SHU Embarks on Final Two-Game Swing Through the Keystone State; SFU on Saturday

SHU Embarks on Final Two-Game Swing Through the Keystone State; SFU on Saturday

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LORETTO, Pa. - The Sacred Heart University women's basketball team (9-15, 5-8 NEC) embarks on its final road stand of the regular season in western Pennsylvania beginning Saturday, February 17. Saint Francis U (16-8, 11-1 NEC) first welcomes the Pioneers inside DeGol Arena for a 4:00 p.m. tip.

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Last year's regular-season finale for both teams ended with the Red Flash severing a five-game drought against SHU. The first 2016-17 meeting between the two clubs saw the Pioneers coming out on top. SHU leads 23-13 throughout the two teams shared history.

Pioneers last time out…

SHU shot its best clip from downtown in 13 games. This included four daggers in the fourth quarter to equip the hosts with just enough ammunition to push past Mount St. Mary's Monday evening inside the Pitt Center.

After the match's seventh and final tie, documented at 8:40 in the final period, Erin Storck caught a two-hand pass from Tykera Carter and knocked down the turnaround baseline jumper, 40-38. Down the other end, Katrice Dickson found just enough space to launch a go-ahead triple from the corner, 43-41.

On the ensuing possession, the Mountaineers committed a foul which in turn led to a Carter three-point make executed swiftly on the inbounds play that placed the hosts ahead permanently, 43-41. 

Storck and Daly Sullivan traded tosses from downtown on the next scoring sequences before Storck sank another helping Mount to a nine-point margin of error with under three minutes to play, 53-44.

With the Pioneers rejuvenated by their prolific offense, SHU smothered Mount preventing any more tallies from the visitors. But before the night was over, Candice Leatherwood drilled a dagger from the outside that not only punctuated the win but marked the most triples by SHU since the last time these two squads clashed (9). 

Hagood's team-best 18 points led all but one scorer at the Pitt as the freshman knocked down 50-percent of her looks from the court (5-of-10). The reserve played the most minutes of any-non-starter drilling one trey, going 77.8-percent from the charity stripe (7-of-9), hauling two boards and dishing out a pair of dimes. The D.C. native's performance was two points shy of her early career-best.

Red Flash last time out…

SFU shot a season-best 55 percent from the field, put three players in double-figures and dished out 21 assists in the win in an 85-54 triumph of LIU Brooklyn last Monday to clinch a spot in the NEC playoffs. The Red Flash used a 15-0 run to grab the lead in the first quarter and a 12-0 run in the third to put it out of reach. The Red Flash offense was firing on all cylinders, shooting a season-best 55 percent from the floor and 53 percent from three.

Maya Wynn spearheaded Saint Francis U's offense with a game-high 18 points. Caitlyn Kroll, who was most recently named the NEC's Player and Rookie of the Week, had 17 points and five steals to lead SFU. Jessica Kovatch was held to single digits for just the second time this year (Old Dominion) and the second time without a three (Gonzaga). 

Earlier this year…

On December 29, SHU fought arduously on the glass and punished their opponent at the line but struggled to hit shots in the half-court. That was markedly different for Saint Francis U as the Red Flash's stifling shot-selection overpowered the Pioneers, 89-48, inside the Pitt Center to commence Northeast Conference play.

Then NEC's leading point-getter, Jessica Kovatch, splashed a long jumper to open scoring by either team nearly five minutes into the contest. Less than a minute later, Tykera Carter saw her first free-throw go in and out before her second attempt made it a one-point game early, 2-1.

At the 4:42 mark, Katherine Haines' swished two tries at the charity stripe to put the hosts up one fresh out of a media timeout, 3-2. SFU's Caitlyn Kroll cashed in on her nifty scoop to the cup at 4:14 prior to Adrianne Hagood crediting her first and second point of her team-leading 18, 5-4. On the following live possession, Ace Harrison saw an opening down low as her go-ahead basket would tap the final lead change by either team. 

Jenna Mastellone netted the 11th and last three-pointer on the Red Flash's behalf mounting the team's largest lead of the afternoon up 44 at 1:16 in the fourth before the Pioneers favored a 5-2 run to settle the final.