The Storyline... The Sacred Heart women's basketball team takes to the road Saturday afternoon for its second matchup of the season with the Wagner Seahawks. Three weeks ago the Pioneers knocked off the Seahawks 70-52 at home as five SHU players notched 11 points. Sacred Heart comes off of a 1-1 week in Northeast Conference play in which they defeated Bryant Saturday afternoon before falling to Central Connecticut State Monday night. The Pioneers currently sit tied for fourth as the NEC standings begin to take shape. Wagner used a 22-2 run to end its last game, a 73-59 victory over St. Francis (NY), to snap a four game losing streak.
Series... The Pioneers are 17-7 all-time against Wagner in a series that dates back to the 1978-79 season. Sacred Heart has won the last 12 meetings with the Seahawks, last falling to Wagner on the road December 13, 2003. In the program's division I era the Pioneers have lost just one home game to the Seahawks, a 74-44 decision back in January of 2000. The two teams met in the Spiro Sports Center in 2009-10 with Sacred Heart triumphing 71-64. SHU is 6-5 in its history on the road in Staten Island, NY.
"Taylor"-Made Scorer... Last time out Junior Callan Taylor was tops for the Pioneers with 12 points against Central Connecticut State. In 2010-11 Taylor has led the Pioneers in scoring in 13 of 17 games. Her best performance of the year was a 26 point and 16 rebound explosion against Bryant. The six-foot forward is averaging 14.2 points and 10.2 rebounds per game against NEC opposition. She ranks third in the league in scoring with 14.7 points per game. Taylor also fifth in Division I shooting 93.3 percent (42-45) from the free throw line.
The Turnover Battle... SHU ranks first in the Northeast Conference in turnover margin, holding a +2.00 advantage in the turnover battle this year. The Pioneers are forcing opponents into an average of 19.2 miscues per game in 2010-11. Sacred Heart has featured a relentless defense all season, forcing at least 20 turnovers eight times. The Pioneers have forced NEC opponents to commit an average of 21.5 turnovers per game.
"Stealing" the Show... Ericka Norman leads SHU with 30 steals in 2010-11. Norman ranks 10th in the NEC with 1.76 steals per game. The freshman point guard has started eight games this season and is averaging 7.3 points per game against league opposition. Since being inserted into the starting lineup against St. Bonaventure Norman is playing 30 minutes per game.
SHU Sharpshooters... Callan Taylor and Maggie Cosgrove both rank in the top-ten in the NEC in three-point field goal percentage in 2010-11. Taylor is sixth in the league with a 40.7 percent (24-59) mark from beyond the arc. Cosgrove is eighth in the conference shooting at a 37 percent (30-81) clip from downtown this season. Cosgrove is also the Sacred Heart all-time leader in career treys, currently sitting at 223 long balls in her three plus seasons wearing red and white.
Taking Charity... Sacred Heart is the top free throw shooting team in the league, hitting at a 71.3 (194-272) percent clip. Against Bryant the Pioneers went 18-for-21 at the charity stripe, including a perfect six-of-six down in the final minute to seal a victory over Bryant. Callan Taylor and Kiley Evans each rank in the top ten in the NEC individually at the free throw line.
Balanced Attack... Eight Pioneers notched at least five points in SHU's meeting with the Blue Devils. Callan Taylor (12) and Kiley Evans (11) reached double digits while Enjoli Bland chipped in a career high five points off the bench. Blair Koniszewski (8), Maggie Cosgrove (7) Maureen Reilly (7), Ericka Norman (6), and Alexis Campbell (6) all contributed to the Sacred Heart offense.