The Storyline... The momentum is in Manhattan's favor as the Jaspers are looking to improve on their four-game winning streak. The Pioneers, on the other hand, are looking to rebound from their second loss of the season; they fell 64-54 to Albany before the holiday break. Despite the loss, Sacred Heart is still hot this season, picking up nine wins, all but one by double-digits.
The Series...The all-time series between the Pioneers and the Jaspers is all tied up at one game a piece. In their first meeting on Nov. 30, 2008 the Jaspers claimed victory at home, winning the close game 68-62. However, almost a year later on Nov. 28, 2009, Manhattan came to the Pitt Center where Sacred Heart handed them a big 64-45 loss.
Scouting the Jaspers...Manhattan heads into Friday's game with a 5-6 record and is coming off a 50-37 win over St. Francis (NY) on Wednesday. Senior Lindsey Loutsenhizer and sophomore Monica Roeder lead the Jaspers' offense with 13.1 and 12.0 points per game respectively. Manhattan was picked to finish fourth in the MAAC in this year's preseason coaches' poll.
SHU Against the MAAC...The Pioneers are 17-18 (.888) all-time against opponents who currently reside in the MAAC. However, SHU is 7-1 in the since the 2009-10 season versus the MAAC. picking up three wins over St. Peter's, two over Siena and a win each over Manhattan and Fairfield. Sacred Heart's best head-to-head in the MAAC comes with a 2-0 mark against the Rider Broncs. The Pioneers defeated Siena 62-45 to open this season and Saint Peter's 80-55, adding a pair of wins to their record against the MAAC.
Rookie Report... This year a pair of freshman have been leaving their mark on the court this year. Gabrielle Washington from Mesa, Ariz. has already been named the Northeast Conference Rookie of the Week three times this season for her dominating offensive performances. The guard is averaging 12.4 points per game and has had two 20-plus point performances including her career-high 24 points in the win over Cal Poly. Katie Shepard has been manning the point off the bench for the Pioneers. The Lone Tree, Colo. native is averaging 3.1 ppg in 18.6 minutes per game. Shepard is second on the team with 30 assists.