The Storyline...The Pioneers head to Central Connecticut State University Saturday to open 2011-12 league play. Sacred Heart is looking for revenge after Central knocked them out in the first round of the Northeast Conference Tournament last year in a close 54-49 game. It looks to be a good game between the in-state rivals as Sacred Heart and CCSU both have only one loss so far this season.
The Series...Sacred Heart leads the all-time series against the Blue Devils 24-12. Since the 1999-2000 season when the teams because conference enemies, the Pioneers are 20-5. They have faced each other twice in postseason play. Both times Central was victorious.
Scouting the Blue Devils...Central Conn. is also opening NEC play in the game against Sacred Heart. They come into the game with a 4-1 record. Their only loss came at the hands of Hartford, 65-56. All games have been decided by nine or less points, except the win over New Hampshire which CCSU won by 39. Junior guard Jaclyn Babe leads the Blue Devils in scoring, averaging 15.8 points per game. Her classmate Kirsten Daamen isn't far behing with 14.8 ppg.
SHU Against the NEC... Saturday's game at Central Conn. will open conference play this season for the Pioneers. Last year, Sacred Heart was 12-6 against NEC teams, earning them the No. 3 seed in the tournament. The Pioneers are 162-54 all-time against NEC opponents since joining the league in 1999. Their best record was the 2008-09 season when they went 18-0 in conference play, earning the top spot in the conference. That year, Sacred Heart won the NEC Championship.