SACRED HEART (7-11, 5-2 NEC) VS. MONMOUTH (8-12, 3-4 NEC)
GAME 19 * Sat., January 26, 2013 * Fairfield, CT * William H. Pitt Center
TV: MSG Plus2, Fox College Sports (Delay)
Setting the Scene... Sacred Heart will be looking to make it three-straight Saturday night when they play host to the Monmouth Hawks in a Northeast Conference match-up shown live on MSG Plus2. The Pioneers knocked the last team from the unbeaten ranks in NEC play Thursday night, beating the Bryant Bulldogs 87-76 at home. SHU scored a season-high 87 points and shot a season-best 60.0 percent (33-55) in dealing the first place Bulldogs their first conference loss of 2012-13. SHU sits at 5-2 in the NEC, tied for second place with Robert Morris a game behind Bryant. The Monmouth Hawks come to town off a 73-54 win over rival Fairleigh Dickinson on Thursday night. The Hawks are 3-4 in the NEC this season.
Series Notes... Saturday's game marks the 24th meeting between the Pioneers and the Hawks on the hardwood.
- SHU holds a 13-10 edge in the all-time series
- The Pioneers saw a five-game winning streak over the Hawks end last season with a 63-56 loss on the road. The Hawks erased a 54-46 SHU lead with 2:31 to play thanks to a 17-2 run to steal the win at home.
- SHU has won 10 of the last 13 meetings and are 7-3 at home all-time vs. the Hawks.
Pioneers in the NEC... Sacred Heart is in its 14th season of play in the Northeast Conference in 2012-13.
- SHU is 103-142 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 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 527-490. 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. King Rice (North Carolina '92) is in his first season as the head coach at Monmouth University. Rice is the fifth head coach in MU program history. He played his college basketball for Hall of Fame Head Coach Dean Smith at North Carolina. He has had assistant coaching stops at Vanderbilt, Illinois State and Oregon.
Up Next... Sacred Heart heads on the road for a pair of games next week. SHU will head to Wagner on Thursday night and Mount St. Mary's on Saturday for their only meetings this year with the Seahawks and Mount.