SACRED HEART (8-12, 6-3 NEC) AT MOUNT ST. MARY'S (8-12, 3-6 NEC)
Game 21 * Sat., Feb. 2, 2013 * Emmitsburg, MD * Knott Arena
Setting the Scene... The Sacred Heart Pioneers finish up a two-game road swing on Saturday night facing the Mount St. Mary's Mountaineers at Knott Arena. The Pioneers are looking to shake off a tough 84-78 overtime loss at Wagner on Thursday that ended their three-game winning streak. SHU dropped to 6-3 in the Northeast Conference and is in a four-way tie for second place in the league standings with Robert Morris, Wagner and LIU Brooklyn. The Mount earned a hard fought 77-73 win over Quinnipiac at home on Thursday to improve to 3-6 in NEC play.
Series Notes... Saturday marks the 26th meeting between SHU and the Mount.
- Mount St. Mary's holds an 18-7 edge in the all-time series.
- The Mount won the only meeting last season, an 81-80 double overtime thriller in Fairfield. SHU's Shane Gibson scored a career-high 41 points in the loss.
- MSM has won seven-straight over the Pioneers.
- This will be the only meeting during the 2012-13 regular season.
- SHU is just 2-10 in Knott Arena with their last win coming in 2007-08
- The Pioneers and Mountaineers have played twice in the postseason with Mount St. Mary's winning both meetings. The Mount knocked the Pioneers out of the 2009 tournament with a 68-63 win at home in the semifinals. They also met in the 2008 NEC Championship with the Pioneers falling at home, 68-55.
Pioneers in the NEC... Sacred Heart is in its 14th season of play in the Northeast Conference in 2012-13.
- SHU is 104-143 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 528-491. 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. Jamion Christian (Mount St. Mary's '04) is in his first season at the helm of his alma mater. Christian is the 22nd head coach in Mount history and a 2004 graduate. He spent last season an assistant coach at VCU, helping the Rams to the third round of the NCAA Tournament. He has also had coaching stops at William & Mary and at Bucknell.
Up Next... Sacred Heart returns home for five of their next six games starting Thursday night hosting the Fairleigh Dickinson Knights. SHU is 4-0 in the Pitt Center this season against NEC teams.