January 26, 2013

Championship Rematch; Pioneers Host Monmouth Saturday at 4

Full Game Notes

Setting the Scene... Saturday marks the first time Monmouth and Sacred Heart have met since March 11 when the Pioneers claimed their third NEC Championship with the 58-48 defeat of the Hawks. SHU heads into Saturday riding the momentum of two huge road wins over Saint Francis U and the come from behind win over Robert Morris. Meanwhile, the Hawks are in the same boat, topping St. Francis Brooklyn and LIU Brooklyn last weekend.

Series Notes... This is the 29th time in program history the Pioneers have played Monmouth
- The Pioneers lead the all-time series, 17-11
- Monmouth claimed victory in the only meeting before Sacred Heart joined the Northeast Conference
- SHU has faced the Hawks five times in the NEC Tournament. The Pioneers are 3-2 in these games, which includes their win in the 2012 NEC Championship Game

SHU Against the NEC... Sacred Heart is 197-99 all-time against Northeast Conference opponents
- The Pioneers went 15-3 last season against the NEC, including three tournament wins en route to their third NEC Championship
- Sacred Heart only lost to Quinnipiac, Monmouth and LIU Brooklyn last year
- SHU has a winning record against all NEC teams: Central Connecticut State 26-13, Fairleigh Dickinson 22-1, LIU Brooklyn 15-12, Monmouth 17-11, Mount St. Mary's 22-4, Quinnipiac 34-26, Robert Morris 18-7, Saint Francis U 14-8, St. Francis Brooklyn 21-9 and Wagner 18-8

Last Season Against the Hawks...The only time the Pioneers saw Monmouth during the regular season, they lost by 20 points, 70-50, at Monmouth. The only brightside of that game for Sacred Heart was that this was the game that now-graduated Callan Taylor pulled down board No. 1,036 becoming SHU's all-time rebounding leader. The next time the teams were battling for the NEC Championship. SHU outscored the Hawks 30-20 in the first half, which turned out to be all they needed as Monmouth turned on the heat in the second half. Both teams only managed 28 in the latter half with the Pioneers taking the Championship 58-48.

Point Guard Performs... Sacred Heart junior guard Ericka Norman flirted with a quadruple double last Saturday, scoring 16 points with nine assists, eight rebounds and seven steals to lead the Pioneers to a 71-50 win at Saint Francis U.  Norman was one of five Pioneers in double figures as SHU deals the Red Flash their first Northeast Conference loss of the season. Norman's performance earned her the honor of Ruby Tuesday's Player of the Game. She followed Saturday's stellar game with another incredible perfomance, nearly having a triple-double on Monday. The Chino Hills, Calif. native posted 14 points with eight assists and six steals in the Pioneers' come-from-behind 70-66 win over Robert Morris. Her weekend numbers earned her the honor of Co-Northeast Conference Player of the Week.