Emmitsburg, Md. (March 7, 2019) – The Mount St. Mary's women's basketball team was topped by Sacred Heart, 53-46, in the regular season finale on Thursday night from Knott Arena. The Mountaineers will head to the Northeast Conference (NEC) Tournament as the No. 6 seed and will take on No. 3 St. Francis Brooklyn on Monday, March 11 in Brooklyn Heights.
The Mountaineers round out the regular season at 14-15 overall and 8-10 in conference play. They will make a trip to the NEC Playoffs for the seventh time in the last eight seasons.
The ultra-defensive battle on Thursday night resulted in the Mount and SHU shooting a combined 26.7 percent from the field and 22.4 percent from three-point territory.
Juliette Lawless registered 17 points and nine rebounds to lead the Mount in the contest, as she finished one board shy of what would have been her second career double-double. Jatarrikah Settle recorded seven points, a team-high 11 rebounds and three assists, and Daly Sullivan added nine points on a 3-of-5 mark from deep.
The Pioneers close out the regular season at 18-11 overall and 14-4 in the NEC, and will be the No. 2 seed in the NEC Tournament. Erin Storck led the squad in scoring with 16 points in the tilt, while Katherine Haines added 14.
Sacred Heart, which trailed by one entering the fourth quarter, retook the lead early in the period before a string of seven straight for the Mount, capped by a three from Michaela Harrison, pushed the Mount back in front by a 41-35 margin.
Storck hit a layup on the other end for SHU at the 5:34 mark, which ended a nearly 17-minute stretch without a field goal for the Pioneers that spanned from the end of the second quarter to midway through the fourth.
The Pioneers jumped back in front, 45-43, on a three-pointer from Adrianne Hagood at the 2:44 mark. They forced a miss by the Mount on the other end, and Haines followed with a jumper to push the SHU lead to 47-43. After Jayla Davis hit 1-of-2 from the line to make it a five-point Pioneer advantage, Sullivan knocked down a clutch three for the Mountaineers, cutting the deficit to 48-46 with 1:23 on the clock.
The Mount got the ball back with a chance to tie or take the lead after a missed layup by Haines, but Lawless was forced to throw up a deep three as the shot clock expired, and Davis came down with the rebound for SHU. Following a timeout, Candice Leatherwood was fouled and sent to the line, where she made 1-of-2.
Down by three with under 20 seconds remaining, Harrison's potential game-tying triple from straight away came up short, giving the ball back to SHU. Haines was fouled on the in-bounds and sent to the line. After making the first free throw, Haines wasn't able to connect on the second but Storck came up with a big offensive board. Storck was fouled with five seconds and made 1-of-2 to ice the 53-46 victory.
The Mountaineers shot just 25.8 percent in the contest and made 7-of-32 (.219) from deep, while SHU posted a 28 percent shooting night and made 4-of-17 (.235) from long range.
In the first quarter of play, the Mountaineers put together a string of nine straight points to close out the period as four different players got in on the scoring during the stretch. Settle capped things off with a bucket in the paint to beat the buzzer, stretching the Mount lead to 19-12 at the end of the first.
Sacred Heart buckled down on the defensive end in the second quarter, holding the Mount to just 2-of-15 shooting while forcing eight turnovers in the period.
Bridget Birkhead knocked down a three from straight away at the 5:46 mark for the team's first basket of the second quarter, but the Mount was held scoreless for the ensuing five minutes of play as Sacred Heart scored 14 straight points, including six from Hagood, to build a 28-22 lead.
Lawless finally put an end to the drought with a layup with 41 seconds left in the half, but the Mountaineers headed into the break trailing by a 28-24 margin.
The Mount shot 31 percent overall in the first half while Sacred Heart fared only a little better at a 34.6 percent clip.
After a slow start to the third quarter by both teams offensively, the Mount put together five straight points on a three-pointer from Sullivan followed by a layup by Lawless, which gave them back the lead, 34-33.
The Mountaineers kept SHU off the board for the final three minutes of the third, as they took the one-point advantage into the fourth. The Mount held SHU without a field goal for the entirety of the third period as the Pioneers went 0-of-12 from the field and scored all five of their points at the free throw line.
The Pioneers were able to prevail in the fourth quarter of play and come away with the 53-46 victory.
The start time for the Mount's quarterfinal matchup at St. Francis Brooklyn on Monday, March 11 is yet to be announced.