Sacred Heart (14-16, 10-7 NEC) vs. St. Francis U. (16-12, 12-5 NEC)
Saturday, Mar. 2 - 3:30 PM
Coach Bike Court at the Pitt Center - Fairfield, Conn.
Setting the Scene... After defeating Robert Morris at home on Thursday, Sacred Heart University men's basketball will look to improve its seeding in the NEC Tournament by taking on St. Francis University at home Saturday, Mar. 2 at 3:30 p.m. on NEC Front Row.
All-Time vs. Saint Francis... The Red Flash lead the all-time series 19-13 and have defeated the Pioneers in five straight contests, dating back to the 2016-17 season.
Last Meeting... With SHU leading 48-40, the Red Flash went on a 12-4 run to cut the Pioneers lead to 54-52 with 8:21 remaining in the half. The Pioneers responded with an 11-3 run to push its lead to 65-55 with 5:37 left in the half. The Red Flash responded by using the final 5:34 to go on a 24-13 run to defeat the Pioneers 79-78.
Scouting the Red Flash... St. Francis comes into the contest with a 15-12 record and a 11-5 record in the NEC, clinching the regular-season title. The Red Flash are led by junior Keith Braxton, who leads the team with 16.2 points, 9.8 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game.
Last Time Out... The Sacred Heart University men's basketball extended its win-streak to two games by defeating NEC-foe Robert Morris, 87-63 Thursday evening at the Pitt Center. The win improved the Pioneers' record to 14-16 overall and 10-7 in league play, while the Colonials dropped to 15-15 on the year and 10-7 in NEC action.
Robert Morris outscored the Pioneers 17-9 to open the half and cut the SHU lead to 54-39 with 14:04 left in the half. The Pioneers responded with an 11-4 run to push its lead to 65-43 with 10:13 left in the contest. After the Colonials cut the SHU lead to 64-59, the Pioneers closed the game on a 23-4 run to secure the 87-63 win.
Oh Captain, Our Captain... The Pioneers' leading scorer from last season, Sean Hoehn, is currently tied for second in the NEC in scoring, averaging 18.1 points per game. Hoehn is shooting 47.3% from the field, 41.6% from three and 84.8% from the charity stripe this season.
Swat Leader Spellman... Red-shirt junior, Jare'l Spellman is averaging 3.07 blocks per game, which ranks fourth in the nation and is tops in the NEC. Spellman has totaled 92 blocks this season, which ranks fourth in the nation and first in the conference. Spellman's 92 blocks surpassed SHU's team total of 71 from the 2017-18 season.
Passing Parker... Freshman guard Cameron Parker's 7.1 assists per game ranks sixth in the nation. Parker has recorded 10+ assists seven times this season, including a career-high 14-assist performance against Western New England (11/12). Parker most recently registered 10+ assists in a win over Robert Morris (2/28), where he tallied 11 assists in the win.
Fighting for Positioning... SHU sits at 10-7, which has the Pioneers tied for third in the NEC standings. Pending results, SHU can secure as high as a second seed and can fall as low as fifth.
He Protects the Pitt... Jare'l Spellman's 92 blocks on the season set the program's Div. I record for most blocks in a single-season. Spellman's 92 career blocks places him fifth all-time on the program's Div. I blocks list.
Mr. 1,000... In the December 19th loss at Seton Hall, Sean Hoehn became the 42nd player in program-history to score 1,000 career points. Coming into the contest, Hoehn has scored 1,335 career points, which is tied for 23rd on the program's all-time scoring list
Chasing History... Cameron Parker is sixth in the nation in total assists (206). Parker's 195 surpassed the previous NEC freshman assist record of 180, set by Jason Brickman during the 2010-11 season. Parker's 206 assists is also the highest single-season assist total in the NEC in the previous five seasons, surpassing Wagner's Jojo Cooper's total of 201 from the 2017-18 season
Sicko Mode... E.J. Anosike recorded his sixth double-double of the season after tallying 13 points and 11 rebounds in a win over Robert Morris. The double-double brought Anosike's season-total to six and career-total to eight. Anosike is averaging a career-best 14.2 points per game and eight rebounds per game.
Busy Beaver... Beaverton, Oregon-product Cameron Parker has lived up to his billing as a gifted passer so far during his first-year campaign. Parker currently boasts 206 assists on the season, which surpassed the previous SHU freshman program assist-record of 129 set by Phil Gaetano during the 2011-12 season. Parker is the first SHU player to record 200 assists in a single-season since Gaetano dished 222 during the 2012-13 season.
Off to the Races... Racine, Wisconsin-product, Koreem Ozier is averaging 14 points per game, on 38% shooting from the field, 76.7% from the charity stripe and is knocking down two three-pointers per game in 21 games played this season. Ozier has scored in double-figures in 14 of the 21 games he has appeared in and 20+ points in five contests.
Not in His House... Jare'l Spellman tallied a career-high nine blocks in the Pioneers' win over Wagner. The nine blocks were the most by an NEC player in nearly five years. St. Francis Brooklyn's Andy Fall rejected 10 shots against Bryant on February 27, 2014. Spellman's nine rejections is tied for the second-most in the nation this season.
Protecting the Ball... The Pioneers are averaging 14.87 assists per game and have a 1.02 assist-to-turnover ratio, which ranks first and third in the NEC respectively.
Keep Up If You Can... The Pioneers are scoring 78.3 points per game per game in NEC games this season, which ranks first in the conference. The Pioneers' +4.8 scoring margin ranks first in the conference as well.
Charity-Stripe Champs... Through 17 NEC games, the Pioneers lead the conference in free-throw shooting percentage, knocking down 79.8% of shots from the charity stripe.
Locking-Up... SHU is holding NEC-opponents to 43.2% shooting from the floor and 36.2% from beyond the arc, which ranks fifth and eighth in the NEC.
Rebounding Machines... SHU is averaging 37.2 rebounds per game and are allowing opponents to grab 32.9 boards per game in NEC-play, which ranks first and second in the conference. SHU's +4.3 rebounding margin is also tops in conference-play.
Taking Care of the Rock... The Pioneers are averaging 14.24 assists per game through 17 NEC games, which ranks second in the conference. SHU's 0.98 assist-to-turnover ratio ranks third in the conference.
Anosike's Coming-Out Party... E.J. Anosike is making a case for the NEC's Most Improved award. Anosike averaged 4.2 ppg last season and upped his average to 14.2 ppg this season. The +10 differential is the largest jump in ppg by a player in the NEC this season.
A League of His Own... The Pioneers are averaging 4.47 blocks per game as a team and has totaled 76 blocks in NEC-play, which ranks second. Jare'l Spellman is averaging 3.47 blocks per game and has totaled 59 blocks in NEC-play, which is more than five teams in the NEC.
Pick Your Poison... The Pioneers have three players that rank in the top-20 in NEC-games in scoring. Sean Hoehn's 17.6 points per game is which is ranked third, while E.J. Anosike's 15.1 points per game ranks 12th. Koreem Ozier's 12.4 points per game ranks 19th.
Renowned Rebounders... SHU has two players that rank in the top-10 in NEC games in rebounding. E.J. Anosike is averaging 8.2 rebounds per game, which ranks second, while Jare'l Spellman's 6.7 rebounds per game is seventh in the NEC.
Freshman on the Boards... Koreem Ozier is averaging 4.6 rebounds per game in NEC-play, which ranks second among all freshman in the conference.
Heartbreakers... SHU overcame a 16-point second half deficit to defeat Bryant 105-104 on Feb. 14. It tied the largest deficit the Pioneers overcame in a win this season, as SHU overcame a 16-point deficit in a 71-62 win over St. Francis Brooklyn on Feb. 2.
Assist Leader... Freshman point guard Cameron Parker leads the conference in assists through 17 NEC games. Parker is averaging 6.88 assists per game and has totaled 117 assists, both leading the NEC. Parker's 1.75 assist-to-turnover ratio ranks fourth in conference.
Kinnon's Consistency... Red-shirt junior co-captain Kinnon LaRose is averaging 8.2 points off the bench for the Pioneers through 17 NEC games. LaRos has registered double-figure points off the bench in seven of the 17 conference games and has done so in four of the last seven games.
Three's Company... Through 17 NEC games, the Pioneers have three players that rank in the top-15 in the conference in three-point shooting percentage. Kinnon LaRose's 46.2% ranks second, while E.J. Anosike is fifth in the conference in three-point shooting at 44.4%. Sean Hoehn rounds out the group at 6th with a 44.1% mark.
Protectors of the Pitt... The Pioneers are 7-1 at home in the NEC this season. In the eight games, SHU is outscoring opponents by 13 points and holding teams to 38.3% shooting from the floor.
Home Sick... The Pioneers are 3-6 in road games in NEC-play so far this season. The Pioneers are being outscored by 2.4 points per game and are allowing opponents to shoot 47.7% from the floor.
Defensive Showing... The Pioneers defeated Wagner 62-38 on Jan. 21, 2019. Wagner's 38-point total tied the SHU program-record for least points allowed in a contest which was originally set on Dec. 29, 1987 when the Pioneers held Franklin Pierce to 38 points.
First-Half Clamps... The Pioneers held Wagner to 15 first-half points in the win over the Seahawks (1/21). The 15 points are the least amount of points the Pioneers have allowed in any half this season.
Hibachi Anosike... E.J. Anosike scored a career-high 27 points on 8-of-13 shooting from the field and 4-of-6 from three in a win over St. Francis Brooklyn (2/2)
Count on E.J... E.J. Anosike's team-high 19 points helped push SHU past LIU Brooklyn to open league-play. Anosike made a career-high three three-pointers including the go-ahead three to put SHU up 77-75 with 59 seconds left
KO With the Quick Hands... Koreem Ozier recorded a career-high and game-high four-steals in SHU's 69-63 win over Fairleigh Dickinson (2/7).
Double-Double Galore... In the win over Bryant (1/12) Cameron Parker (11 pts, 12 asts) and Jare'l Spellman (13 pts, 13 rebs) became the first Pioneer teammates to record a double-double in the same game since Kinnon LaRose and Mario Matasovic did so against Mount St. Mary's on Feb. 17, 2018.
Player of the Week... E.J. Anosike was named the NEC Player of the Week on Jan. 7, after averaging 19.5 points and 10 rebounds per game in SHU's first two games in NEC-play.
Everybody Eats... E.J. Anosike tallied 13 points and 11 rebounds against Robert Morris for the ninth double-double of his career. It was the 10th time a Pioneers' player recorded a double-double with points and rebounds this season as Anosike has done so six times, Jare'l Spellman three times and Kinnon LaRose did it once this season as well.
Big on the Boards... E.J. Anosike and Jare'l Spellman have been big contributers for the Pioneers on the boards. Anosike's eight rebounds per game ranks second in the NEC, while Spellman's 7.3 ranks third. Anosike's 3.37 offensive rebounds per game is tops in the NEC and 18th in the nation, while Spellman's 2.17 offensive rebounds per game is sixth in the NEC.
Good in His Hands... Cameron Parker ranks in the top-5 in the NEC in both assists per game and assist-to-turnover ratio. Parker's 7.1 assists a game ranks first, while his 1.82 assist-to-turnover ratio ranks fourth in the NEC.
Efficiency is Everything... The Pioneers have three players ranked in the in the top-15 of the NEC in field goal percentage. E.J. Anosike ranks fourth, shooting 52.3% from the field, while Jare'l Spellman's 51% ranks fifth. Sean Hoehn ranks 13th, shooting 47.3%.
Sean the Scoring Machine... Sean Hoehn scored a game-high 31 points in the 87-63 win over Robert Morris on Feb. 28. Hoehn has scored in double-figures in 26 of the Pioneers' 30 games, leading the team in scoring in 14 games and dropping at least 20 points in 11 of the 26 contests.
Kinnon the Conqueror... Red-shirt junior co-captain Kinnon LaRose is averaging 8.2 points and 3.7 rebounds per game and is currently in second in the NEC in three-point shooting percentage, knocking down 46.2% of shots behind the arc in league games. LaRose's 133.6 offensive rating ranks first in the NEC and 21st in the nation.
Hold The Lead... In its 14 games where the Pioneers held the lead at halftime, they are 11-3.
First-Half Struggles... Through 30 games, the Pioneers are averaging 36.7 points per game in the first half of games and are being outscored by 0.4 points per game by opponents.
Second-Half Team... Through 30 games, the Pioneers are averaging 43.1 points per game in the second half of games and are outscoring opponents by 2.3 points per game.
Protect the Pitt... In its 11 games played at home, the Pioneers are 9-2 and are outscoring opponents on average by 13.3 points per game.
Road Blues... The Pioneers are 4-13 on the road so far this season and are being outscored by 5.6 points per game away from the Pitt.
75 Points or Less... SHU is 10-1 in games this season when holding opponents to 75 points or less
Have a Day Jare'l... Jare'l Spellman had a career day in SHU's 64-62 win over Lafayette. Along with scoring the game-winner, Spellman tallied 18 points, 13 rebounds and five blocks, which were all career-highs for the big man at the time.
Swiper, No Swiping... Sean Hoehn is averaging 1.53 steals a game which is fifth in the conference. Hoehn has recorded multiple steals in 12 of the Pioneers' 30 games and has tallied at least three steals in a game nine times.
Captain Closer... Senior-captain Sean Hoehn is averaging a team-high 10.6 points per game in the second-half of games this season.
He Will Find You... In 29 games played, Cameron Parker has led SHU in assists in 27 of those contests.
Let it Fly... Through 30 games, the Pioneers lead the conference in scoring with 80.1 points per game. SHU is shooting 45.9% from the field, which is second in the NEC and 36.4% from beyond the arc, which ranks second in the conference.
Radical Radz... Zach Radz scored a career-high 20 points off the bench in a win over Robert Morris (2/28). Radz shot 8-for-10 from the field and 2-for-3 from deep
Shooters Shoot... Sean Hoehn, Kinnon LaRose and Koreem Ozier and are among the top three-point marksmen in the NEC. Hoehn is averaging 2.13 made three-pointers a game which ninth in the conference. LaRose is knocking down 1.4 threes per game, while Ozier rounds out the squad with two three-point makes per game in 21 games played.
Captain Snipers... Co-captains Sean Hoehn and Kinnon LaRose both rank in the top-10 in the conference in three-point field-goal percentage. LaRose's 41.6% mark ranks fourth, while Hoehn sits in sixth at 40%
Scoring is a Habit... Freshman guard Aaron Clarke is averaging 8.5 points per game and has been able to do it from multiple levels. Clarke is shooting 40% from the field and 84.7% from the free-throw line. Clarke has scored in double-figures in 14 of the Pioneers' 30 games, leading the Pioneers' in scoring with 17 points in a loss at Seton Hall and dropping a career-high 24 points against Army West Point on 9-for-12 shooting and 4-for-6 from three.
Co-Captain Kinnon... It was announced from head coach Anthony Latina on Tuesday, January 8th, that red-shirt junior Kinnon LaRose was named as co-captain of the team. LaRose joins senior captain Sean Hoehn as the team captains for the remainder of the 2018-19 season.
Familiar Faces... SHU returns six letter-winners from last season's team, including team captain Sean Hoehn. The Pioneers also return Kinnon LaRose, E.J. Anosike, 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
Another One... Freshman guard Cameron Parker was named the Northeast Conference Men's Basketball Rookie of the Week, as announced by the league office Monday, Dec. 17, making it the second time this season Parker earned the honor.
Parker came off the bench to dish for a team-best seven assists, to go along with six points, three rebounds and a pair of steals in a setback at Dartmouth.