Sacred Heart (4-15, 1-3 NEC) at Robert Morris (9-10, 4-0 NEC) Game 20
January 23rd, 2014 - 7:00 pm - Sewall Center (3,056)
Setting the Scene... Just two weeks after their first match-up of the season, the Sacred Heart Pioneers and the Robert Morris Colonials will meet again Thursday night in Moon Township. On January 9th, RMU defeated Sacred Heart 79-70 at the Pitt Center, thanks to a 36 point outing from guard Karvel Anderson. The Pioneers are looking to snap a two-game losing streak, while Robert Morris is hoping to extend a four game winning streak and stay undefeated in NEC play. RMU has won each of its first four conference games by single digits.
Last Time Out... Sacred Heart dropped their second consecutive NEC game with a 74-71 setback at St. Francis Brooklyn on Saturday evening. The Pioneers battled back from a nine point second half deficit to tie the game at 68 with 2:17 left, but could not close the deal. Chris Evans poured in a team-high 14 points to go along with six rebounds. Senior forward Mostafa Abdel Latif and Steve Glowiak both chipped in with 13 points. Phil Gaetano dished out a season-high 12 assists. Ben Mockford led the way for St. Francis Brooklyn, knocking down 7-of-8 from beyond the arc, on his way to a game-high 23 points.
Sacred Heart vs. Robert Morris Series Notes... Tonight marks the 26th meeting between the Pioneers and Colonials.
- Robert Morris leads the all-time series, 17-8.
- The Colonials have won five-straight and nine of the last ten meetings with the Pioneers.
- Earlier this season, Karvel Anderson scored 36 points for Robert Morris in a 79-70 win over the Pioneers at the Pitt Center.
- The Pioneers are 2-10 in Moon Township.
Pioneers in the NEC... Sacred Heart is in its 15th season of play in the Northeast Conference in 2013-14.
- SHU is 107-155 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.
More Mostafa... Senior Mostafa Abdel Latif has been a huge factor for the Pioneers in the past seven games. After averaging just 9.2 minutes in the Pioneers' first nine games this season, Abdel Latif has been let loose for 25.9 minutes per game over the past eight. In his last seven games, the senior forward is averaging 9.4 points and 8.75 rebounds. Mostafa is now leading the Pioneers in rebounding (5.6 rebs/game) and has climbed all the way into seventh in the NEC in rebounding.
Improving Boards... The Pioneers are averaging almost five more rebounds per game in NEC play than they were in non-conference play. In its last four games, Sacred Heart is outrebounding teams by an average of 4.5 boards per game, after being outrebounded by over three per contest in its first 15.
Taking Care of the Basketball... Sacred Heart leads the Northeast Conference with a 1.11 assist to turnover ratio. The Pioneers are also third in the NEC with a plus 0.84 turnover margin. Earlier this season, the Pioneers dished out 23 assists in a win over Hofstra, compared to just three team turnovers.
Slumping Evans... Over the last eight games, junior guard Chris Evans is shooting an icy 29.4% (20-of-68) from the field. The Connecticut native is 2-of-12 from beyond the three-point arc during that span.
Free Throw Woes Part II...Sacred Heart shot a season-high 89 percent (24-of-27) from the free throw line in the its win over FDU on January 11th. Since then, Sacred Heart has shot 33-of-52 (63.4%) from the charity stripe in its last two games. This season, Sacred Heart is shooting 68.9% from the charity stripe, good for 8th in the NEC. SHU is shooting 64.7 percent from the line in away games.
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.
Same Old Story... After finishing last season second in the country with 7.9 assists per game, junior Phil Gaetano is back at it, averaging 6.3 dimes per game, good for 13th in the NCAA. In his last four games, Gaetano is averaging eight assists per contest.
Up Next... The Pioneers complete the Pennsylvania swing with a match-up against the Saint Francis Red Flash.