Sacred Heart Pioneers (0-1, 0-0 NEC) vs. Fordham Rams (0-1, 0-0 Atlantic-10)
Game #2 - Monday, November 15, 2010 - 7:00 pm - Bronx, N.Y. - Rose Hill Gym
The Storyline... Sacred Heart will head to Fordham University on Monday night looking to shake off a 62-45 loss to rival Fairfield in the Connecticut 6 on Saturday. The Pioneer's 45-point offensive output was their lowest since losing 64-39 last season at Robert Morris. SHU shot just 31.5% (17-54) and gave up 17 points off turnovers in the loss to the Stags. Senior guard Jerrell Thompson was the only Pioneer in double figures finishing with 13 points to go with five rebounds, four assists and three steals. Fordham came up short in their opener as well, losing 69-65 to Brown at home on Friday. The Rams got a double double from sophomore Chris Gaston who scored 21 points and pulled down 17 rebounds in the loss.
Sacred Heart - Fordham All-Time Series... Fordham leads the all-time series 2-0 after posting a 76-66 win at home last season. The two teams met for the first time in 2006-07 with the Rams nipping the Pioneers, 70-68.
The Coaches... Dave Bike (Sacred Heart '69) is in his 33rd year as the head coach of Sacred Heart. He has a career record of 495-444, ranking him 20th among active coaches. Only Jim Boheim of Syracuse as spent more time coaching at one institution. He led the Pioneers to eight NCAA Division II tournaments and his 1985-86 team won the national championship while finishing 30-4. Bike was named the national Coach of the Year by the NABC following the title game. Tom Pecora (Adelphi '83) is beginning his first season at the head coach at Fordham University. Pecora spent the previous nine seasons as the head coach at Hofstra University where he compiled a 155-126 record. During his tenure, the Pride were the winningest program in the Metropolitan New York area. His 2006-07 team tied the school record with a 26-7 record, advancing to the quarterfinals of the NIT.
On the Upcoming Slate... SHU will plays twice more on the road this week heading to UMass on Wednesday night and Brown on Saturday before their home opener on November 23rd vs. New Hampshire.
Pioneers vs. the Atlantic-10... The Pioneers have faced off with teams from the Atlantic-10 Conference five times and are still searching for their first win against the league. SHU is 0-2 against Fordham and 0-1 against Duquesne, Rhode Island and Xavier. The Pioneers will face the University of Massachusetts on Wednesday night.
Scouting the Rams... The Fordham Rams are under the direction of new head coach Tom Pecora after 2-26 and 0-16 Atlantic-10 campaign in 2009-10. The Rams are led by sophomore forward Chris Gaston who led the team in scoring, 18.0 ppg, and rebounding, 11.4 rpg, last year. The 2009-10 A-10 Rookie of the Year posted 19 double doubles ranking him ninth among NCAA leaders. Heading into this season, Gaston was named to the Preseason All-Atlantic-10 second team with the Rams picked to finish last in the 14 team league. Fordham fell in their season-opener, 69-65, to Brown.
Last Meeting with Fordham... Fordham broke open a two-point game with a 21-2 run over a seven-minute span in the second half to come away with a 76-66 win over Sacred Heart at home on November 18, 2009. The Pioneers trailed 51-49 with 10:31 left and had a chance to tie or go in front but misfired on an open three and the Rams pulled away from there. SHU turned it over 22 times, leading to 21 Ram points, and shot 39.1% (25-64) in the loss. Senior Corey Hassan scored a career-high 33 points with 11 rebounds for the Pioneers in the loss. Fellow senior Ryan Litke was the only other Pioneer in double figures finishing with 12 points. Freshman Chris Gaston led four Fordham players in double figures with 22 points. He added 13 rebounds for a double double and also blocked five shots. Jo Fontan made six-of-11 from the field on his way to a 17 point outing to go with seven assists.
Last Time Out... Sacred Heart was held to 31.5% shooting on their way to a 62-45 loss to Fairfield University Saturday afternoon in the 2010 Connecticut 6 Classic at Mohegan Sun Arena. The Pioneers trailed 31-16 at the half but cut the lead down to eight midway through the second half before the Stags would pull away in the season opener. Senior point guard Jerrell Thompson led the Pioneers with 13 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals in the loss. The Pioneers jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead in the game's first 1:30 but struggled mightily for much of the first half. From there the Stags took over, outscoring the Pioneers 31-10 into the break. Fairfield went to some full court pressure and used early Sacred Heart turnovers to build a 15-8 lead into the second media time out of the first half. The Pioneers made just six-of-25 (.240) over the first 20 minutes and were out rebounded 24-12 by the Stags. SHU began to chip away in the second half, opening with a 15-7 spurt to pull within eight points. The Pioneers could get no closer than trailing 42-36 as Fairfield used a near four-minute stretch by Sacred Heart without a field goal to push the lead to 51-36 with 4:18 left. Fairfield's Derk Needham scored 13 points to lead the Stags who out rebounded the Pioneers 39-29 and scored 17 points off 16 SHU turnovers.