SACRED HEART (3-8, 0-0 NEC) VS ROBERT MORRIS (5-6, 0-0 NEC)
GAME 12 * Fairfield, Conn. * Coach Bike Court at the William H. Pitt Center * 1:00 PM
The Sacred Heart women's basketball team will be out for vengence Thursday night when they open Northeast Conference play against the Robert Morris Colonials, who topped the Pioneers in the 2016 championship game.
Scouting the Colonials...
- Robert Morris comes into Thursday's NEC opener owning a 5-6 record after the non-conference slate
- The Colonials won two of their last three games, topping Morgan State 58-44 and Howard 59-42, after suffering a four-game slide
- The reigning NEC Champions return four starters from last year's 20-win team, and took three first-place votes in the NEC Preseason Poll to come in second
- RMU currently boasts the best defense in the league holding opponents to 61.2 points per game and a .380 shooting percentage.
- The Colonials are also the best from downtown shooting 34.7% from beyond the arc. Having a big hand in that is Megan Smith who leads the league with a .571 three-point field goal percentage
Inside the Series...
- SHU leads the all-time series with Robert Morris 22-11, falling most recently in the 2016 Championship game
- Just like the two previous seasons, each team picked up a regular season win on its home court in 2015-16
- Always playing each other close, over the last five years the average margin of victory between the two teams is 9.5 points, four of those nine games were decided by less than five points
- The Pioneers have faced Robert Morris five times in the NEC Tournament, winning twice and losing three times, including the falling to the Colonials in the 2007 and 2016 championship games, 68-66 and 56-51 respectively
SHU Against the NEC...
- The Pioneers are 210-93 against Northeast Conference opponents all-time, and 199-71 during the Division I era
- Sacred Heart has winning records against all league foes, posting winning records against Bryant (13-10), Central Connecticut (30-16), Fairleigh Dickinson (27-3), LIU Brooklyn (18-16), Mount St. Mary's (29-5), Robert Morris (22-10), St. Francis Brooklyn (26-12), Saint Francis U (21-11) and Wagner (24-9)
- SHU is the only team to make the NEC Tournament every year while a member of the league dating back to the 1999-00 season
Career Numbers vs. Robert Morris...
|Adaysha Williams (7-7)||5.14||4.14||3.85||32.85|
|Hannah Kimmel (7-7)||17.28||6.71||1.0||34.85|
|Shelby Hickey (6-3)||4.16||1.5||0.83||25.5|
|Kelcey Castro (3-3)||8.67||2.67||2.0||27.67|
|Tykera Carter (4-0)||3.25||1.0||0||8.5|
|Erin Storck (3-0)||2.0||1.0||0.75||18.33|
|Cleo Polyzou (2-0)||1.5||0||0||5.0|
|Katherine Haines (1-0)||6||2||0||18|
The Hunt Begins...
Thursday marks the beginning of the Pioneers' hunt for their fourth Northeast Conference Championship. After winning the regular season last year with a 10-2 league record, SHU came up just short falling to the Colonials 56-51 in the championship game.
SHU at Home...
The Pioneers are just 1-3 at home this season. Sacred Heart traditionally has had great success in the William H. Pitt Center boasting a .715 (216-86) winning percentage. While never posting a losing record at home since the building's opening in 1997, the Pioneers' went undefeated at home twice in 2003-04 (14-0) and 2005-06 (15-0). SHU is 15-6 (.714) when hosting an NEC Tournament game, and have won all three titles on its home floor.
Kimmel vs. the Colonials...
Hannah Kimmel has not scored less than 12 points against Robert Morris in three season. In the teams' first meeting of the 2014-15 season, the r-senior posted a double-double with 23 points and 12 rebounds on the road, both marked her highest in the respective categories in the seven games she's played against the Colonials. She made a splash the first time she took on RMU, lighting up the scoreboard with 22 points.
Shining off the Bench...
Kelcey Castro has come in off the bench in the last six straight contests to average 9.0 points in 20.0 minutes per game. The graduate student led the team and tied her season when she accounted for 13 of SHU's 43 points against New Hampshire. That was Castro's first time this season leading the team in scoring, and her sixth time in her career.
Season High Picks...
Hannah Kimmel became the first Pioneer to grab five steals this season in the non-conference finale against Iowa State. She is the first to do so since she did it in last year's NEC quarterfinal against Mount St. Mary's.