Setting the Scene... Sacred Heart opens the 2013-14 season Saturday night against crosstown rival Fairfield in the Connecticut 6 at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport.
Series Notes... Saturday will be the fifth meeting all-time between Sacred Heart and Fairfield.
- The Stags lead the series 4-0.
- Fairfield won the last meeting 62-45 on Nov. 13, 2010 at Mohegan Sun Arena as part of the Connecticut 6.
- Jerrell Thompson led the Pioneers with 13 points, five rebounds, and four assists. Chris Evans added eight points.
- First Meeting: Nov. 18, 2007 at Fairfield - Fairfield 84, Sacred Heart 75.
The Head Coaches... Anthony Latina (Brandeis '96) is in his first season as head coach of the Pioneers. He becomes only the third head men's basketball coach in program history after Dave Bike retired following last season. Latina was an assistant coach under Bike for eight seasons. He was also an assistant for six seasons at Central Connecticut before coming to Sacred Heart. Sydney Johnson (Princeton '97) is in his third season on the Fairfield bench. Johnson is 41-31 in his first two years with the Stags, reaching the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championship game in 2012. In his first season, Fairfield reached the semifinals of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament.
Scouting the Stags... Fairfield was picked to finish sixth in the MAAC Preseason Coaches Poll. The Stags reached the MAAC tournament semifinals last season, losing to Manhattan 60-42. Senior Maurice Barrow averaged 8.9 points and 3.9 rebounds per game a year ago. Barrow was named to the All-MAAC Preseason Third Team.
Opening Night... The Pioneers open the 2013-14 season on Saturday night against Fairfield in the Connecticut 6 Classic. Last season, Sacred Heart went 9-20 and finished Northeast Conference play one game behind St. Francis Brooklyn for the eighth and final tournament spot. The Pioneers lost 92-80 at St. Francis Brooklyn on the final day of the regular season with the tournament berth on the line.
SHU in the Connecticut 6... The Pioneers are 3-1 all-time in the Connecticut 6 Classic, beating Yale (2009, 2012) and Hartford (2011) and falling to crosstown rival Fairfield (2010). Last season, Sacred Heart defeated Yale 85-82 in overtime at Hartford's Chase Family Arena. Shane Gibson scored a game-high 29 points as Louis Montes had a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds. The Pioneers came back from 24 points down with 15:24 to play in regulation to force overtime.
Shane Gibson Drafted By Santa Cruz Of NBA D-League... Former Sacred Heart standout Shane Gibson was drafted in the third round of the NBA D-League Draft on Nov. 1 by the Santa Cruz Warriors. He has since been traded to the Erie Bayhawks, where he is on their training camp roster. Gibson averaged 21.6 points per game in his senior year last season, putting him second in the NEC in scoring. He also led the conference in free throw percentage at 87.1%. In his four-year career, Gibson scored 2,079 points while shooting 46.6% from the field. He averaged 17.2 points per game in his career.