Sacred Heart Pioneers (2-7, 0-2 NEC) vs. Stony Brook Seawolves (4-4, 0-0 America East)
Game #10 - Saturday, December 11, 2010 - 2:00 pm - Stony Brook, NY - Pritchard Gymnasium (1,680)
The Storyline... The Sacred Heart Pioneers look to make it 3-0 against the America East conference this season as they take on Stony Brook University Saturday live on MSG Plus. The Pioneers are coming off their biggest comeback on the Division I level in their 56-55 win over Hartford Wednesday night. SHU erased a 20-point Hawk lead with 8:17 to play taking their only lead of the night on a junior Stan Dulaire free throw with 0.2 seconds left for the win. The Pioneers only other win this season came at the expense of America East's New Hampshire, 50-42. The Seawolves are 4-4 on the year and halted a three-game slide with a last-second win of their own, beating Holy Cross, 54-53, on a freshman Dave Coley lay-in with 1.2 seconds left Tuesday night. These two teams met last season when the Pioneers erased a 16-point Stony Brook lead in the second half to win 78-70 at home.
Sacred Heart - Stony Brook All-Time Series... Saturday marks the 18th meeting between Sacred Heart and Stony Brook. The Pioneers hold a 13-4 advantage in the series with this being just the fourth meeting on the Division I level. SHU erased a 16-point Stony Brook second half lead to win at home last season, 78-70, in the first meeting between the two schools since the 2002-03 season.
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 497-450, 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. Steve Pikiell (Connecticut '90) is in his sixth season as the head coach at Stony Brook University. Pikiell has led the Seawolves to a 62-95 record during his tenure. He is coming off a season where he led his team to a 23-10 record and a 13-3 mark in the America East, earning the regular season title. Last season was the Seawolves best season since making the jump to Division I in 1999, resulting in the program's first-ever trip to the NIT Tournament and Pikiell earning the America East Coach of the Year award.
On the Upcoming Slate... Sacred Heart will be off until December 19th for final exams. The Pioneers return to action with a pair of road games before the holiday. SHU will make the short trip to Yale on the 19th and head to Providence on December 21st.
Scouting the Seawolves... Stony Brook is off to a 4-4 start to their season. The Seawolves ended a three-game slide with a 54-53 win at Holy Cross on Tuesday night. Stony Brook own a pair of wins over the Northeast Conference this season, beating Monmouth 51-49 and Fairleigh Dickinson, 66-59 but fell to Wagner at home 58-54. Junior guard Brian Dougher is the team's only double digit scorer, averaging 16.0 points per game. He is shooting 37.0% from three, hitting 27 treys on the year. The Seawolves were tabbed to finish second in the annual America East Preseason Poll.
Last Meeting with the Stony Brook... Senior Corey Hassan scored a game-high 23 points while senior Liam Potter had his first career double-double with 18 points and 13 rebounds to help Sacred Heart erase a 16-point second half deficit and come back to take a 78-70 decision over Stony Brook on December 21, 2009. Sacred Heart trailed the Seawolves 55-39 with 12:03 remaining after a pair of free throws by Chris Martin. The Pioneers then went on a 13-0 run over the next three minutes, capped by a Stan Dulaire dunk, to cut the gap to three. A Chauncey Hardy three with 5:31 to play cut the Stony Brook lead to one at 61-60. After a missed jumper by Martin, Potter was fouled at the other end and hit both free throws to give SHU its first lead since 19-18 with eight minutes left in the first half. A pair of free throws by Dallis Joyner gave the Seawolves the lead one last time at 65-64. SHU scored 14 of the next 16 points to open up an 11-point lead at 78-67. The Pioneer comeback was even more improbable with guards Hardy and Ryan Litke both playing with four fouls in the final 12 minutes of the game. Stony Brook used 16 first-half points by senior Muhammed El-Amin to hold a 33-32 lead at the intermission. He finished the game with 21 points. The Pioneers had a 19-14 lead midway through the half but a 10-0 run by the Seawolves gave them control of the half. Hassan was held to ten points in the first 32 minutes of the game but poured in 13 in the final eight, none bigger than a steal and a layup with :46 left that put the Pioneers up 73-67. Joyner finished with 15 points and 11 boards for Stony Brook. Martin finished with 14 points.
Pioneers vs. the America East... Sacred Heart is 36-27 all-time against schools currently in America East. The Pioneers are 2-0 this season against the league and have a four-game winning streak going into Saturday's match-up with Stony Brook. The Pioneers have faced every team from the league, posting winning records against Albany (8-5), Hartford (10-6), New Hampshire (1-0) and Stony Brook, is event with Binghamton (1-1) and have a losing record against Maine (0-3), UMBC (2-7) and Vermont (0-2).
Last Time Out... Sacred Heart junior Stan Dulaire sank a free throw with 0.2 seconds left to give the Pioneers their one and only lead of the night, completing a 20-point comeback in beating the University of Hartford, 56-55, Wednesday night. The Pioneers trailed 51-31 with 8:17 left to play before battling all the way back with Dulaire getting fouled on a break-away lay-up as time was about to expire to set up the game winning free throw. The Pioneers struggled mightily in the first half, scoring just 18 points while shooting just 28.6% (6-21) to trail 25-18 at the break. Hartford opened the game burying their first five shots and closed the half a jumper from Joe Nardi to beat the halftime horn for a 25-18 lead. The Hawks continued their sharp shooting to start the second half as Genesis Maciel made a trio of threes and Joe Zeglinski buried his third three of the night in the first five minutes of play. Hartford's lead hit 20 at 11:07, 43-23, before SHU briefly cut it to 14 on a 6-0 spurt capped by a Dulaire fast break dunk. Zeglinski buried his fourth triple of the night and then pushed the lead back to 20 on his fifth make from behind the arc at 8:17, 51-31. That would be the last Hartford field goal until 1:11 left as the Pioneers held the Hawks to just a free throw during a 19-1 run to help pull off the stunning comeback win. The Pioneers went to the line 16 times over the final eight minutes, making 13 to help fuel the comeback. Freshman Louis Montes (Brockton, MA) and Thompson went two-for-two at the line on consecutive possession to pull the Pioneers within 52-50 with 1:41 left. The Hawks were patient on offense and got a cutting lay-up from Clayton Brothers, who drew a foul and completed the three-point play for a 55-50 advantage with 1:11 left. The Pioneers missed a pair of jumpers and were forced to foul with 50 seconds left. The Hawks missed the front end of the one-and-one and Sacred Heart's Gibson corralled the rebound. Thompson buried a jumper with 38 ticks left to pull SHU within 55-52. The Hawks again missed the front end of the one-and-one with Gibson collecting another rebound. Thompson again came up with the big shot, drilling a straight-away three with 24 seconds left to tie the game at 55-55. Hartford held for the last shot and Brothers made his move in the waning second but Thompson picked his pocket, coming up a steal and quickly getting the ball up court to a streaking Dulaire who got to the hoop drawing an intentional our call on Brothers with 0.2 left on the game clock. Dulaire calmly buried the first to deliver the Pioneers the 56-55 win. Gibson led the Pioneers with 16 points while grabbing two of his four rebounds in the closing seconds. Thompson totaled 11 points, all in the second half, to go with four assists and two steals, none bigger than his swipe of Brothers to set up the winning play. Dulaire scored a season-high 12 points with six rebounds.
Record Comeback... The Pioneers 20-point comeback win over Hartford on Wednesday night was the largest second half deficit overcome for a win in SHU's Division I history (1999 - Present). Sacred Heart trailed the Hawks 51-31 with 8:17 remaining in the game before staging a historic comeback. Stan Dulaire's free throw with 0.2 seconds left gave the Pioneers their only lead of the night and the win, 56-55. Here are the top-five second half comeback wins in SHU's Division I history:
1. 12/9/10 vs. Hartford - Down by 20 with 8:17 left W, 56-55
2. 12/21/09 vs. Stony Brook - Down by 16 with 12:03 left W, 78-70
3. 12/18/05 at Monmouth - Down 15 with 9:04 left W, 73-64
4. 12/29/08 at Columbia - Down 14 with 8:57 left W, 84-79 (ot)
5. 2/23/07 at Monmouth - Down 13 with 8:10 left W, 82-75
1/3/01 vs. Holy Cross - Down 13 with 18:42 left W, 66-61 .