In the Mid-Major Poll released Dec. 27, the Sacred Heart women's basketball team jumped three spots to No. 21. Earlier this month, the Pioneers broke into the top 25 for the first time in the 2011-12 season, ranked 24th.
The Pioneers kicked off the season by winning their first four games by double-digits before St. Joseph's handed them their first loss (63-54). They rebounded from the loss by going on a five game streak for an overall 9-1 record, a best in program history. During the winning-streak, Sacred Heart picked up two Northeast Conference wins over in-state rivals Central Connecticut State University (53-40) and Quinnipiac University (74-65). Right before the holiday break, Albany delivered the second Pioneer loss of the season in the 64-54 defeat.
Sacred Heart remains perfect at home with a 4-0 record defeating Columbia (60-42), Lehigh (68-51), Stony Brook (55-33) and Cal Poly (89-69). When the Cal Poly Mustangs came to town was the first time the Pioneers had played a Big West opponent.
Callan Taylor (Overland Park, Kan.) and rookie Gabrielle Washington (Mesa, Ariz.) lead the Pioneer scoring with 16.9 and 12.4 points per game respectively. Overall, Sacred Heart is averaging 66.1 ppg, while their opponents only average 52.5. Taylor, who has picked up her 44th career double-double against Albany, also leads the team with 10.1 rebounds per game.
SHU is the only team to represent the NEC in the poll this time around. In the previous poll, Robert Morris was ranked No. 25, but just missed this time around. Like in the previous poll, Long Island also received votes, but not enough to make the top 25.
The Pioneers come back from the holiday break to play Manhattan College this Friday.