  • The Red Flash outscored the Pioneers 22-6 over the next 8:40, to close within a pair, 66-64 with :36 remaining
  • The Pioneers made seven-straight free throws down the stretch to secure the victory

Pioneer Points 

  • Smith hit 5-10 from the field and 7-9 from the free throw line, including 4-4 in the final 27 seconds of the game
  • Hagood connected on 3-8 from behind the three-point line
  • Jayla Davis finished with 14 points and six rebounds, as well as drawing 10 fouls on the night
  • Nikki Johnson scored 13 points, shooting 6-11 from the field
  • Smith handed out three of the Pioneers eight assists
  • Carly Stroemel recorded two blocks for the Pioneers

By the Numbers

  • Lili Benzel led SFU with 15 points, hitting 5-10 from downtown
  • Karson Swogger scored 14 points and Jenna Mastellone netted 10
  • The Red Flash shot 64.3 percent form the field in the fourth quarter, after hitting 3-14 in the third
  • SFU out rebounded the Pioneers, 40-31 on the night
  • The Pioneers committed only nine turnovers in the game, while forcing 14 from the Red Flash

First Quarter

  • The opening-tip was won to Johnson in the front court and she scored eight seconds into the game
  • The Pioneers scored the first six points of the game, with a driving layup from Davis and another hoop from Johnson 1:12 into the quarter
  • Karson Swogger scored for the Red Flash at 8:22 and after a Davis free throw knocked down a three to make the score 7-5
  • Hagood hit a short jumper and was followed by a Dabney three from the top of the key, for a 12-5 lead at the 5:24 mark, that forced a timeout by the Red Flash
  • The Red Flash hit 3-4 free throws to close the gap to 12-8, 
  • Hagood muscled her way to the rim with 3:25 to play and then knocked down a three at the 3:08 mark for a 17-8 advantage
  • The Red Flash scored the next six points, capped by a Pam Miller basket with 1:41 to play in the quarter, to close within three, 17-14
  • Davis scored the next four points, with a free throw and then a conventional three-point play with :47 to play in the quarter 
  • Dabney locked a three-point attempt by the Red Flash, with five seconds left and got the ball to Davis to drain a three-pointer at the buzzer for a 24-14 advantage

Second Quarter

  • Johnson started the second quarter as well, hitting a three-pointer 13 ticks into the period
  • Madison Cheatham followed with a conventional three-point play at 8:07 to make the Pioneers advantage, 30-14 3, 27-14
  • Haley Thomas converted a layup with 6:55 to play in the half, ending a 4:46 scoring Red Flash scoring drought
  • Johnson layups sandwiched a Jenna Mastellone basket, to give SHU a 34-18 advantage, with 6:16 to play
  • The Red Flash scored the next four, with a Katie Dettwiller free throw and a Benzel three-pointer making the Pioneer lead 12, 34-22, at the midpoint of the quarter
  • A pair of Swogger free throws and a Dettwiller layup at 2:30, sandwiched a Smith free throw and brought SFU within nine, 35-26
  • Smith answered on the other end, 24 seconds later, making the advantage 11 points
  • A Benzel three pointer with 2:00 to play brought the Red Flash within 37-29
  • Hagood reached double-figures after a SHU timeout with her second three pointer of the game, and made the lead 11 once again, 40-29 with 1:13 to play in the half
  • Phee Allen muscled a ball up to the rim with 40 seconds left and Mastellone scored as the half ended, bringing SFU within 40-33 at the break

Third Quarter

  • Benzel drained a three on the opening possession of the second-half to extend the SFU run to seven unanswered 
  • Hagood hit from distance with 8:17 to play and ended a scoring drought that stretched back into the second quarter
  • Dabney hit from behind the arc for her second time, at the 6:49 mark, and gave SHU a double-digit advantage, 46-36
  • A Benzel three ended a 3:43 scoreless stretch by the Red Flash
  • Hagood hit a pair of free throws at the 5:17 mark and Smith scored at the rim at 4:46 to give SHU a 50-39 advantage
  • Smith made the Pioneer run six, with another driving layup at the 4:05 mark, giving SHU a 52-39 lead
  • Sam Miller made her second of two free throws, to end the run, at the 3:30 mark and was followed by an at 2:17 to bring the Red Flash within 10, 52-42
  • Davis hit a free throw at 2:10 and Smith made a pair with 1:53 to go and send the Pioneers to the final quarter leading 55-42

Fourth Quarter

  • Murphy hit her first three of the game at 9:16, for a 58-44 advantage, which Mastellone answered on the other end 
  • The Pioneers missed seven of their next 10 shots, as the Red Flash hit 7-9 to mount a rally that drew them within two, 66-64
  • Haley Thomas made two free throws with 1:19 to play to get SFU within two, 64-62 for the first time trailing 7-5 2:50 into the game
  • Smith answered those points with a layup at :48
  • Swogger made the deficit two again with a pair of free throws, with :36 to play
  • Smith hit a pair from the line with 27 seconds left and after a bad pass, Jayla Davis made a pair with 20 ticks remaining for a 70-64 advantage
  • Benzel (:19) and Swogger (:12) connected from behind the arc surrounding two more Smith free throws, to get within two one last time
  • Davis made 1-2 at the line with 11 second to play and collected the rebound of a Benzel miss to run out the clock