SACRED HEART (1-0) AT RUTGERS (0-1)
Game 02 * Piscataway, NJ * Rutgers Athletic Center / RAC * 7:30 pm
Setting the Scene... The Sacred Heart Pioneers head to Rutgers Monday night riding high after an 85-82 overtime win over Yale in the Connecticut 6 Classic season opener. In head coach Dave Bike's 1,000th career game, the Pioneers erased a 24-point second half deficit, their largest comeback in the Division I era, to beat the Bulldogs. Senior Shane Gibson led the charge with 24 of his game-high 29 points coming in the second half and overtime. Rutgers is coming off a 56-52 loss at home to Saint Peter's in their opener Friday night. R-Jnior Wally Judge posted a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds in his first game for Rutgers but the Scarlet Knights shot just 35.8 percent (19-53) and committed 18 turnovers in the loss to the instate Peacocks.
Series Notes... This is the second meeting between Rutgers and SHU.
- Rutgers posted a 91-75 win at home in the Cancun Challenge last season
- The Pioneers led 35-32 at the half
- The Scarlet Knights shot 63.% (34-54), including a scorching 80.8% (21-26) mark in the second half.
- Rutgers head coach Mike Rice is 5-1 all-time against SHU dating back to his time at Robert Morris. He has won five-straight coaching against the Pioneers.
Pioneers vs. the Big East... SHU is 0-16 all-time against the Big East.
- The Pioneers went 0-2 against the league last season, losing at Rutgers and Notre Dame
- SHU has faced UConn more than any other team, going 0-5 against the Huskies
- The Pioneers have also faced Providence (0-4), Rutgers (0-1), St. John's (0-2), Notre Dame (0-1) and Marquette (0-1).
- SHU also lost to Boston College once when the Eagles were still a member of the conference in 2003-04.
The Head Coaches... Dave Bike (Sacred Heart '69) begins his 35th year as the head coach of Sacred Heart University where he owns a career record of 521-479. 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. Mike Rice (Fordham '91) is in his third season at the helm of the Rutgers University men's basketball program. Rice has guided the Scarlet Knights to a 29-36 record over the last three seasons. Rice is a familiar face to Pioneer fans, after spending three seasons as the head coach at Robert Morris. Rice guided the Colonials to a pair of NEC Championships along with three-striaght post season berths.
Up Next... Sacred Heart continues a four-game road swing to open their season with a pair of game against America East opponents. SHU travels to Hartford Friday night and will head to Stony Brook on Sunday.