Sacred Heart Erases Second Half Deficit To Beat Yale, 85-82

Sacred Heart Erases Second Half Deficit To Beat Yale, 85-82

WEST HARTFORD, CT (November 10, 2012) – In the 1,000th career game for head coach Dave Bike, his  Sacred Heart men's basketball team erased a 24-point second half Yale lead to come away with the largest comeback victory in the program's Division I history, beating the Bulldogs in overtime, 85-82, in the Connecticut 6 Classic.  Senio Shane Gibson  led the comeback with 24 of his 29 points coming in the second half and overtime.

SHU overcame a dismal first half that saw Yale (0-1) build a 44-28 lead at the break thanks to 51.9% shooting including a 11-of-17 effort at the free throw line by the Bulldogs.  The Pioneers shot 50.0% themselves but turned the ball over 11 times and were just three of seven at the charity stripe in the first half.

There were six lead changes in the first half but Yale jumped out in front thanks to a 15-4 run fueled by three pointers from Austin Morgan and Armani Cotton.  The Bulldog lead hit double digits at 32-22 and after a Sam Martin three and Justin Sears put back, the Pioneers used a time-out to slow the momentum chasing 14 with 4:22 left.  Yale did a great job of keeping Gibson in check, holding the prolific scorer to just five points on four shots.

The Yale lead hit its high water mark at 15:35 when Michael Grace laid one in on the fast break for a 61-37 advantage.   The Pioneers began to chip away and pulled within 61-48 with 11:51 left thanks to an 11-0 runs.  The Bulldogs went five minutes without a bucket before Morgan ended the drought with a three at 10:05.  A dunk by Sears was followed by Morgan's sixth three of the night to push the Yale lead back to 19, 69-50, with 9:13 to go.

From there, it was all Sacred Heart as the Pioneers closed the second half and overtime outscoring Yale 35-13.  Down 71-52 with 8:38 left, SHU ripped off a 14-0 run to cut it to 71-66 with 3:34 left. 

Yale's Morgan ended the SHU rally a second time, coming off a screen and burying a jumper just inside the three point line.  SHU pulled within 73-70 on a sophomore Phil Gaetano's drive to the hoop and after a Yale miss, Gibson hit a floater in the lane to cut it to one with 1:10 left.

The Bulldogs wen to Morgan and he got loose and into lane, drawing a foul.  Morgan made bothto put his team back up three with 45 seconds left.   SHU gain pulled within one as Gaetano got the ball in down deep to Louis Montes who finished with 18 ticks left.    Forced to foul, SHU sent Morgan to the line off the inbounds but he hit just one of two with 13 seconds left to give the Pioneers the ball down two for the final possession.  Morgan scored 13 of Yale's final 15 points in regulation.

The Pioneers went right to Gibson and the senior delivered, beating his defender and making his way to the hoop where he finished strong with the right with eight seconds left, tying it at 76-76.  The SHU defense locked down Yale and the Bulldogs attempt at a game-winner never materialized before the horn.

Yale shot out of the gates in overtime and opened a five point lead, 82-77, with 2:30 left.  The Pioneers pulled into the lead with six straight points off a pair of jumpers and two free throws. Sacred Heart built on that advantage with two more charity tosses in the closing seconds to post the victory.

(Story courtesy of Sacred Heart Sports Information)