Sacred Heart Pioneers (9-20, 4-12 NEC) at Bryant Bulldogs (3-26, 2-14 NEC)
Thursday, February 22 - 7:00 PM
Chace Athletic Center - Smithfield, R.I.
Setting the Scene... SHU begins the final weekend of the regular season on Thursday night at Bryant.
Catch the Game... Thursday's game will be broadcast on NEC Front Row.
Last Time Out... SHU wrapped up the home portion of the schedule last Saturday with a 74-69 loss to Mount St. Mary's on Senior Day. The Pioneers used an 11-2 run early in the second half to take a 44-42 lead with 14:57 to play, but the Mountaineers responded with a 10-0 run of their own to go up by eight points. SHU got as close as three points twice in the final 5:00 but couldn't catch Mount St. Mary's. Kinnon LaRose had his first career double-double with 21 points and 10 rebounds. Mario Matasovic also had a double-double, scoring 16 points with a team-high 11 rebounds.
Race For The NEC Tournament... SHU will need some help to make its fourth consecutive NEC Tournament. The Pioneers trail Central Connecticut by two games heading into this final week of the regular season. SHU has to win both games this week, and needs CCSU to lose both games, to qualify since the Pioneers hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Blue Devils.
LaRose Double-Doubles Up... Kinnon LaRose has scored in double-figures in eight of his last nine games. On Saturday, LaRose recorded his first career double-double. He led SHU with 21 points against Mount St. Mary's and added a career-high 10 rebounds. In the last five games, LaRose has averaged 14.4 points and 5.4 rebounds per game while shooting 50% from the field and 45.5% from the three-point line.
Hoehn Keeps On Scoring... Junior guard Sean Hoehn averaged 20 points per game last week against the top-two teams in the NEC. After scoring a career-high 24 points against Wagner last Thursday, Hoehn had 16 points and five assists against Mount St. Mary's on Saturday. Hoehn is sixth in the NEC in assists (4.18/game) and fifth in assist/turnover ratio (1.67). In the month of February, Hoehn is averaging 16.7 points and 3.7 assists per game. During this stretch he's shooting 47.9% from the field and 43.3% from three-point range.
Matasovic Fills The Box Score... Mario Matasovic had his fourth double-double of the season last Saturday against Mount St. Mary's, scoring 16 points with a team-high 11 rebounds. He also added four assists, a blocked shot, and a steal in 35 minutes. In his last five games, Matasovic is averaging 15.2 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 3.6 assists per game while shooting 49.1% from the field. He is second in the NEC in field goal percentage at 55.1%.
All-Time Vs. Bryant... SHU leads the all-time series against the Bulldogs 22-14. Bryant's win at the Pitt Center on Jan. 6 snapped the Pioneers' four-game winning streak in the rivalry. SHU has not been swept in the regular season by Bryant since the 2013-14 season.
Last Meeting... With the game tied 71-71 with 2:47 to play on Jan. 6, Bryant closed the game with an 8-3 run to win 79-74 over the Pioneers at the Pitt Center. Joseph Lopez led SHU with 20 points and eight rebounds. De'von Barnett added 17 points and six rebounds off the bench. Adam Grant made five three-pointers to lead Bryant with 26 points. Sabastian Townes added 21 points and six rebounds.
Scouting Bryant... The Bulldogs were swept on its roadtrip to western Pennsylvania last weekend, losing 83-60 at Robert Morris on Feb. 15 and 89-56 at Saint Francis U on Feb. 17. The Bulldogs shot just 22.6% from the field in the first half against the Red Flash on Saturday. Adam Grant led Bryant with 16 points against the Red Flash, with Sabastian Townes adding 10 points off the bench. Grant leads the Bulldogs in scoring at 16.3 points per game.