Pioneers Look For Two in a Row at Bryant Thursday Night

Sacred Heart (4-13, 1-1 NEC) at Bryant (9-8, 1-1 NEC) Game 18

January 16th, 2014 - 7:00 pm - Chace Athletic Center (2,600)

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Game Notes

Setting the Scene... The Sacred Heart Pioneers are looking for two consecutive wins for the first time this season as they take on the Bryant Bulldogs Thursday night at the Chace Athletic Center. The Pioneers are coming off a 71-67 win over FDU on Saturday afternoon to earn their first NEC victory of the season. The win also signified the Pioneers' first home win of the year, after starting the season 0-4 at the Pitt Center. Bryant is also 1-1 in the Northeast Conference after defeating Saint Francis University last Thursday and then falling short to Robert Morris on Saturday.

Last Time Out... The Pioneers won their first home game of the season Saturday afternoon with a 71-67 victory over the Fairleigh Dickinson Knights. After allowing the Fairleigh Dickinson Knights to score 40 first half points and trailing by six at the break, the Pioneers clamped down in the second half, giving up just 27 points and outscoring the Knights, 37-27. Senior Louis Montes knocked down eight of eight from the free throw line on his way to a team-high 15 points, to go along with 11 rebounds. The Pioneers shot a less than stellar 34% (21-of-62) from the field, but shot a season-high 89% (24-of-27) from the free-throw line.

SHU vs. Bryant Series Notes... Thursday will be the 27th meeting between Sacred Heart and Bryant.
- The Pioneers lead the all-time series 16-10.
- Since the Bulldogs became a member of the NEC, SHU leads the series 8-1.
- Sacred Heart has won four of the last five games against Bryant after going 1-1 last season.
- Prior to the 2008-09 season, the two teams hadn't met on the hardwood since the 1997-98 campaign. The two schools first met on the court in 1965-66, SHU's inaugural season.

Pioneers in the NEC...  Sacred Heart is in its 15th season of play in the Northeast
Conference in 2013-14.  
- SHU is 107-153 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, reaching the championship game twice.

Second Half Shut Down... The Pioneers gave up just 27 second half points in their 71-67 win over FDU on Saturday afternoon. More importantly, after letting the Knights shoot 7-of-11 from three in the first half, SHU relented just one three-ball in the second half out of eight FDU attempts. The Knights shot a less than stellar 32.3% (10-of-31) from the floor after halftime.

A lot More Mostafa... Senior Mostafa Abdel Latif has been a huge factor for the Pioneers in the past six games. After averaging just 9.2 minutes in the Pioneers' first nine games this season, Abdel Latif has been let loose for 26.3 minutes per game over the last six. In his last five games, the senior forward is averaging 9.6 points and 10.2 rebounds. Mostafa is now leading the Pioneers in rebounding (5.7 rebs/game) and has climbed all the way into fifth in rebounding in the NEC.

FREE Throws... Sacred Heart shot a season-high 89 percent (24-of-27) from the free throw line in the Pioneers' win over FDU on Saturday afternoon. After missing ten free throws (13-of-23) in the win over New Hampshire, the Pioneers have missed just seven in the past two games, going 37-of-44 (86%). SHU is currently shooting 69.7% from the charity stripe.

Home Sweet Home... On Saturday afternoon, the Pioneers earned their first victory of the season at the William H. Pitt Center. Sacred Heart had lost its previous seven games at home, dating back to February 7th of last season.  

Barnett Burstin' Thru... Freshman De'Von Barnett earned his second Northeast Conference Rookie of the Week honor two weeks ago after pouring in a career-high 15 points in the Pioneers' 66-53 win over UNH on January 4th. Since returning from injury, Barnett is averaging 10.2 points and 3.9 rebounds per game (nine games). Barnett made his way into the starting lineup for the first time this season against Robert Morris on January 9th.

Montes 1,000.... Senior Louis Montes scored his 1,000th career points on December 18th in a Pioneers' 70-61 loss at Santa Clara. The senior forward now has 1,075 career points in 104 career games. Montes becomes the 37th Pioneer to eclipse 1,000 points in a career and the 190th player in Northeast Conference history. Montes also has 558 career rebounds.