The Storyline... The SHU women's basketball team returns to the court Monday night for the second of back-to-back games against Nutmeg State rival Quinnipiac. The Pioneers rallied from an 11 point halftime deficit Saturday afternoon but the Bobcats would eventually come away with the 61-56 victory. Sacred Heart sits in a three-way tie for fourth place in the standings, one game behind Quinnipiac in third. The Pioneers tied a season low with just a pair of three-pointers in the loss. SHU forced the Bobcats into 27 turnovers, which resulted in 22 of the Pioneers 56 total points. Callan Taylor recorded her eighth double-double of the season against Quinnipiac while Morgan Merriman dropped in a career high 16 points. The Pioneers return to their home floor looking to rebound from two straight losses. SHU is 8-3 at home in 2010-11, including a 5-1 mark against conference opponents.
Series... Sacred Heart leads the all-time series over Quinnipiac, 32-24, and has won 13 of the last 17 meetings. SHU is 17-8 against the Bobcats since joining the NEC in 1999-2000. The Pioneers have won 11-straight against Quinnipiac at home in the Pitt Center and own a 12-1 record overall versus Quinnipiac at home in division I games. The Pioneers also knocked off the Bobcats at home in the 2006 NEC Championship game in a 69-65 decision.
Scouting the Bobcats... Quinnipiac ranks second in the Northeast conference scoring 64.6 points per game in 2010-11. However, the Bobcats are also last in the league surrendering 68.3 points per contest this season. QU has used some of its size in the middle averaging 3.8 blocks per game, third in the NEC, and 14 offensive rebounds per game, fourth in the conference. Courtney Kaminski is tops on the Quinnipiac roster with 12.9 points per game in 2010-11. Brittany McQuain boasts the best rebounding average for the Bobcats at 6.4 boards per game. Quinnipiac has been a better team at home this season, posting a 7-3 record at the TD Bank Sports Center compared to a 5-9 mark on the road.
Merriman Hits the Mark... Sophomore Morgan Merriman has improved her career high in each of the last two games. Merriman came off the bench to lead the Pioneer attack against Quinnipiac, tallying 16 points. One game earlier she scored 14 points on seven-of-nine shooting against Long Island. Merriman boasts Sacred Heart's highest field goal percentage against NEC opponents, shooting 54.8 percent from the field.
Counting on Callan... Junior Callan Taylor is third in the NEC in scoring with 15.0 points per game and fourth in rebounding at 8.6 boards per contest. She has been even better in league games averaging a double-double with 15.1 points and 10.0 rebounds per game. Taylor recorded her eighth double-double of 2010-11 against Quinnipiac with 14 points and 15 rebounds.
Norman's Helping Hands... Freshman Ericka Norman has excelled since taking over the Pioneers starting point guard. The California native is averaging 4.4 assists per game against league opposition. Norman dished out six assists in the Pioneers loss at Long Island and has handed out 21 helpers in over the last four games. She has gone 14 straight games with multiple assists, including a career high seven versus St. Francis (NY). Norman is also chipping in 7.5 points per game in NEC contests.
Keeping Them Down... Sacred Heart is 11-0 this season when they lead heading into the intermission. The Pioneers are a perfect 12-0 in 2010-11 when having an advantage with ten minutes remaining in regulation. SHU holds a 14-1 mark when leading with 5:00 minutes to play with the only loss coming against Wagner as SHU led by one late after overcoming a 10 point Seahawk advantage in the second half.