SACRED HEART (0-0, 0-0 NEC) VS HARTFORD (1-0, 0-0 America East)
GAME 1 * Fairfield, Conn. * Coach Bike Court * 3:00 PM
The Sacred Heart women's basketball team hosts the University of Hartford Sunday in the 2015-16 season opener at home on Coach Bike Court.
Inside the Series
- Hartford leads the series 7-5 after stifling the Pioneers' comeback in last year's contest 68-63
- The series dates back to Dec. 14, 1976 when SHU dominated the Hawks 74-40
- All five of Sacred Heart's win came during the Division II era (before 1999) when SHU was 5-1 against Hartford
- Since joining the Division I ranks, the Pioneers are winless against Hartford, 0-6.
The Last Time They Met...
- The Pioneers overcame a 16-point defecit, but fell short in the final minute fo the 68-63 loss
- Adaysha Williams tallied a then season-high 18 points, seven of which came in the final five minutes
- Gabrielle Washington and Johanna Lopez also posted then-season highs of 15 and 12 points respectively
- Hartford jumped out to a 14-0 in the first five minutes
- After entering halftime down seven, 38-31, the Pioneers chipped away in the second half tying the game at 51 with 9:13 remaining
- SHU took its first lead, 58-57, on a Lopez lay-in with less than five minutes to play
- The score evened at 60 and 63 before Hartford's Cherelle Moore, who led the game with 20 points, made two jumpers in the final minute
The Pioneers are 7-9 in season-opening games since going Division I in 1999-00.
In a building where they have always found success, SHU women's hoops is 11-5 in home openers over 16 Division I seasons. The last time the Pioneers hosted the Hartford Hawks in a home opener was on November 21, 2000 when they fell to the Hawks 67-55.
Since its opening in 1997, SHU women's hoops boasts a .725 winning percentage (204-77) when playing in the William H. Pitt Center. While never posting a losing home record, the Pioneers' went undefeated at home twice in 2003-04 (14-0) and 2005-06 (15-0). SHU is 13-5 (.722) when hosting an NEC Tournament game, and have won all three titles on its home court
After finishing fourth in the league in 2014-15 with an 11-7 conference record, the Pioneers were picked fifth in the 2015 NEC Preseason Coaches Poll. Robert Morris, who won it all in 2014, received seven first-place votes landing atop the poll, while Bryant was second with two first-place nods and Central Connecticut State received one to place third. The Bulldogs and Blue Devils shared the regular season crown in 2015, but St. Francis Brooklyn rose to the challenge in the tournament to win its first NEC Championship.
(You've Got) The Right Stuff...
Hannah Kimmel earned her second All-NEC honor at the end of last season being named to the All-NEC First Team after an being an All-Rookie selection in 2013-14. In October of this year, the RS-junior added another accolade to her resume, being voted to the 2015 Preseason All-NEC Team. Kimmel started 2014-15 red hot with six straight double-digit point performances. On December 20, she led the Pioneers to a huge 72-49 win over Big East member Villanova lighting up the scoreboard with a career-high 33 points. Cleaning up the boards all year, the Harpursville, N.Y. native became the first Pioneer since 2005 to pull down 20-plus rebounds with a personal-best 23 in Sacred Heart's 101-90 road win at Saint Francis U. 7.04 defensive rebounds per game had her ranked second in the NEC at the end of the regular season and 29th among the NCAA Division I ranks, while her 8.7 rebounds per game ranked third in the league.
No Experience Needed...
For the first time since 2006, the Sacred Heart roster features no players with Northeast Conference Championship experience to her name. RS-junior Hannah Kimmel was a member of the 2012 championship team as a freshman, but was sidelined for the year with her first torn ACL.
Cleo Polyzou joins the Pioneers in 2015-16 all the way from Athens, Greece. When she takes the court this season, the rookie will officially become the second international Division I letterwinner for SHU, and the first since Ireland-native Kate Maher played 2000-04.