Sacred Heart holds off St. Francis (Pa.) 71-68

The Associated PressJanuary 13, 2012

LORETTO, Pa. (AP) Shane Gibson scored 26 points, hitting four free throws in the final 26 seconds, as Sacred Heart held off St. Francis (Pa.) 71-68 Thursday night to snap a three-game Northeast Conference skid.

The Pioneers (8-10, 2-3) shot a season-high 56.1 percent (23 of 41) to overcome 22 turnovers.

Gibson made 9 of 12 field goals and also had five of Sacred Heart's season-high 12 steals.

The Pioneers led by eight in the first half, but only 35-34 at halftime.

After the Red Flash (3-13, 2-3) used a 6-0 spurt to lead 50-45 with 14:32 remaining, Sacred Heart pulled ahead 61-53.

But the Pioneers didn't make a basket for the next 5:29 and St. Francis tied it at 62 with 2:28 left.

Phil Gaetano's 3-pointer and six free throws allowed Sacred Heart to hold on despite a pair of 3s by Anthony Ervin, who led the Red Flash with 14 points.