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Montes leads SHU past Long Island Brooklyn

Updated 12:40 am, Friday, January 4, 2013
  • Louis Montes scored a career-high 35 points to lead Sacred Heart past Long Island Brooklyn, which won the NEC title the past two seasons. Photo: Christian Abraham / Connecticut Post

    Louis Montes scored a career-high 35 points to lead Sacred Heart past Long Island Brooklyn, which won the NEC title the past two seasons.

    Photo: Christian Abraham

 

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Glance at the game GAME MVP: Louis Montes scored a career-high 35 points with eight rebounds and two blocks in the final 31 seconds of Sacred Heart's win. KEYS TO VICTORY: Montes' career night along with the Pioneers shooting 53.7 percent from the field and outrebounding LIU 29-28 after trailing 15-11 at the half. SHU also outscored LIU 17-4 on the first break. UP NEXT: Saturday vs. St. Francis, N.Y., 3 p.m. -- WILLIAM S. PAXTON
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FAIRFIELD -- The beautiful thing about being a mid-major program is that you can erase all your early-season transgressions once conference play opens.

Louis Montes certainly took advantage of the new opportunity Thursday night, scoring a career-high 35 points to lead Sacred Heart to a much-needed 77-73 victory over LIU Brooklyn in the Northeast Conference opener in front of 358 at the Pitt Center. After losing seven straight, the Pioneers (3-9, 0-1 Northeast Conference) just wanted a win against anyone, but knocking out the two-time defending champion Blackbirds (5-8, 0-1) made it a little sweeter.

"We hadn't won in a month and a half and going into conference play, we said it's a new season," said Montes, who added eight rebounds and blocked two shots in the final 31 seconds to make sure SHU won.

"The first 11 games don't matter, we are just trying to get the next 18 (NEC games). We got the first one -- that's all that matters."

LIU played without three starters, including forward Jamal Olasewere and C.J. Garner, who were serving the first game of two-game suspensions for their involvement in an on-campus brawl with the track team in September. Senior Julian Boyd (knee) also was involved in the incident, but is out for the season due to injury.

Even short-handed, LIU managed to erase a 17-point SHU lead in the second half and made the home team grind out its first win since Nov. 18 (over Stony Brook 64-63).

Shane Gibson and Steve Glowiak each added 13 points for SHU, while Phil Gaetano had six points and 10 assists.

"It was a good win for us," SHU coach Dave Bike said. "A much needed win for us."

Montes came out fired up, scoring five quick points to give SHU the lead. Along with Gibson, Montes helped finish the half strong by keying an 11-0 run that put SHU ahead 38-31, which is the first time all season it lead at the break.

The lead would grow to 17 points, 53-36, in the opening six minutes of the second half before the Blackbirds went on a 23-6 run that would even the score at 59 with 6:34 to play. SHU's only basket during LIU's run came on 3-pointers from Glowiak.

Booker Hucks scored a career-high 20 points to lead four LIU players in double figures while point guard Jason Brickman had 11 points and nine assists with no turnovers.

"It ended up being too much (Montes) -- he did a great job," said LIU coach Jack Perri, who went to a smaller lineup when LIU mounted its comeback, but had no answer for Montes. "Give the kid credit, he was tremendous."

Montes scored eight of SHU's final 15 points after LIU went up 62-61 with 5:41 to play, but the Pioneers got other big contributions. Glowiak added five points and Nick Greenbacker (nine points in the game) used a layup on a feed from Gaetano to put SHU up 74-71 with 38 seconds left.

"Fortunately we made a couple of plays (at the end)," Bike said. "But you need performances and today with Louis, it was a hell of a performance."

LIU BROOKLYN (5-8)

Martin 2-4 0-0 5, Thompson 5-9 1-2 13, Brickman 3-8 3-4 11, Onyechi 2-2 0-0 4, Reed 3-10 8-10 14, Griggs 0-3 4-6 4, Hucks 7-13 4-4 20, Murphy 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 23-51 20-26 73.

SACRED HEART (3-9)

Gaetano 2-3 0-0 6, Montes 13-17 7-8 35, Gibson 6-12 0-0 13, Greenbacker 4-4 0-1 9, Glowiak 4-12 2-2 13, Swidowski 0-3 1-2 1, Abdel Latif 0-1 0-0 0, Tate 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 29-54 10-13 77.

Halftime--Sacred Heart 38-31. 3-Point Goals--LIU Brooklyn 7-24 (Brickman 2-4, Thompson 2-6, Hucks 2-7, Martin 1-3, Reed 0-2, Griggs 0-2), Sacred Heart 9-17 (Glowiak 3-7, Gaetano 2-2, Montes 2-3, Greenbacker 1-1, Gibson 1-3, Swidowski 0-1). Fouled Out--Reed. Rebounds--LIU Brooklyn 28 (Hucks 6), Sacred Heart 29 (Montes 8). Assists--LIU Brooklyn 11 (Brickman 9), Sacred Heart 17 (Gaetano 10). Total Fouls--LIU Brooklyn 14, Sacred Heart 19. A--358.

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