January 2, 2013

NEC Play Opens with LIU Brooklyn Thursday Night

SACRED HEART (2-9) VS. LIU BROOKLYN (5-7, 0-0 NEC)

Game 12 * Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013 * Fairfield, CT * William H. Pitt Center

Video * Live Stats

Game Notes

Setting the Scene...  The Sacred Heart Pioneers welcome two-time defending Northeast Conference Champion LIU Brooklyn to the Pitt Center Thursday night to tip-off NEC play.  The Pioneers are in the midst of a seven-game losing streak as they open the 18-game league slate, coming in off a 77-38 loss at George Washington University last time out.  The Pioneers had their worst offensive game of the season in the loss, scoring 38 points while shooting just 23.7 percent, both season lows.  The LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds were picked to win their third-straight league title in the Preseason Coaches' Poll.  LIU comes in at 5-7 and on a three-game slide after an 81-80 loss at Lamar.  The Blackbirds have won just once away from home this season (1-5), a 97-70 win at Rice.

Series Notes...  This is the 25th meeting between SHU and LIU Brooklyn.

- The Blackbirds lead the all-time series, 16-8

- LIU Brooklyn has won five-straight over the Pioneers

- SHU lost the season series last year and fell in the opening round of the NEC Tournament to the top-seeded Blackbirds, 80-68.

- SHU is 4-6 at home against LIU Brooklyn and 1-5 at the Wellness Center

Pioneers in the NEC...  Sacred Heart begins its 14th season of play in the Northeast Conference in 2012-13. 

- SHU is 98-140 in conference play since joining the league in 1999-2000. 

- The Pioneers best finish in the league was second, a feat they accomplished twice, in 2006-07 and 2008-09.

- SHU has qualified for the Northeast Conference Tournament six times.

- SHU has made two NEC Championship game appearances, falling to Central Connecticut State in 2007 and losing to Mount St. Mary's at home in 2008.

The Head Coaches...  Dave Bike (Sacred Heart '69) begins his 35th year as the head coach of Sacred Heart University where he owns a career record of 522-487. Only Jim Boheim of Syracuse has spent more time coaching at one institution. He led the Pioneers to eight NCAA Division II tournaments and his 1985-86 team won the national championship while finishing 30-4. Bike was named the national Coach of the Year by the NABC following the title game.  Jack Perri (Bentley '98) became the 13th head coach in LIU Brooklyn program history and is in his first season on the bench for the Blackbirds.  Perri spent the last seven seasons on the Blackbird staff, the last five as an associate head coach.  He helped guide LIU to back-to-back NEC Championships the past two seasons.  Prior to coming to LIU Brooklyn, Perri was the head coach for one season for Division III Rhode Island College.

Up Next...  The Pioneers are back at home on Saturday afternoon for the first NEC doubleheader of the season taking on the St. Francis Brooklyn Terriers.  The SHU women will face LIU Brooklyn in the first game at 1 pm.