#1 SACRED HEART (18-11, 16-2 NEC) vs. #8 MOUNT ST. MARY'S (9-20, 7-11 NEC)
NEC Quarterfinal * Fairfield, Conn. * William H. Pitt Center * 1:00 PM
Pioneers' NEC Tournament History...
- Sacred Heart won its first Northeast Conference title in 2006 going to the NCAA Tournament for the first time. Since then, the Pioneers have clinched the crown and the bid to go dancing twice in 2009 and 2012
- The Pioneers have clinched a spot in the Northeast Conference Tournament every year since joining the league prior to the 1999-00 season, making this the 17th straight year
- All, but once, SHU has finished no lower than tied for third place. The only other time was in 2013-14 when SHU went .500 (9-9) in conference play to secure the No. 6 seed
- This is the fifth time Sacred Heart has owned at least a share of the regular season crown, and the fourth time the Pioneers sat alone at the top. Each of the three previous times resulted in Northeast Conference Championship
- As the No. 1 seed in the NEC Tournament, the Pioneers are 9-0, riding their regular season titles to Tournament Championships in 2006, 2009 and 2012
- Sacred Heart is 16-13 all-time in the NEC Tournament, and 10-11 in the tournament against current NEC institutions
- The Pioneers are 13-5 when hosting an NEC Tournament game, and have won all three championships on their home floor
Inside the Series...
- The Pioneers completed the regular season sweep of the Mountaineers Monday night in Emmitsburgh, and come into Sunday's quarterfinal on a four-game win streak when facing MSM
- All matchups have come as Division I Northeast Conference opponents
- The Pioneers swept Mount St. Mary's last season, first winning 71-64 at home in overtime, and clinching a 66-60 victory on the road
- SHU is 2-1 when facing the Mount in the NEC Tournament. MSM knocked the Pioneers out of the 2001 semis, 50-45, before SHU advanced in 2005 and 2009 topping the Mount 76-56 and 73-59 respectively
Scouting the Mount...
- Mount St. Mary's comes into Monday's regular season finale on a two game streak having topped Central Connecticut 59-55 and St. Francis Brooklyn 57-40 in its last two contests
- The Mountaineers have one of the best defenses in the league ranking second holding opponents to 61.8 points per game and allowing their opponents to shoot just .392 from the floor
- Junior guard Alexis Carter leads the Mount in scoring and rebounding, ranking 11th in the NEC averaging 12.9 points per game, and is tied for ninth on the rebounding list averaging 6.9 boards per contest
Last Time They Met...
- SHU closed out the regular season with Monday night's 60-52 win over Mount St. Mary's in the Knott Arena behind Hannah Kimmel's third straight 20-plus point performance. The RS-junior led the game with 21 points and missed a double-double by just three rebounds.
- Down 20-16 with five minutes left in the second quarter, Kimmel laid one in cutting the Mount's lead to two points. After a two and a half minute scoring drought for both teams, Shelby Hickey drained the big three that gave the Pioneers their first lead of the game, 21-20. Lerae Ettienne built on the lead banking a shot in for two points capping off the seven-point run. Mount St. Mary's Jody Chickey landed a jumper with 19 seconds on the clock bringing SHU's lead back to just one point, but Kimmel landed a triple in the last 10 seconds to boost Sacred Heart to a 26-22 lead at the half
The Pioneers have now won 16 of their last 17 games with Monday's win over Mount St. Mary's. The victory also improved SHU to a perfect 9-0 in the month of February.
NEC Players of the Week...
Four the fourth straight week, a Pioneer was named the Choice Hotels NEC Player of the Week. SHU's leading scorer Hannah Kimmel clinched her third nod in four weeks after recording three straight 20-plus point performances. The small forward averaged 24.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per outing last week as Sacred Heart completed its regular season schedule with victories over two NEC Tournament qualifiers. Spearheading SHU's effort to sew up the No. 1 seed in the upcoming NEC Tournament, Kimmel connected at a 48.4 percent clip from the field, including an 8-for-18 sample from downtown.
Finishing Strong on the Road...
Sacred Heart is now 8-6 on the road after sweeping the last weekend. This marks the first time this year that the Pioneers own a winning road record. SHU closed out the regular season on an eight-game road win streak.