LORETTO, Pa. -- Before Sunday, no team in Northeast Conference tournament history had ever reached the century mark in points. Both teams far surpassed 100 points this afternoon and together they set the second-highest scoring mark in a single game in NCAA women's basketball history. Saint Francis (Pa.) took down Sacred Heart 132-124 in a double-overtime thriller in the NEC Quarterfinals inside DeGol Arena.
The Red Flash (14-16, 11-7) got another 47 point effort from Alli Williams, tying the career-high she set last Monday against Wagner. Alexa Hayward set a new career-high with 43 points, meaning the Flash got a combined 90 points from its two captains.
Gabrielle Washington scored a career-high 47 points for the Pioneers (12-18, 9-9) en route to setting a new Sacred Heart single game scoring record. The 47 points for Washington and Alli Williams set a new Northeast Conference Tournament single-game scoring record.
"We were confident coming into the Northeast Conference Tournament and we can beat anyone if we play our game," SFU head coach Joe Haigh said.
Saint Francis trailed by seven with just 38 seconds to play in regulation after two free throws from Gabrielle Washington. After a lay-in by Hayward and steal from Corissa Archer the Flash gained some life and was able to tie it up as Williams scored with just a second to spare.
"Down the stretch we had to play the foul game, and I think we did a great job of denying the inbounds pass," Haigh said.
In the first overtime, it looked as if Sacred Heart was going to come away with the game again as it led by three with just 20 seconds to play. Hayward converted on an old-fashioned three-point play and the score was knotted at 115 apiece as time expired.
The Flash proved to be too much in the second overtime as they went on a 10-4 run and led by seven with 1:37 to play. Sacred Heart narrowed the margin again to four, but sound free-throw shooting from SFU clinched the win.
It was a game of runs right from the beginning; the Red Flash started the contest on a 10-0 streak to force a Pioneers timeout. Sacred Heart battled back immediately and scored eight consecutive points.
Sacred Heart held a six point lead with less than five minutes to play in the opening frame before Saint Francis embarked on a 12-1 run to regain the advantage. The Red Flash led 53-47 at the halftime break.
Saint Francis posted single digit turnovers for the second game in a row. SFU finished with just nine, while they forced 18. Each team recorded 48 rebounds in the contest, Alli Williams had 17 boards for the Flash.