Sacred Heart (2-4) vs. Hartford (2-5)
Tuesday, Nov. 27 - 6:00 PM
Coach Bike Court at the Pitt Center - Fairfield, Conn.
Setting the Scene... After falling to Binghamton 78-73 on the road Saturday, the Sacred Heart men's basketball team returns home to play host to in-state rival Hartford on Tuesday, Nov. 27 at 6 p.m. at the Pitt Center.
All-Time Vs. Hartford... The Hawks lead the all-time series against the Pioneers 10-4 and have won the five of the last six contests.
Last Meeting... Trailing by 10 with 5:24 to go in the opening half, a Mario Matasovic jumper and five straight points from Joseph Lopez got the Pioneers within three, 23-20, with 4:27 remaining. Kinnon LaRose made a three-pointer with 3:26 to go, moving SHU within two at 27-25. The Pioneers eventually took the lead with 0:40 left in the half on a Matasovic layup. However, a pair of Jason Dunne free throws gave Hartford a 34-33 lead at the half.
The Hawks came out firing in the second half, making five of their first six shots from the field to take a 45-37 lead. Back-to-back threes by Jack Hobbs put Hartford ahead 53-42 with 13:05 to go. The Pioneers would get as close as five points in the second half, but the Hawks shot 69% from the field in the second half to pull away with the 14-point victory.
Scouting Hartford... The Hawks come into the contest at 2-5, having won its last contest against Western New England. The Hawks have four players that average double-figure points and are led by John Carrol who averages a team-high 17 points per game.
Last Time Out... Sean Hoehn's career-high 35 points was not enough, as the Sacred Heart men's basketball fell to Binghamton, 78-73, on the road Saturday afternoon at Dr. Bai Lee at Events Center.
The Pioneers had three players score in double-figures, with Hoehn's career-high 35 points leading the way. Kinnon LaRose recorded his first double-double of the season with 12 points and a career-high 12 rebounds, while Aaron Clarke added 10 points and four assists in the loss.
Despite falling behind as much as 14-2 to open the contest, the Pioneers battled back to take a 33-32 lead into halftime. With the score tied at 39-39 in the second-half, the Bearcats went on a 17-9 run to give Binghamton a 56-46 lead with 12:20 remaining in regulation.
SHU responded with an 8-2 run to cut the deficit to 58-54 with 10:30 remaining. After Hoehn nailed a three-pointer to cut the SHU deficit to 63-59, the Bearcats went on a swift 5-0 run to push its lead to 68-59. However, despite the late comeback attempt, Binghamton held SHU off to hold on to a 78-73 win
Oh Captain, Our Captain... The Pioneers' leading scorer from last season, Sean Hoehn, is currently third in the NEC in scoring, averaging 21.8 points per game. Hoehn is shooting 51.2% from the field and 44.9% from three so far this season.
Swat Leader Spellman... Red-shirt junior, Jare'l Spellman is averaging 3.0 blocks per game, which is tied for eighth in the nation and is tops in the NEC. Spellman has totaled 18 blocks this season, which is tied for ninth in the nation. Spellman has led SHU in blocks in all six games played and has twice recorded four blocks in a contest.
Busy Beaver... Freshman guard Cameron Parker recorded a career-high 14 assists in the Pioneers 114-72 win over Western New England on Nov. 6. Parker was the first Pioneer player to record at least 10 assists in a game since Phil Gaetano recorded 10 against LIU Brooklyn (2/28/15). Parker is averaging seven assists a game which is tops in the NEC and seventh in the nation.
Sicko Mode... E.J. Anosike recorded his first double-double of the season after tallying 17 points and 16 rebounds in an 82-77 loss at Brown. the double-double brought Anosike's career total to three. Anosike is averaging a career-best 13.5 points per game and has twice scored a career-high 18 points this season.
Passing Parker... Cameron Parker has lived up to his billing as a gifted passer so far during his first-year campaign. Parker's seven assists a game average ranks seventh in the nation and is tops for all freshmen.
Scoring is a Habit... Freshman guard Aaron Clarke is averaging 13.3 points per game and has been able to do it from all levels. Clarke is shooting 47.5% from the field, 36.4% from three and 90.9% from the free-throw line. Clarke has scored in double-figures in four of the Pioneers' six games, scoring 16 points twice and dropping a career-high 24 points against Army West Point on 9-for-12 shooting and 4-for-6 from three.
Big on the Boards... E.J. Anosike has been a big contributer for the Pioneers on the boards. Anosike's 8.2 rebounds per game leads the team and is second in the NEC. Anosike's 4.7 offensive rebounds per game is tops in the NEC and second in the nation.
Protecting the Ball... The Pioneers are averaging 15.83 assists per game and have a 1.30 assist-to-turnover ratio, which both rank first in the NEC. Both Cameron Parker and Sean Hoehn rank in the top-10 in the conference in both assists per game and assist-to-turnover ration. Parker's seven assists a game ranks first, while Hoehn's 3.5 a game ranks seventh. Parker's 2.19 assist-to-turnover ratio ranks third in the NEC, while Hoehn's 1.50 is tied for eighth.
Let it Fly... Through six games, the Pioneers have remained hot beyond the arc. SHU is shooting 37.7% from three so far this season, which ranks third in the NEC.
Radical Radz... In his season-debut, junior Zach Radz scored 12 points, all in the second-half to aid Sacred Heart to a 79-78 win over Army West Point to open the Brown Bears Tip-Off Classic.
Shooters Shoot... Sean Hoehn, Kinnon LaRose and Aaron Clarke are among the top three-point marksmen in the NEC. Hoehn is averaging 3.7 made three-pointers a game which is tied for second in the conference. Clarke is averaging 2.0 three-point makes a game which is tied for 12th and LaRose is making 1.5 threes per game.
Efficiency is Everything... The Pioneers have three players ranked in the top-15 in the NEC in field goal percentage. Jare'l Spellman ranks third in the NEC, shooting 57.4% from the field. Sean Hoehn's 51.2% is tied for seventh, while Aaron Clarke's 47.5% ranks 15th in the conference.
Where the Pioneers' Rank in the Nation... The Pioneers are averaging 85.7 points per game, which ranks 26th in the nation.
Sean the Scoring Machine... Sean Hoehn is the only Pioneer to score in double-figures in all six games this season, leading the team in scoring and dropping at least 20 points in four of the six contests. Hoehn topped his previous career-high of 31 points, by dropping 35 points against Binghamton on Nov. 24, including a career-high seven made three-pointers.
Kinnon the Conqueror... Red-shirt junior Kinnon LaRose has recorded two double-figure rebound games in his career. Ironically, both performances resulted in double-doubles for LaRose, most recently at Binghamton (11/24) where he tallied 12 points and a career-high 12 rebounds in the loss.
Swiper, No Swiping... Sean Hoehn is averaging 2.17 steals a game which is tied for fourth in the conference. Hoehn has recorded multiple steals in four of the Pioneers' six games and has recorded at least three steals in a game three times.
Off to the Races... Racine, Wisconsin product, Koreem Ozier has averaged 24.5 points through two games played. Ozier is shooting 64.5% from the field and 53.8% from beyond the arc. Touted as a gifted scorer during his recruitment. Ozier was the first player to average 30 points per game in his county as a senior. The Racine product led the state of Wisconsin in scoring for two years straight and set the all-time scoring record at Case high school with 1,405 points.
Familiar Faces... SHU returns seven letter-winners from last season's team, including team captain and leading scorer Sean Hoehn. The Pioneers also return Kinnon LaRose, E.J. Anosike, Anthony Boateng, Alex Watson, Zach Radz and Jare'l Spellman.
The Young and the Restless... The Pioneers also added seven new players to the roster, all being freshmen.
Welcome to College... The Pioneers had four players make their collegiate debuts against Holy Cross on 11/6. Koreem Ozier and Cameron Parker started in the backcourt, while Aaron Clarke and Zach Pfaffenberger contributed minutes off the bench for the Pioneers
NEC Rookie of the Week... Freshman guard Koreem Ozier was named the Northeast Conference Men's Basketball Rookie of the Week on Monday, Nov. 12.
Ozier came off a stellar collegiate debut for the Pioneers with a 23-point effort at Holy Cross to open the season on Tuesday, Nov. 6. It was the highest scoring game by an NEC freshman in his first outing since Robert Morris' Marcquise Reed went for 24 against North Carolina on November 16, 2014. Ozier also became the first SHU freshman to score at least 20 in a game since Cane Broome dropped 23 against Bryant on March 4, 2015. Ozier was an efficient 9-16 from the floor, made all four of his shots from the stripe, and added four rebounds and three assists.
Preseason Prognostication... SHU men's basketball team was picked to finish ninth in the Northeast Conference. Saint Francis U is this season's preseason favorite, garnering eight first-place votes. Fairleigh Dickinson was second choice and received a first place vote, followed by reigning NEC champions LIU Brooklyn in third with the final first-place vote. Wagner and Robert Morris rounded out the top-five, with Central Connecticut State and St. Francis Brooklyn in sixth and seventh. Bryant, the Pioneers and Mount St. Mary's rounded out the remaining NEC teams.
NEC Preseason Poll:
1. Saint Francis U (8 first-place votes)
2. Fairleigh Dickinson (1 first-place vote)
3. LIU Brooklyn (1 first-place vote)
5. Robert Morris
6. Central Connecticut
7. St. Francis Brooklyn
9. Sacred Heart
10. Mount St. Mary's
NEC Men's Basketball Preseason All-NEC Team
G – Jamaal King, Saint Francis U
G – Keith Braxton, Saint Francis U
G/F – Tyler Kohl, Central Conn.
G/F – Raiquan Clark, LIU Brooklyn
F – Mike Holloway, FDU