SHU falls in OT at Wagner
Updated 12:35 am, Friday, February 1, 2013
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- March Madness arrived a bit early in the Northeast Conference. The Sacred Heart Pioneers hope when it returns, they have enough in the tank to finish the job.
After rallying from a double-digit second-half hole to force an extra period, the Pioneers ran out of gas in overtime, falling to host Wagner 84-78 in front of 2,032 fans Thursday night in a Northeast Conference game at the Spiro Sports Center.
"I thought it was a good atmosphere and a tough, hard-fought game," SHU coach Dave Bike said. "If you get into a playoff game, it won't be much different than this."
More InformationGame at a glance
GAME MVP: Jonathon Williams scored 16 points, but more importantly, went 4-for-4 from the foul line in OT to help Wagner close out Sacred Heart 84-78.
KEYS TO THE LOSS: Turnovers. SHU made them early and too often, finishing with 22, including nine from Phil Gaetano. The Pioneers were also crushed in the paint, allowing 38 points and 21 second-chance points.
UP NEXT: Saturday at Mount St. Mary's, 4 p.m.
-- WILLIAM S. PAXTON
The Seahawks (12-8, 6-3 NEC) went 9-for-13 from the foul line and didn't turn over the ball in bonus time to earn a share of a crowded second place in the conference along with SHU (8-12, 6-3), Long Island University Brooklyn and Robert Morris.
"It's motivation and it's humbling," said SHU senior Shane Gibson, who finished with 22 points for his eighth straight 20-plus-point outing. "I think we might have got a little ahead of ourselves and starting to be a little too comfortable with how we are playing, and now this gets us back on the right track.
"Sometimes you need to lose."
The Pioneers were on the fast track to losing in the first half with 12 turnovers, including six from Gaetano, and trailed 36-31 at the break.
Gaetano went to the bench with 8:45 left after picking up his second foul, and Louis Montes sat the final 6:23 with two fouls.
"I did a bad job of getting everyone else kind of rattled because I turned the ball over so much," said Gaetano, who finished 12 points, 11 assists (eight in the second half) and nine turnovers.
Wagner led by as many as eight, 13-5, early in the first half. Sacred Heart responded with a 15-3 run -- aided by two 3s from Steve Glowiak (15 points) and one from Gaetano -- to take its largest lead at 20-16 with 9:45 left before Wagner answered back.
However, this Pioneer squad wasn't about to pack the bus and head down to Mount St. Mary's. Gibson, who had nine first-half points, started to heat up and Gaetano took better care of the ball to spark the Pioneers.
"We've had pretty good spunk so far this year," Bike said. "We're playing pretty good. You play a little better when you make a better percentage and the first half hurt us that way (32 percent shooting, 12 turnovers)."
Sacred Heart never took the lead in the half, but Gaetano forced OT by hitting two foul shots with 28 seconds left. The Pioneers were 26-for-32 from the foul line, but they all came in regulation.
Wagner was 11-for-18 from the line in 40 minutes, but made 13 trips there in OT. Sacred Heart also made three of its 22 turnovers in OT.