SACRED HEART (8-11, 6-2 NEC) AT WAGNER (11-8, 5-3 NEC)
Game 20 * Thurs., Jan. 31, 2013 * Staten Island, NY * Spiro Center
Setting the Scene... Sacred Heart is on the road Thursday night taking on the Wagner Seahawks. The Pioneers have won three-straight and sit in a three-way tie for first place atop the Northeast Conference standings. SHU is coming off an 82-68 win over Monmouth on Saturday, leaving them tied with Bryant and Robert Morris, all three at 6-2 in league play. Senior Shane Gibson was named the Choice Hotels NEC Player of the Week on Monday after averaging 29.5 ppg in the Pioneers two wins. Gibson netted a season-high 33 points in the win over Monmouth with 24 coming in the second half. The Wagner Seahawks return home after road wins at Mount, 52-50, and Saint Francis U, 81-56, last week. The Seahawks are 5-1 at home this season.
Series Notes... Thursday marks the 28th meeting between Sacred Heart and Wagner on the hardwood.
- The Seahawks leading the all-time series, 15-12.
- Wagner won the only meeting last season, 73-54, in Fairfield and have won three of the last four meetings.
- This will be the only meeting between SHU and Wagner this year.
- The Pioneers and Seahawks have played twice in the postseason with the Pioneers winning both games. Sacred Heart knocked out Wagner in the opening round of the 2007 tournament, 100-66 and won in Staten Island, 55-49, in the 2008 NEC Semifinals.
Pioneers in the NEC... Sacred Heart is in its 14th season of play in the Northeast Conference in 2012-13.
- SHU is 104-142 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 528-490. 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. Bashir Mason (Drexel '07) is in his first as head coach for the Wagner Seahawks. Mason was an assistant coach for the Seahawks the last two seasons. He is the youngest coach in the Division I at 28 years old. Mason also had an assistant coaching stint at Marist College.
Up Next... The Pioneers continue their road trip on Saturday afternoon with a stop at Mount St. Mary's. SHU will then be home for five of their next six.