Sacred Heart (4-14, 1-2 NEC) at St. Francis Brooklyn (11-7, 2-1 NEC) Game 19
January 18th, 2014 - 5:00 pm - Pope Physical Education Center
Setting the Scene... The Sacred Heart Pioneers head to Brooklyn looking for their second NEC win of the season against the St. Francis Brooklyn Terriers at the Pope Physical Education Center. The Terriers are looking for two consecutive wins after defeating the Central Connecticut State Blue Devils Thursday night, 76-66. SHU is looking for revenge after St. Francis Brooklyn defeated the Pioneers on the final day of the regular season to earn a berth into last year's Northeast Conference Tournament. Last season, both teams beat each other at home.
Last Time Out... Sacred Heart dropped its second conference game of the season at Bryant Thursday night. The Bulldogs went on a 15-0 second half run to pull away from SHU on their way to defeating the Pioneers 85-70. The Pioneers had trouble defending Alex Francis inside as the senior forward scored 27 points. Louis Montes scored a season-high 28 points on 8-of-12 shooting for Sacred Heart. Bryant scored 23 points off 16 Sacred Heart turnovers and outscored the Pioneers 50-32 in the paint. Sacred Heart made matters worse by missing ten free throws, going 13-of-23 from the line.
SHU vs. St. Francis Brooklyn Series Notes... This is the 25th meeting between SHU and St. Francis Brooklyn.
- The Terriers hold a 15-9 edge in the all-time series
- SHU is 3-10 on the road at St. Francis Brooklyn with their last win coming back in the 2008-09 season.
- Last season, both teams held serve at home with the Terriers defeating SHU on the final day of the 2012-13 regular season to earn a berth into the NEC tournament as the 8th and final seed.
Pioneers in the NEC... Sacred Heart is in its 15th season of play in the Northeast Conference in 2013-14.
- SHU is 107-154 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, reaching the championship game twice.
A lot More Mostafa... Senior Mostafa Abdel Latif has been a huge factor for the Pioneers in the past seven games. After averaging just 9.2 minutes in the Pioneers' first nine games this season, Abdel Latif has been let loose for 26.3 minutes per game over the last seven. In his last six games, the senior forward is averaging 9.3 points and 10.0 rebounds. Mostafa is now leading the Pioneers in rebounding (5.9 rebs/game) and has climbed all the way into fifth in the NEC in rebounding.
Slumping Evans... Over the last six games, junior guard Chris Evans is shooting an icy 25% (14-of-56) from the field. The Connecticut native is 2-of-12 from beyond the three-point arc during that span. A positive for Evans, is that he is shooting close to 80% from the free throw line, 27-of-34 in the six-game span. After averaging 14.3 points in his first 12 games this season, Evans has averaged 9.5 in his last six.
FREE Throws...Sacred Heart shot a season-high 89 percent (24-of-27) from the free throw line in the Pioneers' win over FDU on Saturday afternoon. After missing ten free throws (13-of-23) in the win over New Hampshire, the Pioneers have shot much better the past three games, going 50-of-67 (74.6%) in the past three contests. SHU is currently shooting 69.2% from the charity stripe.
Home Sweet Home... On Saturday afternoon, the Pioneers earned their first victory of the season at the William H. Pitt Center. Sacred Heart had lost its previous seven games at home, dating back to February 7th of last season.
Barnett Burstin' Thru... Freshman De'Von Barnett earned his second Northeast Conference Rookie of the Week honor two weeks ago after pouring in a career-high 15 points in the Pioneers' 66-53 win over UNH on January 4th. Since returning from injury, Barnett is averaging 9.9 points and 4.4 rebounds per game (ten games). Barnett made his way into the starting lineup for the first time this season against Robert Morris on January 9th.
Montes 1,000.... Senior Louis Montes scored his 1,000th career points on December 18th in a Pioneers' 70-61 loss at Santa Clara. The senior forward now has 1,103 career points in 106 career games. Montes becomes the 37th Pioneer to eclipse 1,000 points in a career and the 190th player in Northeast Conference history. Most recently, Montes scored a season-high 28 points at Bryant Thursday night. Montes has scored in double digits in 50m career games.
Up Next... The Pioneers will head west to take on the Robert Morris Colonials on Thursday night.