FAIRFIELD, Conn. (AP) -- Louis Montes scored a career-high 35 points as Sacred Heart held off short-handed LIU Brooklyn 77-73 Thursday night in the Northeast Conference opener for both teams, snapping a seven-game losing streak.
The Blackbirds (5-8) were playing without leading scorer Jamal Olasewere, C.J. Garner and Troy Joseph, who were suspended for the first two conference games for their roles in an on-campus brawl in September.
The Pioneers (3-9), coming off a 77-38 loss at George Washington on Dec. 30, scored the last 11 first-half points. Montes then scored 13 points in the first 6 minutes of the second half to help Sacred Heart build a 53-36 lead.
The Blackbirds answered with a 23-6 run to tie it at 59 with 6:34 to go. With LIU up 68-67 with 2:12 left, Montes' layup restored the Pioneers' lead.
Booker Hucks scored a career-high 20 for LIU Brooklyn, which has lost four straight.