January 29, 2014

Pioneers Return Home For Televised Matchup Against St. Francis Brooklyn

Sacred Heart (4-17, 1-5 NEC) vs. St. Francis Brooklyn (12-9, 3-3 NEC) Game 22

January 29th, 2014 - 6:00 pm -  FAIRFIELD, Conn. - William H. Pitt Center

TV: MSG & FOX College Sports Network (FCS Atlantic, Ch. 623 on DirecTV)

Live Stats

Full Game Notes

Setting the Scene... After a tough 0-4 road trip, the Pioneers return home to the William H. Pitt Center to host the St. Francis Brooklyn Terriers Wednesday night. Sacred Heart is looking to snap a four-game losing streak and win its second conference game of the season. St. Francis Brooklyn is also coming off a loss, to the Bryant Bulldogs, 83-79 on Saturday afternoon. The Terriers are 3-3 in the conference with wins over Central Connecticut and LIU Brooklyn to go along with the January 18th win over Sacred Heart. The Pioneers were victorious in their last home game, defeating Fairleigh Dickinson, 71-67, on January 11th.

It's Showtime... The Pioneers and Terriers will be broadcasted live on Fox College Sports, and the MSG Network. Sacred Heart's home game against Mount St. Mary's next Thursday night will be broadcasted on ESPN3.

Last Time Out... The Pioneers were defeated 68-66 at Saint Francis University on Saturday afternoon, a game that was televised live on ESPN3 and Fox College Sports. The Pioneers turned the ball over just five times and outrebounded the Red Flash by nine, but shot 37.1% (23-of-62) from the floor in the loss. Chris Evans led the way for SHU, making 10-of-11 from the free throw line on his way to a team-high 18 points. De'Von Barnett (14 points), and Mostafa Abdel Latif (13 points), joined Evans in double digits.

SHU vs. St. Francis Brooklyn Series Notes... This is the 26th meeting
between SHU and St. Francis Brooklyn.
- The Terriers hold a 16-9 edge in the all-time series with the Pioneers, but SHU leads the series 6-5 at the Pitt Center.
- Earlier this season, SFBK defeated Sacred Heart 74-71 in Brooklyn. Senior Ben Mockford drilled seven three-pointers for SFBK, including six in the first half.
- Last season, both teams held serve at home with the Terriers defeating
SHU on the final day of the 2012-13 regular season to earn the final berth into the NEC tournament.

Pioneers in the NEC...  Sacred Heart is in its 15th season of play in the Northeast Conference in 2013-14.  
- SHU is 107-157 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.

Slumping Evans... Over his last nine games, junior guard Chris Evans is shooting an icy 29.8% (25-of-84) from the field. The Connecticut native is 3-of-14 from beyond the three-point arc during that span.

Getting to the Line... Although Chris Evans has struggled from the floor of late, he gets to the foul line more than any other Pioneer. Evans has shot 50 more free throws than any other SHU player this season, and accounts for 30 percent (98) of Sacred Heart's total made free throws.  

From Negative to Positive...The Pioneers were outrebound by an average of 3.8 boards per game in their first 15 non-conference games of the season. Since then, Sacred Heart has outrebounded NEC opponents by an average of 4.2 boards per contest. The Pioneers outrebounded Saint Francis, 37-28,  on Saturday afternoon.
 
Same Old Guy (Tano)... After finishing last season second in the country with 7.9 assists per game, junior Phil Gaetano is averaging 6.52 dimes per game this year, good for 2nd in the NEC and 13th in the NCAA. In his last five games, Gaetano is averaging 8.4 per contest. The junior point guard has dished out double digit assists in two of the last three games.   

Tough Starts... Sacred Heart has been outscored by 123 points in the first half of games this season, while being outscored by just 22 points the rest of the game. In conference, the Pioneers have been outscored by 36 in the first half of games (6 pts/gm).  

When it Rains... The Pioneers have lost four consecutive games for the third time this season. Sacred Heart lost four games to start the season and then dropped six in a row in non-conference play in December.

Home Sweet Home... On January 11th, 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.  

Up Next... Sacred Heart will host the Bryant Bulldogs on Super Bowl Sunday at 2:00 in the William H. Pitt Center. Bryant defeated SHU 85-70 in Smithfield on January 16th.