Pioneers Return to the Pitt Center to Host Yale Monday Night
Dec. 27, 2009
Sacred Heart Pioneers (7-3, 1-0 NEC) vs. Yale Bulldogs (4-5, 0-0 Ivy League)
Game #11 - Monday, December 28, 2009 - 7:00 pm - Fairfield, Conn. - William H. Pitt Center (2,100)
Multimedia: Gametracker; Live Video
The Storyline... The Sacred Heart Pioneers return home after four-straight on the road to host in state rival Yale University Monday night. The Pioneers are riding a season-best four-game winning streak into their match-up with the Bulldogs. SHU freshman Kiley Evans matched her season-high with 24 points to lead the Pioneers to a pre-holiday win at Binghamton, 67-59, at week ago. The Bulldogs dropped a 75-59 decision at Quinnipiac in their last contest.
Series... Sacred Heart holds a 9-3 advantage in the all-time series between the two schools. The Pioneers have won the eight-straight meetings but haven’t met the Bulldogs on the hardwood since the 2006-07 season. The two Connecticut schools had met in eight-straight seasons starting in the 1999-00 season, SHU’s first in Division I. The two teams met for the first time during the 1976-77 season with the Bulldogs posting an 85-40 win in the Small College Tournament. The Elis also posted wins in the series during the 1977-78 and the 1979-80 seasons. Sacred Heart’s first win the series came during the 1978-79 campaign, a 63-52 win at home.
Pioneers vs. the Ivy League... The Pioneers are 20-16 all-time versus teams from the Ivy League. SHU has faced every team in the league with the exception of the University of Pennsylvania. SHU is 1-1 this season, losing at Columbia and winning at home over Harvard. The Pioneers have faced in state rival Yale the most of any school, holding an 9-3 eries lead including eight-straight wins. The Pioneers hold a 3-1 lead over Princeton and are even with Columbia, 4-4 and Brown, 3-3. SHU is 1-2 against the Harvard Crimson, 0-2 against the Big Green of Dartmouth and 0-1 against Cornell.
The Coaches... Ed Swanson (SHU ‘89) is in his 20th season as head coach at his alma mater. Swanson posts a 329-224 record in his career at Sacred Heart. His teams have a 203-103 record since joining the Division I ranks in 1999-00. Swanson was inducted in to the New England Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009 and is the program’s longest tenured coach and all-time leader in coaching wins (329). He has been named the NEC Coach of the Year three times and is the all-time leader in regular season NEC wins (139). Chris Gobrecht (Southern California ‘77) is in her fifth season at the helm of the Yale University women’s basketball program. Gobrecht has a 39-80 record in her five years as the head coach of the Bulldogs and has amassed a 464-391 mark in her 30 years as a head coach.
Scouting the Bulldogs... The Yale Bulldogs are off to a 4-5 start to their season but come in having lost two-straight, falling to NEC member Quinnipiac last time out, 75-59. After beating Holy Cross and Army to open the season, the Bulldogs have lost five of their last seven. Senior Melissa Colborne is the team’s leading scorer averaging 10.7 points per game while shooting a team-best 46.8% (36-77) from the field. Junior forward Mandy Gobrecht averages 9.9 points per game and 7.3 caroms per game and leads the team with 10 blocks. Sophomore Michelle Cashen is the team’s top-rebounder pulling down 7.8 rebounds a night. The Bulldogs came in to the season picked fifth in the Ivy League Preseason Poll.
Last Meeting with Yale... SHU guard Khalia Cain scored a career-high 22 points knocking down 14-of-17 at the free throw line as the Pioneers hung on for a 72-66 win at Yale on November 25, 2006. Amanda Pape and Kaitlin Sowinski each added 16 in the win. The Pioneers built up an 11-point lead half way through the first half but Yale used some full court pressure to cut the lead to four. SHU led 33-30 at the half but the Bulldogs tied the game on their first possession of the second half, as Jamie Van Horne converted a three-point play. Sowinski fueled a Pioneer 8-0 run with three lay-ups that gave the SHU the lead back, 41-33, into the first media time-out of the half. Out of the stoppage, Pape pushed it to a 13-0 run with a pair of steals and fast break lay-ups, the last a three-point play that gave Sacred Heart a 46-33 lead with 15:57 on the clock. The Sacred Heart lead peaked at 14, 60-46, with 8:36 to go when Yale started clawing their way back on the strength of senior Erica Davis’s 14 second half points. Davis got the lead under 10 and then got the Bulldogs to four, 65-61, with a lay-up with 3:23 on the clock. Cain bounced it back to five with a free throw but Yale got to within three twice in the final minute before Pape and Cain iced the game at the free throw line. Cain, getting her first career start, played a career-high 37 minutes in pouring in her game-high 22. She added two steals and an assist. Sowinski hit eight-of-10 from the field and picked up her first career double double with 12 rebounds to go with her 16 points.
Last Time Out... Sacred Heart freshman Kiley Evans poured in 24 points as the Pioneers shot a season-high 51.0% (25-49) on the way to their fourth-straight win, 67-59 at Binghamton University one week ago. Evans, playing just an hour outside of her hometown of Cazenovia, New York, tied her season-high in the win, making eight-of-15 from the field and six-of-six at the line. Sacred Heart jumped out to a 13-4 lead forcing a pair of Binghamton time-outs before the 15 minute mark with Evans burying a three and a pull-up jumper on the opening run. The Bearcats clawed their way back with a 7-1 spurt to get within 26-22 at the five minute mark and trailed just 30-27 at the break. Evans continued to have the hot hand in the second half, scoring eight of the Pioneers first 15 points to start the stanza, as SHU built their lead to 43-32 at 12:36. The Bearcats pulled within 45-40 at the 10 minute mark as Erica Carter buried a long three and pull-up jumper. SHU built their lead to double digits, 54-42, by the 7:44 mark and Evans helped put the game out of reach over the next three minutes, burying a baseline jumper followed by a fall away three for a 59-46 lead with 4:30 to play. The Pioneer defense stood tall in the closing minutes, holding the Bearcats without a field goal over the final 3:27. Binghamton managed eight points at the free throw line over the final three minutes but Sacred Heart hit four-of-six from the charity stripe to ice the game away. In addition to her 24 points, Evans grabbed six rebounds, dished three assists and had a pair of steals in 39 minutes. Callan Taylor just missed her third-straight double double with 15 points and nine rebounds while Alisa Apo finished with 12 points and four assists in the win. SHU out rebounded the Bearcats, 40-33, and turned 11 Binghamton turnovers into 18 points on the other end. Binghamton got 16 points from Carter who made seven-of-nine. The Bearcats shot 35.5% (22-62) from the field.
Road Warriors Return Home... The Pioneers return home to take on instate rival after posting their fifth-straight win on the road last time out at Binghamton. SHU has lost just once on the road this year in their season opener at Columbia, 79-55. Sacred Heart closed out their longest road swing of the season, four games, without a blemish thanks to a win against the Bearcats. This will be the Pioneers first home game since a loss to Hartford on December 1st. SHU will play four of their next five games in the friendly confines of the William H. Pitt Center.
Evans Dazzles in Homecoming... Freshman Kiley Evans matched her season-high with 24 points playing just an hour outside of her hometown of Cazenovia, New York in the win at Binghamton. Evans matched her 24 point effort against the Harvard Crimson that earned her NEC Rookie of the Week honors. On the year, Evans averages 10.6 points and 5.3 rebounds per game with a team-best 20 steals.
Cosgrove - SHU’s Sharp Shooter... Junior Maggie Cosgrove has had the hot hand shooting the basketball this season, posting career-best type numbers over the first 10 games. She ranks first in among both NCAA and NEC leaders in three-point percentage (.596) and is tops in the conference three-point field goals per game (2.80). She is averaging 12.5 points per game, up over her 8.3 ppg from last season. She has had five games where she has made three or more from behind the arc including a career-best six-of-seven against Harvard. Last game at Binghamton, Cosgrove was held without a three point make for the first time this season, going 0-3.