#1 SACRED HEART (20-11, 16-2 NEC) vs. #3 Robert Morris (14-16, 11-7 NEC)
NEC Championship * Fairfield, Conn. * William H. Pitt Center * 3:00 PM
Inside the Series...
- SHU leads the all-time series with Robert Morris 22-10
- Just like the previous season, each team picked up a regular season win on its home court
- Always playing each other close, over the last five years the average margin of victory between the two teams is nine points, three of those nine games were decided by less than five points
- The Pioneers have faced Robert Morris four times in the NEC Tournament, winning twice and losing twice, including the falling to the Colonials in the 2007 championship game by just two points, 68-66, for SHU's only championship loss
- All meetings between SHU and RMU have come as Division I conference foes
Last Time They Met...
- SHU sat along atop the NEC standings after February's 62-52 win over Robert Morris
- Tarsi's second double-double of the weekend powered SHU to its 14th win of the season
- The senior pulled down a career-high 18 rebounds along with 14 points
- With SHU down one, 44-43, and just 4:28 left in regulation, Tarsi tallied six straight points bringing the Pioneer defense to life, and giving SHU a 47-44 lead, sparking a 21-8 game-ending streak. 15 of those final 21 points were from the free throw line
- Each team won two quarters. After SHU edged out the Colonials in the first 14-12, RMU took the next two 15-13 and 12-9 respectively. But the Pioneers dominated the fourth quarter 26-13
Scouting the Colonials...
- Robert Morris comes into Sunday's Championship having won its last three games, including Wednesday's upset of the No. 2 Bryant Bulldogs
- All-NEC second team selection Anna Niki Stamolamprou has led the Colonial offense all season and currently averages 13.9 points per game. She also leads the team in defensive rebounds, assists and steals
- RMU was picked to finish atop the league for the third straight year in the 2015-16 NEC Coaches Preseason Poll garnering 7 first-place votes
- 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
- 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 10-0, riding their regular season titles to Tournament Championships in 2006, 2009 and 2012
- In the Championship: 3-1
- The Pioneers are 15-5 when hosting an NEC Tournament game, and have won all three championships on their home floor
- SHU has only played in its opponents gym twice in the tournament and lost both contests. One of which was the 2007 championship game at Robert Morris. The Pioneers own a 3-5 record when playing an NEC tournament game at a neutral site, and never made it past the semifinal round
Career Numbers vs. Robert Morris...
|Cleo Polyzou (2-0)||1.5||0.0||0.0||5.0|
|Tykera Carter (3-0)||2.0||0.7||0.0||5.7|
|Adaysha Williams (6-6)||4.8||4.3||4.0||32.3|
|Erin Storck (2-0)||2.0||1.0||2.0||22.5|
|Danielle Durjan (1-0)||1.0||0.0||2.0||5.0|
|Shelby Hickey (5-2)||3.2||1.6||1.0||24.4|
|Lerae Ettienne (7-2)||4.4||2.6||0.1||11.3|
|Hannah Kimmel (6-6)||18.0||7.3||1.2||34.5|
|Alissa Tarsi (6-2)||6.8||4.7||0.0||15.5|
|Kelcey Castro (2-2)||9.0||2.0||2.5||27.0|
Home Court Advantage...
SHU has won its last seven home games improving their record to 11-4 this season when playing in the Pitt Center. Sacred Heart has always had success at home boasting a .723 winning percentage (215-82) 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 15-5 (.750) when hosting an NEC Tournament game, and have won all three titles on its home floor.
Head Coach Jessica Mannetti isn't the only one looking for her first Northeast Conference title. For the first time since 2006, no Pioneer on the roster has an NEC Champion playing experience. RS-junior Hannah Kimmel was a member of the 2012 NEC Championship team, but was sideline all season with the first of her two ACL injuries.
On Sunday, Hannah Kimmel recorded 10 points and 10 rebounds for her eleventh double-double of the season, while Alissa Tarsi posted her ninth of the year with 10 rebounds and a career-high 25 points. Running a system that spreads the defense, the pair pose a constant threat both outside and inside. The semifinal was the fourth time this season that Kimmel and Tarsi have recorded double-doubles in the same game, doing so previously versus Fairfield, LA-Lafayette and home against Wagner.
From Worst To First...
After the program's worst start of the NCAA Division I era, dating back to 1999, the Pioneers turned it around to post their second best NEC record of 16-2, second only to the undefeated 2008-09 team. Sunday's semifinal win improved Sacred Heart's overall season record to 20-11 making this the eighth 20-win season for the program.
For the 17th straight year, the Sacred Heart women's basketball team clinched a berth into the NEC Tournament with last Saturday's win over Central Connecticut. With the 62-52 win over Robert Morris, the Pioneers clinched a quarterfinal round home game for the 16th time.
Hannah Kimmel kept her double-digit streak alive on Wednesday. The RS-junior tallied 10 points in the NEC semifinal to make it 20 straight games in which she's scored 10 or more points. She has done so in all by three games this season.