November 15, 2010

Sacred Heart Squares Off With Saint Joseph's Tuesday Night

Complete Game Notes in PDF Format

The Storyline...  The Sacred Heart Pioneers play the second of back-to-back home games to start the 2010-11 season Tuesday night against the Saint Joseph's Hawks.  The Pioneers won their season opener Friday night in a 65-48 comeback victory over Saint Peter's.  A win would make SHU 2-0 to start the season for the  first time since the 2003-04 campaign.  The Hawks also enter their second game of the year with a 1-0 record after knocking off Providence 64-49 at home.

Series... Tuesday's match-up between the Pioneers and Hawks will mark the first meeting in the history of the two programs.  Sacred Heart has two other games in 2010-11 scheduled against opponents it has never faced.  SHU will also have inaugural contests with Auburn and St. Bonavneture later this season.

Scouting the Hawks...  Saint Joseph's finished the 2009-10 campaign with a 17-15 record and earned a bid to the postseason WNIT.  The Hawks were picked to finish seventh in the 14 team A-10 conference in the preseason coaches poll.  SJU had four players reach double figures in points in its opening night win over Providence.  Junior Michelle Baker led the charge with 16 points while classmate Kelly Cavallo paced the Hawks on the glass with nine rebounds. 

SHU Against the Atlantic 10... The Pioneers are 1-8 all-time against opponents who currently reside in the Atlantic 10.  Sacred Heart last faced an A-10 team December 20, 2008 in a 62-50 loss to Rhode Island.  Of present Atlantic 10 teams SHU has faced URI and La Salle the most often, posting a 0-3 record against both squads. Sacred Heart's best head-to-head in the A-10 comes against Massachusetts as the two schools have split their only two meetings.  The 61-46 Pioneer victory at the Pitt Center back on November 21, 2003 marks the program's only victory over Atlantic 10 opposition.

Kiley Evans Named Choice Hotels/NEC Player of the Week...  Kiley Evans recorded her second career double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds to take home the first Choice Hotels/NEC player of the week award of her career.  Evans went 6-for-10 from the floor including 2-of-3 from beyond the arc in the Pioneers 65-48 opening night victory over Saint Peter's.  Her second three ball triggered a 17-4 SHU run that opened up a 48-37 second half lead for the Pioneers. The sophomore guard's 11 rebounds tied a career high set in her freshman year against Stony Brook.  Evans point and rebound totals in her 37 minutes of action led all players on the floor.  Evans is coming off of a solid freshmen campaign which saw her average 11.3 points per game en route to being named to the NEC All-Rookie squad.

Apo Continues To Climb All-Time Lists... Senior captain Alisa Apo posted six assists against Saint Peter's to reach 357 helpers in her career, passing Elaine Agosti for second all-time in SHU history.  Apo needs just 36 more assists in 2010-11 to have the most assists in Pioneer history, a mark currently held by Kerri Burke's 394 assists.  Apo's next field goal will also be a milestone that will vault her over Kim Filia for fourth place on Sacred Heart's career scoring list.

Pioneers Ink First NLI For 2011-12...  Gabrielle Washington (Mesa, AZ) has signed a national letter of intent and will be a Sacred Heart Pioneer in the fall of 2011.  Washington, the 2008-09 Pima Region player of the year, has averaged over 20 points per game in her last two seasons.  Last season she eclipsed the 1,000 point plateau en route to being named the East Valley Region player of the year.

The Coaches...  Ed Swanson (SHU '89) is in his 21st season as head coach at his alma mater.  Swanson posts a 342-232 record in his career at Sacred Heart.  His teams have a 216-113 record since joining the Division I ranks in 1999-00.  Swanson was inducted in to the New England Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009 and is the program's longest tenured coach and all-time leader in coaching wins (342).  He has been named the NEC Coach of the Year three times and is the all-time leader in regular season NEC wins (150).  Cindy Griffin  (Saint Joseph's '91) enters her tenth season as the head coach of the Hawks and 13th season as a collegiate head coach.  She has compiled a 207-157 record while leading Saint Joseph's to six postseason appearances.  In 2003 she was named the Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year and reached the Elite Eight of the 2004 WNIT postseason tournament.

No Extra Time...  Sacred Heart made its way through the entire 2009-10 schedule without playing a single overtime game.  The Pioneers have not played an extra period of basketball in  61 straight contests dating back to November 22, 2008.  In that game SHU lost a heart breaking 59-58 decision to cross-town rival Fairfield in the Arena at Harbor Yard.  The Pioneers last played an overtime game at home back in a Northeast Conference semifinal on March 8, 2005 against Robert Morris.  The Colonials earned a 68-62 victory in that contest to advance to the NEC championship game.  Sacred Heart last won an overtime game February 26, 2004 in a 99-94 affair against Monmouth that needed double overtime to produce a winner.

Crashing The Glass...  Callan Taylor nearly averaged a double-double in 2009-10 as she led the Pioneers with 9.4 rebounds per game.  She became the first Pioneer to ever lead the Northeast Conference in rebounding.  After her first two seasons in Fairfield, CT Taylor has compiled 515 rebounds, putting her on pace to become just the second player to reach the 1,000 mark.  Along with her 821 points Taylor could also become just the second player in Pioneer history to eclipse the 1,000 plateau for both points and rebounds.  She recorded 16 double-doubles last season to break a SHU division I record, previously held by Jasmine Walker's 13 in 2006-07.  Taylor twice put up her season high 14 rebounds in games against Saint Peter's and Yale.