December 18, 2011

First Stop Albany: Women's Basketball Heads North Sunday for First of Three on the Road

Full Game Notes

The Storyline...Sacred Heart enters the game on a five-game winning streak having defeated Cal Poly 89-69 last Sunday. The Great Danes are on a little run of their own winning their last two contests against Siena and Niagara to head into Sunday's game 5-4. The Pioneers are having their best season today with a 9-1 record.

The Series...The Pioneers lead the all-time series 9-5 heading into Sunday's game. The last time these two teams met on December 1, 2010 a the Pitt Center, Sacred Heart topped Albany 61-52. The only time the two have seen each other in the postseason was when they were members of the Division II NECC. In 1996, the Great Danes knocked the Pioneers out of the tournament with a first round defeat 74-67.

SHU against the American East... In the 56 times Sacred Heart has played America East teams, the Pioneers hold a 36-20 record. The majority of play has been against Albany and Stony Brook, both of whom the Pioneers play again this year. Sacred Heart has a winning record against both schools. Earlier this season, the Pioneers hosted Stony Brook and handed them a 55-33 loss to improve the series record to 10-5. SHU does not have a losing record against any America East team, however they are even with the University of Hartford (5-5) and University of New Hapshire (1-1).

NCAA Leader... Senior forward Callan Taylor currently leads all active NCAA Division I players with 43 career double-doubles. She has recorded five so far this season in nine games. Her first of the year came in the season-opening 62-45 win over Siena. Taylor put up 13 points and pulled down 13 boards. Most recently, in the 89-69 win against Cal Poly last Sunday, she lit up the board with 21 points and snagged 12 rebounds. It was also her fifth game with 20-plus points.

NEC Player of the Week... Callan Taylor was named Choice Hotels Northeast Conference Co-Player of the Week for the third time this year after two 20-plus performances this week in the two SHU wins. In Sunday's win over the Big West's Cal Poly, Taylor, who is ranked 72nd in the NCAA, picked up her fifth double-double of the season putting up 21 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. She was also named NEC Player of the Week the first week of the season. Her 906 career rebounds and averaging 9.9 per game this season, the senior is nearing the 1,000 career-rebound mark. She will be only the second player in Pioneer history to hit the milestone. Kelly Gray (1983-87) recorded 1,037 in her four years at Sacred Heart.

NEC Rookie of the Week... Gabrielle Washington was named Choice Hotels Northeast Conference Rookie of the Week for the third time this season. The freshman guard continues to put up big numbers. She set a new career-high putting 24 points up on the board in the 89-69 win against Cal Poly last Sunday, surpassing her previous high of 17 set a week prior against Central Connecticut State. Twenty of the 24 points were put up in the first 20 minutes of the game when it seemed Washington just couldn't miss shooting 66.7 percent from the field. Overall last week, she shot 61.5 percent from the field.