SACRED HEART (9-16, 7-7 NEC) VS. CENTRAL CONNECTICUT (10-15, 6-8 NEC)
Game 26 * Sat., Feb. 23, 2013 * Fairfield, CT * Pitt Center
Setting the Scene... The Sacred Heart Pioneers play host to Northeast Conference rival Central Connecticut Saturday afternoon on Newtown Community Day. Saturday is also "Senior Day" as the Pioneers honor seniors Shane Gibson, Nick Greenbacker, Justin Swidowski and Femi Akinpetide before they play in their final home game. The Pioneers and Blue Devils are both looking to snap losing skids and stay in the NEC Tournament hunt. The Pioneer are coming off an 81-74 loss to Quinnipiac, their third straight loss and fifth in the last six games to even their record at 7-7. CCSU comes in on a four-game slide and off an 88-67 loss at Bryant on Thursday night.
Series Notes... Saturday marks the 51st meeting all-time between SHU and CCSU.
- Central leads the all-time series, 32-18.
- The instate rivalry goes back to the Division II days for both schools.
- The Blue Devils own a 22-10 record against the Pioneers since SHU joined the NEC in 1999-2000.
- CCSU won the first meeting this season, 84-78, on January 10th.
- SHU is 7-8 against CCSU at home and 3-14 in Detrick Gymnasium since joining the NEC.
- Sacred Heart and Central have met five times in the postseason.
- The Blue Devils knocked the Pioneers from the NEC Tournament three times including winning the 2007 NEC title game. Sacred Heart ousted CCSU from the 2008 and 2009 tournaments.
Pioneers in the NEC... Sacred Heart is in its 14th season of play in the Northeast Conference in 2012-13.
- SHU is 105-148 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 529-495. 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. Howie Dickenman (Central Connecticut '70) is in his 17th season as the head coach at his alma mater. Dickenman is the second longest tenured head coach in school history and carries a 259-239 career record with 171 career NEC wins. He is a four-time NEC Coach of the Year award recipient and has led the Blue Devils to three conference titles. He has led CCSU to 14-straight NEC Tournament appearances, the longest active streak in the league.
Up Next... The Pioneers will play three-straight on the road to close out the regular season starting Monday night at Bryant University. SHU will end the week playing at LIU Brooklyn and St. Francis Brooklyn.
Last Meeting with CCSU... Sacred Heart's Shane Gibson and Steve Glowiak each had 22 points but a 10-0 run helped the Central Connecticut Blue Devils pull away in the second half for an 84-78 win in Detrick Gymnasium back on January 10th. All five Blue Devil starters were in double figures led by Matt Hunter's 21 points. The Blue Devils erased a 36-28 SHU lead at the half thanks to a blistering second half where they scored 56 points and shot 51.5 percent (17-33). CCSU sophomore Kyle Vinales scored all 15 of his points in the second half while rookie Brandon Peel posted 17 points and 17 rebounds, both career-high marks. The Pioneers took a season-high 80 shots but hit just 38.8 percent (31-80). SHU went to the line just seven times, hitting six, compared to 32 trips for CCSU (23-32). Junior Louis Montes finished with 14 points before fouling out. Glowiak's 22 points, six assists, a career-high, and six boards.