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Saint Francis women fall to 13-14 after big road defeat

FAIRFIELD, Conn. — The Saint Francis women were unable to overcome hot-shooting Sacred Heart in a 77-51 defeat on Saturday at the Pitt Center.

Jess Kovatch led the Red Flash with 14 points, while Courtney Zezza added 10 points and eight rebounds.

Sacred Heart jumped out to an early 8-5 lead in the opening minutes. A Haley Thomas layup cut the SHU lead to 11-9 with 5:27 to play. The Pioneers closed the period on an 11-4 run to hold a 22-13 lead at the end of the first stanza.

The Pioneers’ lead grew to 44-22 with 2:14 to go. Zezza connected on a three-pointer with just over two minutes left to spark a 9-2 run that was capped off with back-to-back Kovatch treys as SFU trailed 46-31 at halftime.

SHU scored the first five points of the second half to take a 51-31 advantage. Zezza’s layup trimmed the margin to 51-35 with 5:07 to play. Aunesha Williams converted on a layup as SFU trailed 58-39 with 1:52 remaining.

The Pioneers led 62-42 at the end of the third frame. MaKenzie Pollard’s layup and 3-pointer cut the Pioneers’ lead to 74-49 with 2:12 to go.

Saint Francis split the regular-season series with Sacred Heart for the third straight year.

The Red Flash fell into a tie for third place in the NEC standings with St. Francis Brooklyn. SFU now trails Sacred Heart by two games for second place.

Saint Francis travels to play at Wagner on Monday.

SAINT FRANCIS (51): Kovatch 6-16 0-0 14, Zezza 3-6 2-2 10, Thomas 3-9 1-1 7, Swogger 1-10 0-0 2, Sabino 1-2 0-0 2, Pollard 2-4 0-0 5, Williams 2-3 0-0 4, Morrow 1-3 1-2 3, Dapaa 1-2 0-0 2, Mastellone 1-3 0-1 2, Kovac 0-0 0-0 0, Carroll 0-1 0-0 0, Timbers 0-2 0-0 0, Allen 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 21-61 4-67 51.

SACRED HEART (77): Haines 8-16 1-1 18, Murphy 7-14 1-1 16, Leatherwood 6-11 1-1 16, Storck 5-11 0-0 13, Davis 2-3 2-3 6, Ye 2-5 2-2 8, Kangudie 0-1 0-0 0, Cheatham 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 30-61 7-8 77.

SCORE BY QUARTERS

Saint Francis 13 18 11 9 — 51

Sacred Heart 22 24 16 15 — 77

3-point field goals: SFU 5-24 (Kovatch 2-7, Zezza 2-4, Thomas 0-3, Swogger 0-4, Pollard 1-2, Dapaa 0-1, Mastellone 0-1, Carroll 0-1, Timbers 0-1); SH 10-27 (Haines 1-5, Murphy 1-3, Leatherwood 3-7, Davis 0-1, Ye 2-5). Rebounds: SFU 35 (Zezza 8); SH 35 (Haines 15).

Records: SFU (13-14), Sacred Heart (15-11).

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