No. 3 Sacred Heart (15-16, 11-7 NEC) vs. No. 6 LIU Brooklyn (15-15, 9-9 NEC)
Wednesday, Mar. 6 - 6:00 PM
Coach Bike Court at the Pitt Center - Fairfield, Conn.
Setting the Scene... After closing the season with a three-game win streak, No. 3 Sacred Heart University men's basketball will play host to No. 6 LIU Brooklyn in the NEC Quarterfinals Wednesday, Mar. 6 at 6 p.m. on NEC Front Row.
All-Time vs. LIU Brooklyn... The Blackbirds lead the all-time series 26-12 and split with the Pioneers this season. The Pioneers are 0-2 vs. LIU Brooklyn in the NEC Tournament. The last time the teams met in the postseason, No. 6 LIU Brooklyn upset the No. 3 Pioneers 84-76, in the 2016 NEC Quarterfinals.
Scouting the Blackbirds... LIU Brooklyn comes into the contest with a 15-15 record and a 9-9 record in the NEC, clinching the sixth-seed in the NEC Tournament. Last season, the Blackbirds earned the No. 4 seed and went on to win the NEC Tournament, earning an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
The Blackbirds are led by NEC scoring champion Raiquan Clark. Clark leads LIU Brooklyn with 19.4 points and 6.8 rebounds per game.
Back In the Postseason... After missing the NEC Tournament last season, the Pioneers have returned to the postseason by earning the third seed in the NEC Tournament.
First Time for Everything... SHU enters the 2019 NEC Tournament aiming to win three-straight contests to secure an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program-history. The Pioneers are 0-2 in NEC Championship games.
Home Is Where the Heart Lies... After going 11-7 in NEC-play, the Pioneers earned the No. 3 seed in the NEC Tournament, allowing them to host a home game. The Pioneers are 8-1 in home NEC contests this season, outscoring opponents by 12.7 points per game.
Last Time in the Tournament... The last time SHU competed in the NEC Tournament, the No. 8 Pioneers nearly upset top-seeded Mount St. Mary's 76-73 on the road.
Last Time as a No. 3 Seed... The Pioneers went 11-7 during the 2015-16 season to earn the No. 3 seed in the 2016 NEC Tournament. SHU hosted No. 6 LIU Brooklyn and ultimately fell to the Blackbirds, 84-76.
Last Time Out... The Sacred Heart University men's basketball team extended its win-streak to three games by defeating NEC-foe St. Francis U., 94-84 at home Thursday evening at the Pitt Center. The win improved the Pioneers' record to 15-16 overall and 11-7 in league play, clinching the third seed in the NEC Tournament.
After St. Francis cut the SHU lead to 52-40, the Pioneers went on a quick 7-0 run to push its lead to 59-40 with 13:54 left in the second half. The Red Flash responded with a 9-2 run to cut the SHU lead to 61-49 with 11:32 remaining in the half. SFU cut it to as close as 87-78 with 2:24 to go, but the Pioneers held on for the 94-84 win.
Oh Captain, Our Captain... The Pioneers' leading scorer from last season, Sean Hoehn, is currently third in the NEC in scoring, averaging 17.9 points per game. Hoehn is shooting 47.2% from the field, 41.4% from three and 84.8% from the charity stripe this season.
Swat Leader Spellman... Red-shirt junior, Jare'l Spellman is averaging 3.06 blocks per game, which ranks fourth in the nation and is tops in the NEC. Spellman has totaled 95 blocks this season, which ranks fourth in the nation and first in the conference. Spellman's 95 blocks surpassed SHU's team total of 71 from the 2017-18 season.
Passing Parker... Freshman guard Cameron Parker's 7.0 assists per game ranks eighth 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.
Locked-In Third... SHU finished the season at 11-7 in NEC-play, which secured the third seed in the NEC Tournament. This allows SHU to host its first postseason game since the 2016 NEC Tournament.
He Protects the Pitt... Jare'l Spellman's 95 blocks on the season set the program's Div. I record for most blocks in a single-season. Spellman's 95 career blocks ties him for third 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 1,349 career points, which is 23rd on the program's all-time scoring list
Chasing History... Cameron Parker is sixth in the nation in total assists (210). Parker's 210 surpassed the previous NEC freshman assist record of 180, set by Jason Brickman during the 2010-11 season. Parker's 210 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 seventh double-double of the season after tallying 18 points and 10 rebounds in a win over St. Francis U. The double-double brought Anosike's season-total to seven and career-total to nine. Anosike is averaging a career-best 14.3 points per game and 8.1 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 210 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 14.2 points per game, on 38.5% shooting from the field, 75.3% from the charity stripe and is knocking down 1.9 three-pointers per game in 22 games played this season. Ozier has scored in double-figures in 15 of the 22 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 79.2 points per game per game in NEC games this season, which ranks first in the conference. The Pioneers' +5.1 scoring margin ranks first in the conference as well.
Charity-Stripe Champs... Through 18 NEC games, the Pioneers lead the conference in free-throw shooting percentage, knocking down 79.3% of shots from the charity stripe.
Locking-Up... SHU is holding NEC-opponents to 42.8% shooting from the floor, which ranks third in the NEC.
Rebounding Machines... SHU is averaging 37.4 rebounds per game and are allowing opponents to grab 33 boards per game in NEC-play, which ranks first and second in the conference. SHU's +4.4 rebounding margin is also tops in conference-play.
Taking Care of the Rock... The Pioneers are averaging 14.28 assists per game through 18 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 4.56 blocks per game as a team and has totaled 82 blocks in NEC-play, which ranks second. Jare'l Spellman is averaging 3.44 blocks per game and has totaled 62 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 17.4 points per game is which is ranked third, while E.J. Anosike's 15.3 points per game ranks 11th. Koreem Ozier's 12.8 points per game ranks 18th.
Renowned Rebounders... SHU has two players that rank in the top-10 in NEC games in rebounding. E.J. Anosike is averaging 8.5 rebounds per game, which ranks second, while Jare'l Spellman's 6.8 rebounds per game is seventh in the NEC.
Freshman on the Boards... Koreem Ozier is averaging 4.4 rebounds per game in NEC-play, which ranks third 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 18 NEC games. Parker is averaging 6.72 assists per game and has totaled 121 assists, both leading the NEC. Parker's 1.73 assist-to-turnover ratio ranks fourth in conference.
Kinnon's Consistency... Red-shirt junior co-captain Kinnon LaRose is averaging eight points off the bench for the Pioneers through 18 NEC games. LaRose has registered double-figure points off the bench in seven of the 18 conference games and has done so in four of the last eight games.
Deadly Duo Company... Through 18 NEC games, the Pioneers have two players that rank in the top-five in the conference in three-point shooting percentage. Sean Hoehn's 43.7% ranks fourth in the NEC, while Kinnon LaRose's 43.6% mark ranks fifth.
Protectors of the Pitt... The Pioneers are 8-1 at home in the NEC this season. In the nine games, SHU is outscoring opponents by 12.7 points and holding teams to 38% 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... Sean Hoehn was named the NEC Player of the Week on Mar. 4, after averaging 22.5 points per game on 62.5% shooting from the field and 66.7% from three in SHU's final two games in NEC-play.
Everybody Eats... E.J. Anosike tallied 18 points and 10 rebounds against St. Francis U. for the ninth double-double of his career. It was the 11th time a Pioneers' player recorded a double-double with points and rebounds this season as Anosike has done so seven 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 8.1 rebounds per game ranks second in the NEC, while Spellman's 7.3 ranks third. Anosike's 3.32 offensive rebounds per game is tops in the NEC and 20th in the nation, while Spellman's 2.16 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 seven assists a game ranks first, while his 1.81 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 third, shooting 52.2% from the field, while Jare'l Spellman's 51.6% ranks fourth. Sean Hoehn ranks 12th, shooting 47.2%.
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 27 of the Pioneers' 31 games, leading the team in scoring in 14 games and dropping at least 20 points in 11 of the 27 contests.
Kinnon the Conqueror... Red-shirt junior co-captain Kinnon LaRose is averaging 8.2 points and 4.5 rebounds per game and is currently in fifth in the NEC in three-point shooting percentage, knocking down 43.6% of shots behind the arc in league games. LaRose's 132 offensive rating ranks first in the NEC and 26th in the nation.
Hold The Lead... In its 15 games where the Pioneers held the lead at halftime, they are 12-3.
First-Half Struggles... Through 31 games, the Pioneers are averaging 37 points per game in the first half of games and are outscoring opponents by 0.1 points per game.
Second-Half Team... Through 31 games, the Pioneers are averaging 43.2 points per game in the second half of games and are outscoring opponents by 2.1 points per game.
Protect the Pitt... In its 12 games played at home, the Pioneers are 10-2 and are outscoring opponents on average by 13 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 1.52 steals a game which is sixth in the conference. Hoehn has recorded multiple steals in 12 of the Pioneers' 31 games and has tallied at least three steals in a game nine times.
Captain Closer... Senior-captain Sean Hoehn is averaging a team-high 10.5 points per game in the second-half of games this season.
He Will Find You... In 30 games played, Cameron Parker has led SHU in assists in 27 of those contests.
Let it Fly... Through 31 games, the Pioneers lead the conference in scoring with 80.5 points per game. SHU is shooting 46.3% 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 2.1 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 1.9 three-point makes per game in 22 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. Hoehn's 41.4% mark ranks fourth, while LaRose sits in eighth at 38.9%
Scoring is a Habit... Freshman guard Aaron Clarke is averaging 8.6 points per game and has been able to do it from multiple levels. Clarke is shooting 40.5% from the field and 84.7% from the free-throw line. Clarke has scored in double-figures in 15 of the Pioneers' 31 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.