SHU Heads Back to Brooklyn with NEC Playoff Spot On the Line
SACRED HEART (9-19, 7-10 NEC) AT ST. FRANCIS BROOKLYN (11-17, 7-10 NEC)
Game 29 * Sat., Mar. 2, 2013 * Brooklyn, NY * Pope PE Center
Setting the Scene... The Sacred Heart Pioneers head back to Brooklyn for the 2012-13 regular season finale on Saturday afternoon, facing the St. Francis Brooklyn Terriers in a battle for the final Northeast Conference Tournament spot. The winner of Saturday's game will earn the #8 seed in this year's tournament field while the loser will see their season end. Both SHU and St. Francis Brooklyn are tied at 7-10 in the NEC standings. The Pioneers won the first meeting this season back on January 5th, a 66-65 victory on their home court. Sacred Heart comes in having lost six-straight after a 70-68 loss at LIU Brooklyn on Thursday night. The Terriers come off a 78-67 home loss to Quinnipiac on Thursday and have lost six of their last eight heading into Saturday's showdown.
Series Notes... This is the 24th meeting between SHU and St. Francis Brooklyn.
- The Terriers hold a 14-9 edge in the all-time series
- The Pioneers won the first meeting this season, 66-65, at home in the Pitt Center, ending a three-game SFC winning streak in the series.
- SHU is 4-9 on the road at St. Francis Brooklyn with their last win coming back in the 2008-09 season.
Pioneers in the NEC... Sacred Heart is in its 14th season of play in the Northeast Conference in 2012-13.
- SHU is 105-151 in conference play since joining the league in 1999-2000.
- The Pioneers best finish in the league was second, a feat they accomplished twice, in 2006-07 and 2008-09.
- SHU has qualified for the Northeast Conference Tournament six times.
- SHU has made two NEC Championship game appearances, falling to Central Connecticut in 2007 and losing to Mount St. Mary's at home in 2008.
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 529-498. 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. Glenn Braica (Queens College '89) is in his third season as head coach at St. Francis Brooklyn. Braica led his Terriers to the NEC Tournament in each of his first two seasons on the bench. He owns a 41-47 record as a head coach. Braica was named the school's 17th head coach after spending the previous seven years as an assistant at St. John's. He spent 15 years as an assistant and associate head coach at St. Francis (NY).
Up Next... The winner of today's game moves on to the NEC Tournament as the #8 seed and will travel to top-seeded Robert Morris for a quarterfinal game on Wednesday, March 6th.
Last Meeting with St. Francis Brooklyn... A pair of Shane Gibson free throws with five seconds left gave Sacred Heart its first lead since the game's first points and delivered the Pioneers a 66-65 comeback victory over visiting St. Francis Brooklyn back on January 5th. Gibson netted a game-high 28 points for the Pioneers who also got 14 points off the bench from senior Justin Swidowski, all coming in the second half. Sophomore point guard Phil Gaetano scored 11 points to go with nine assists. The Pioneers tied the game five times in the second half before Gibson's late free throws gave SHU the win. Jalen Cannon scored 20 points and had 16 rebounds for the Terriers. Akeem Johnson finished with 17 in the loss.