SHU Hoops From Cancun, Mexico Tuesday & Wednesday

2011 Cancun Challege - Mayan Division

SACRED HEART vs. HAMPTON

Game 05 * November 22, 2011 * Moon Palace Resort * Cancun, Mexico * 4:00 pm

SACRED HEART vs. LIPSCOMB / SIUE

Game 06 * November 23, 2011 * Moon Palace Resort * Cancun, Mexico * 1:30 / 4:00 pm

Full Set of Game Notes

The Storyline...  The Sacred Heart Pioneers head to Cancun, Mexico for the second part of the 2011 Cancun Challenge as part of the Mayan Division.  SHU will take on the Hampton Pirates on Tuesday afternoon and face either Lipscomb or Southern Illinois Edwardsville on Wednesday.  The Pioneers fell in both of their stateside match-ups, losing 91-75 at Rutgers and 83-58 at Richmond.  The Pirates also lost to the Scarlet Knights, 66-52, and Spiders, 72-51.  On the other side of the bracket, both Lipscomb and SIUE fell at Illinois and Illinois State prior to the action in Cancun.

SHU All-Time Series vs. the Mayan Division... This will be the first meeting between SHU and Hampton University.  The Pioneers have also never faced either Lipscomb or Southern Illinois Edwardsville.

The Coach...  Dave Bike (Sacred Heart '69) is in his 34th year as the head coach of Sacred Heart. He has a career record of 508-463, 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.

Up Next...  The Pioneers will travel back to Fairfield, Connecticut on Friday, November 25th and prepare to play host to Brown University on Sunday afternoon at 2:00 pm.

Cancun Challenge Notes...

- This is the fourth year of the Cancun Challenge

- The tournament is set for its third season at the Moon Palace Resort where a ballroom is converted into a 1,200 seat basketball arena

- The 2011 Cancun Challenge features eight teams split into two divisions.  The Riviera Division consists of Illinois, Illinois State, Richmond and Rutgers and the Mayan Division is made up of Sacred Heart, Hampton, Lipscomb and Southern Illinois Edwardsville.

- The Pioneers have never faced any of the teams they are matched up with in the tournament.  SHU faces Rutgers and Richmond in the states and will take on Hampton and either Lipscomb or Southern Illinois Edwardsville in the final game.

- Three teams in this year's tournament made it to the NCAA Tournament last season.  Richmond advanced to the Sweet 16, Illinois to the 3rd Round and Hampton was knocked out by Duke in the 2nd Round.

- The Pioneers are the first team from the Northeast Conference participating in the Cancun Challenge.  This year's tournament features teams from the Big East, Big Ten, Atlantic-10, Atlantic Sun, Missouri Valley, Mid-Eastern and Ohio Valley conferences as well.

- Vanderbilt won the inaugural Cancun Challenge in 2008.  In 2009, Kentucky was the Riviera Champion and Sam Houston State the Mayan winner.  Last season, Missouri won the Riviera and North Florida the Mayan.

- This will be the second regular season tournament the Pioneers participate in outside the United States.  SHU took part in the 2003 San Juan Shootout in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  The Pioneers went 1-2 in that tournament, losing to Duquesne and Northeastern while beating Puerto Rico-Mayaguez.

- Coach Dave Bike on participating in the Cancun Challenge   "We are very excited to be playing in a first class event.  It is a great opportunity for our players and supporters to play in another country and compete against quality programs outside of our conference."

- CBS Sports Network will broadcast the four games in the Riviera Division in Cancun.

Quick Hits...

- The Richmond Spiders ripped off a 24-3 run to start the game on Saturday and held the Pioneers to just 37.5% (21-56) shooting in a win.

- The Pioneers shot a season-best 51.1% (24-57) at Rutgers but couldn't overcome the Scarlet Knight's 63.0% (34-54) effort in the loss.  Rutgers erased a SHU three-point lead at the half with a 21-of-26 (80.8%) shooting effort in the second half.

- The loss at Rutgers dropped the Pioneers to 0-15 all-time against teams from the Big East Conference. SHU will face the league once more this season at Notre Dame.  The loss to the Spiders dropped SHU to 0-8 against the Atlantic-10 Conference. 

- R-Junior guard Shane Gibson poured in a season-high 26 points at Richmond.  It was Gibson's first 20-point game this season and the 13th of his career.  Gibson registered 11 games with 20-plus points last season.  Gibson took a career-high 21 shots on his way to 26 points vs. the Spiders.

- Sophomore guard Evan Kelley registered a career-high 16 points at Rutgers, making all five of the shots he took.

- R-Junior center Justin Swidowski is off to a fast start, averaging 12.3 ppg and is shooting 58.1% (18-31) from the field, ranking fifth among NEC leaders.

- Senior forward Stan Dulaire recorded his first career double double and matched his career high for points in the win over Stony Brook. Dulaire scored 14 points (14 vs. LIU 2/11/10) and pulled down 10 rebounds.

Scouting Hampton...   Hampton heads to Mexico at 1-2 on the year, beating William & Mary in their opener, 73-58.  Senior guard Darrion Pellum leads the Pirates in the early going, averaging 16.3 points per game.  Pellum was named to the Preseason All-MEAC first team heading into this season.  The duo of junior guard Jasper Williams and sophomore center David Bruce are scoring at a 10.0 per game clip.  Bruce is also pulling down 9.3 rebounds per game.  The Pirates were picked to finish second in the MEAC this season after a 24-9 mark and NCAA Tournament berth a year ago.  The only other Northeast Conference team the Pirates have faced is Monmouth, going 1-2 against the Hawks.

Scouting Lipscomb...  The Lipscomb Bisons have lost three-straight heading down to Mexico after a 96-53 win over Fort Valley State in their opener.  The Bisons are led by freshman guard Zavion Williams who leads his team and the Atlantic Sun averaging 15.5 points per game.  Sophomore guard Robert Boyd is averaging 12.0 points and leads the team in rebounding at 5.3 caroms per outing.  Lipscomb was tabbed to finish sixth in the Atlantic Sun this season in the preseason poll.  Senior guard Jordan Burgason was named to the Preseason All-Atlantic Sun team.  The Bisons finished 17-13 last season.

Scouting SIUE...  The Cougars are still looking for their first win in 2011-12 heading down to Mexico.  SIUE will play their first full season as a member of the Ohio Valley Conference this season after joining in 2008-09.  They will be eligible for postseason play in 2012-13.  Junior forward Mark Yelovich is the team's top-scorer, averaging 15.5 points per game. 

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