SACRED HEART (9-18, 7-9 NEC) AT LIU BROOKLYN (15-13, 10-6 NEC)
Game 28 * Thurs., Feb. 28, 2013 * Brooklyn, NY * Wellness, Recreation and Athletic Center
Setting the Scene... The Sacred Heart Pioneers head to LIU Brooklyn Thursday night looking to snap a five-game losing skid as they continue to battle for the final Northeast Conference Tournament spot. The Pioneers, who opened the league slate 6-2, have dropped six of their last seven and sit tied with St. Francis Brooklyn for eighth place in the NEC standings at 7-9. The two teams will meet in the regular season finale Saturday afternoon in Brooklyn. The LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds are in a three-way tie for third place at 10-6 after falling in the final seconds at Wagner Sunday night, 94-92. LIU has lost two-straight coming in to Thursday night.
Series Notes... Thursday marks the 26th meeting between SHU and LIU Brooklyn.
- The Blackbirds lead the all-time series, 16-9
- SHU snapped a five-game LIU Brooklyn winning streak with a 77-73 win over the Blackbirds at home on Januayr 3rd this season
- The Pioneers and Blackbirds have met just once in the postseason. LIU Brooklyn knocked the Pioneers from the tournament last season as the top-seed, winning 80-68 at home in the WRAC on their way to a second-straight NEC title.
- SHU is 5-6 at home against LIU Brooklyn and 1-5 at the Wellness Center
Pioneers in the NEC... Sacred Heart is in its 14th season of play in the Northeast Conference in 2012-13.
- SHU is 105-150 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 529-497. 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 will close out the regular season on Saturday afternoon with a return trip to Brooklyn to face the Terriers of St. Francis Brooklyn. The Pioneers beat SFNY at home earlier this season, 66-65. SHU and St. Francis Brooklyn are currently tied for the eighth and final NEC playoff spot.
Last Meeting with LIU Brooklyn... Sacred Heart junior Louis Montes poured in a career-high 35 points to lead the Pioneers to a 77-73 win over LIU Brooklyn in the NEC opener for both teams back on Janaury 3rd. Montes hit 13-of-17 from the field including a pair of threes and went seven of eight at the charity stripe en route to a new career-high. He added in eight rebounds, five offensive, a pair of assists and steals and two huge blocks in the closing minute to help the Pioneers end a five-game slide against the Blackbirds. In addition to Montes, Shane Gibson and Steve Glowiak both found double digits, finishing with 13 points apiece. The Blackbirds got 20 points from Booker Hucks off the bench as the LIU reserves outscored SHU's 26-1 in the loss. Point guard Jason Brickman finished with 11 points and nine assists.