Pioneers Set to Battle Saint Francis U in NEC Semifinal Wednesday

Pioneers Set to Battle Saint Francis U in NEC Semifinal Wednesday

#1 SACRED HEART (19-11, 16-2 NEC) vs. #4 Saint Francis U (14-16, 11-7 NEC)

NEC Semifinal * Fairfield, Conn. * William H. Pitt Center * 7:00 PM

Live Stats | Video | Full Game Notes

Inside the Series...

  • This is the 32nd meeting between SHU and SFU
  • Sacred Heart completed the regular season sweep of Saint Francis the past two season to come into Wednesday on a four game win streak against the Red Flash
  • With Jessica Mannetti at the helm, the Pioneers have no scored less than 80 points against Saint Francis in the last seven contests and are 5-2 versus the Red Flash under Mannetti's leadership
  • SHU has outscored SFU 643-620 over the last three seasons, an average of 91.8-88.5
  • The Pioneers and Red Flash have met three times in the NEC Tournament wish SHU advancing just once. In 2013-14, the Pioneers and Red Flash duked it out in a double-overtime NEC quarterfinal battle. Once again, SHU lost the battle in record-breaking fashion, 132- 124


Last Time They Met...

  • With the 80-67 victory over Saint Francis U, the Sacred Heart women's basketball team is Champion of the regular season in the Northeast Conference and have clinched home court advantage for every round of the NEC Tournament.
  • Hannah Kimmel led the second-half comeback scoring 15 of her season-high 28points in the third and fourth quarters as the Pioneers overpowered the Red Flash in the second half by 20 points
  • After a first half that saw SHU shoot 39.3% from the floor to Saint Francis's 55.2%, the Pioneers were down 38-31 heading into the third quarter. Less than a minute into the period, Shelby Hickey got the Pioneers' offense going getting the and-one basket after draining a three from the left side. The big play sparked an 11-point run for SHU that saw the Pioneers take their first lead of the game, 42-40, on a three-pointer from Kimmel. SFU managed to tie the game once from there at 45 points, but it always broke in Sacred Heart's favor


Scouting the Red Flash...

  • NEC Rookie of the Year Jessica Kovatch is second in the league and 16th in the nation averaging 21.3, making her the highest scoring freshman in the county
  • The Red Flash finished the regular season with a pair of losses, but came back to overpower Central Connecticut 83-77 in Sunday's quarterfinal game
  • Having one of the NEC's top scorers, Saint Francis U leads the league in scoring averaging 74.3 points per game, and three-point field goal percentage (.329). The Red Flash also plays a tough defense topping the NEC in blocked shots (4.90 per game) and steals (11.38 per game)

SHU in the NEC Tournament...

  • 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 17-13 all-time in the NEC Tournament, and 12-11 in the tournament against current NEC institutions
  • In the Quarterfinals: 10-6
  • In the Semifinals: 4-5
  • In the Championship: 3-1
  • The Pioneers are 14-5 when hosting an NEC Tournament game, and have won all three championships on their home floor

Career Numbers vs. Saint Francis U...

Adaysha Williams (7-7) 13.4 3.6 2.85 33.1
Shelby Hickey (7-2) 5.4 3.3 1.86 20.6
Lerae Ettienne (10-1) 5.7 4.6 0.33 13.0
Hannah Kimmel (7-7) 19.9 10.4 2.0 35.0
Alissa Tarsi (7-3) 5.0 4.4 0.42 14.0
Tykera Carter (2-0) 5.5 1.5 0.5 10.0
Kelcey Castro (2-2) 14.5 1.5 3.0 32.0
Erin Storck (2-0) 3.5 2.5 0.5 16.5
Cleo Polyzou (1-0) 0 0 0 2.0


Keeping it Going...
Hannah Kimmel kept her double-digit streak alive on Sunday. The RS-junior tallied 12 points in the NEC quarterfinal to make it 19 straight games in which she's scored 10 or more points. 


Home Court Advantage...
SHU has won its last six home games improving their record to 10-4 this season when playing in the Pitt Center. Sacred Heart has always had success at home boasting a .723 winning percentage (214-82) on its home court. While never posting a losing record at home since the building's opening in 1997, 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 floor.


Chasing the Record...
Hannah Kimmel has knocked down 72 three-pointers so far this season coming into Wednesday's semifinal. The NEC Player of the Year needs just four more to tie Maggie Cosgrove's single-season record.


Hot Streak...
Sunday's 66-47 win over Mount St. Mary's in the NEC quarterfinal marked Sacred Heart's first 10-game win streak since the 2008-09 season. That season, the Pioneers won 21 straight games going perfect through conference play, and all the way through the NEC Tourament clinching the program's second Championship. The current SHU squad has not dropped a game since January 30 when it fell to Bryant at home.


NEC Players of the Week...
The Pioneers claimed the last four Choice Hotels NEC Player of the Week awards of the 2015-16 season. NEC Player of the Year Hannah Kimmel took three of the last four, including the final two, and NEC Most Improved Player Alissa Tarsi picked up her first nod.