SHU Hosts Stony Brook in Home Opener Tuesday Night
SACRED HEART vs. STONY BROOK
Game 02 * November 15, 2011 * William H. Pitt Center
Fairfield, CT * 7:00 pm
All-Time Series: SHU, 14-4 / Last Meeting: 75-66 @ SBU (12/11/10)
The Storyline... Sacred Heart plays host to the Stony Brook Seawolves in the 2011-12 home opener Tuesday night. The Pioneers opened the season with a 70-50 win over the University of Hartford in the Connecticut 6 Classic on Friday afternoon. SHU takes on their second-straight America East opponent in the Seawolves before heading out on the road for the four-game Cancun Challenge. The Seawovles are 1-1 to start the year, falling to Indiana in their opener but bounced back for a home win over Mount Ida, 93-39, on Sunday.
Sacred Heart - Stony Brook All-Time Series... Tuesday night will be the 19th meeting between Sacred Heart and Stony Brook. The Pioneers hold a 14-4 advantage in the series after a 75-66 win at Stony Brook last season. This will be just the fifth meeting between the two schools on the Division I level with SHU holding a 3-1 edge. The Pioneers have won two-straight in the series and in their last meeting in the Pitt Center, erased a 16-point Stony Brook second half lead in posting a 78-70 win.
The Coaches... Dave Bike (Sacred Heart '69) is in his 34th year as the head coach of Sacred Heart. He has a career record of 507-461, ranking him 20th among active coaches. Only Jim Boheim of Syracuse has 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) begins his seventh season as the head coach at Stony Brook University. Pikiell has led the Seawolves to a 74-109 record during his tenure. He led his team to the America East Championship game last season and in 2009-10 guided the Seawolves to a 23-10 record and the regular season conference title. The 2009-10 season was the Seawolves best 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.
- The Pioneers won their second season opener in the last three years after losing six-straight openers in beating Hartford last Friday. SHU is 25-22 all-time in season openers but just 3-10 in openers since joining the NEC.
- SHU is now 2-1 in the Connecticut 6 Classic with wins over Yale and Hartford and a loss to Fairfield. The annual triple-header will take place at the University of Hartford in 2012-12. The Chase Family Arena at the Reich Family Pavilion is a 3,508 seat arena and has been home to the America East Women's Championship for nine of the past 10 seasons.
- R-Junior center Justin Swidowski made his Pioneer debut in the win over the Hawks with 18 points and seven boards. It was the most points by a Pioneer in their debut since Maurice Bailey had 20 points in the 2002-03 opening win over Stony Brook.
- The Pioneers yanked down 53 rebounds as a team in the win over Hartford, recording 50 or more rebounds for the first time in seven seasons. SHU last hit 50 caroms on 1/21/04 in a loss at Quinnipiac.
- Guard Shane Gibson finished with 15 points notching his 36th career double figure game.
- Sophomore forward Chris Evans set a new career-high with nine rebounds in the win over UHart.
- Coach Bike has preached defense all preseason - SHU held Hartford to just 27.3% shooting including five-of-30 from three.
- At the charity stripe, SHU made 20-of-28 against the Hawks including 13-of-14 over the last 1:32 to ice away the win.
Home Openers... The Pioneers have won three-straight home openers as they host Stony Brook in this season's first of 13 games in the William H. Pitt Center. SHU is 9-6 in home openers in the Pitt Center and 6-6 since joining the Northeast Conference.
Pioneers vs. the America East... Sacred Heart is 38-27 all-time against schools currently in America East. The Pioneers were 3-0 last season against the league and have a six-game winning streak against the league after a win over Hartford in the opener. SHU takes on the league once more this season, traveling to New Hampshire in late December. The Pioneers have faced every team from the league, posting winning records against Albany (8-5), Hartford (12-6), New Hampshire (1-0) and Stony Brook (14-4), is even with Binghamton (1-1) and have a losing record against Maine (0-3), UMBC (2-7) and Vermont (0-2).
Scouting the Seawolves... The Stony Brook Seawolves make the trip across the Long Island Sound to face the Pioneers fresh of a 1-1 weekend. SBU opened the season at Indiana University Friday night. The Hoosier pinned a 96-66 loss on Stony Brook but the Seawolves returned home on Sunday and dealt Mount Ida a 93-39 loss. Junior forward Tommy Brenton just missed a triple-double with 11 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists against Mount Ida. The Seawolves were picked to finish second in the America East Preseason Poll. Senior guard Bryan Dougher was named to the America East Preseason All-Conference team.
Pioneers Ink Tevin Falzon to NLI... Sacred Heart's Dave Bike announced that forward Tevin Falzon signed a National Letter of Intent to attend Sacred Heart University next fall. Falzon, a 6-7 forward from Newton, Mass., played four years at Newton North High School and is enrolled at Winchendon School for his post-graduate season. He missed time his senior season due to an injury but returned to help lead his team to the Division 1 South finals. IN 2009, Falzon played for the Maltese National 18-and-Under team in the FIBA European Championship, helping lead his team to the gold medal in the C Division. "He has good size and hands for a post player," said coach Bike. "We liked his feel for the game and he has a knack for scoring."