The Storyline... With just two games left in the regular season, Sacred Heart is tied with Quinnipiac for first place in the Northeast Conference. The Red Flash has already clinched a spot in the NEC Tournament, but is fighting for a high seed as they are currently in a three-way tie for third place. On Saturday, the Pioneers are looking to rebound after a tough 74-68 loss to LIU Brooklyn which ended their three-game winning streak. Saint Francis (PA) comes in having won their last two games.
The Series...Sacred Heart leads the all-time series against the Red Flash 12-8 after picking up another win earlier this season, beating Saint Francis (PA) in Altoona 85-56. The Pioneers have taken four of the last five meetings. The last time Saint Francis (PA) topped Sacred Heart was on February 20, 2010, 75-69 at home in the DeGol Arena. The Pioneers hold a 8-2 advantage all-time when they have the home court advantage in the William H. Pitt Center.
Scouting the the Red Flash... Saint Francis (PA) comes into Saturday's game having won their last two matchups, including a 86-83 double-overtime win against Central Connecticut State on Monday night. Last week's two wins boosts the Red Flash's conference record to 10-6 and put them in a three-way tie for third place. Sophomore forward Alli Williams leads the Red Flash averaging 16.5 points and 8.4 rebounds per game. Freshman Alexa Hayward earned her third NEC Rookie of the Week award this week after a pair of double-digit point games last week and boosting her scoring average to 11.4 against conference opponents, ranking third among NEC rookies.
Senior Day... Saturday is Senior Day in the Pitt Center. Before both the men's and women's games, there will be a brieft ceremony honoring this year's seniors. The women's team will be saying goodbye to Callan Taylor, Alexis Campbell and Kris Iovino this year.
Callan Catches Fire... Callan Taylor lit up the scoreboard with 29 points in the 74-68 loss to LIU Brooklyn. This was the ninth time the team's leading scorer has posted 20-plus points in a game this season. She shot 65.0% (13-20)from the field, 50.0% (3-6) from outside the arc. Pulling down nine rebounds, Taylor fell just short of her 14th double double of the season. The six-foot forward has had one 30-plus point game this season, when she tallied 31 points, just one short of her career-high, in the 71-64 win over Robert Morris. Taylor is averaging 17.1 points per game this season, third in the league.
Making the Pass... Averaging 15.67 assists per game, the Pioneers lead the Northeast Conference and are ranked 30th in NCAA. Against Saint Francis (PA), Sacred Heart recorded 24 assists, the season's high thus far. Sophomore Ericka Norman leads the team and league averaging 5.93 assists per game. The point guard currently sits 14th in the Div. I ranks. On December 5 agaisnt Quinnipiac, Norman recorded 10 assists, the first Pioneer to do so since Alisa Apo on November 21, 2009.