Sacred Heart (4-18, 1-6 NEC) vs. Bryant (13-9, 5-2 NEC) Game 23
February 2nd, 2014 - 2:00 pm - William H. Pitt Center
Setting the Scene... The Pioneers look to snap a five game losing streak as they play host to the Bryant Bulldogs Sunday afternoon at 2:00 pm. SHU was defeated by Bryant, 85-70, on January 16th in Smithfield. Bryant is coming off a 79-76 loss at Robert Morris on Thursday night, a game that pitted the first place team in the NEC against the second place team. The Pioneers are 5-1 all-time against Bryant in the William H. Pitt Center, but just 1-5 this season at home.
Last Time Out... The Pioneers lost their fifth consecutive game Wednesday night at the William H. Pitt Center. SHU was defeated 83-78 by the St. Francis Brooklyn Terriers, a game that was broadcasted live on Fox College Sports and the MSG Network. The Pioneers had five players score in double digits, with Evan Kelley leading the way with 18 points in his third game back from a shoulder injury. Guard Brent Jones scored a game-high 28 points for SFBK, while Jalen Cannon added 21. SFBK made 12 consecutive free throws in the final 1:08 of the game to close the door on SHU. The Pioneers scored 45 second half points.
SHU vs. Bryant Series Notes... Sunday afternoon will be the 28th meeting between Sacred Heart and Bryant.
- The Pioneers lead the all-time series 16-11.
- Since the Bulldogs became a member of the NEC, SHU leads the series 8-2.
- Earlier this season, Bryant ran away from SHU in the second half on its way to a 85-70 win at the Chace Athletic Center.
- 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 107-158 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.
Up Next... Sacred Heart will host the Mount St. Mary's Mountaineers Thursday night, live on ESPN3 and Fox College Sports at 9:00 pm.
Balanced Scoring... Sacred Heart has four players averaging double figures in scoring through 14 games this season. Evan Kelley leads the Pioneers with 13.2 points per game. Louis Montes is scoring 12.3 points per game, while Chris Evans is putting up 12.1. Off the bench, Steve Glowiak is averaging 10.2 points per game.
Balanced Scoring Part II... For the first time this season, the pioneers had five players score in double digits against SFBK on Wednesday night. Freshman center Cole Walton scored a career-high 10 points off the bench.
More Mostafa... Senior Mostafa Abdel Latif has been a huge factor for the Pioneers in the second half of this season. After averaging just 9.2 minutes in the Pioneers' first nine games this season, Abdel Latif has been let loose for 25.0 minutes per game over the past 11 games. In his last six games, the senior forward is averaging 10.1 points and 6.0 rebounds. Mostafa is now leading the Pioneers in rebounding (5.5 rebs/game) and has climbed all the way into eighth in the NEC. Abdel Latif averages 12.1 rebounds per forty minutes.
Misery loves Company... Two of the Pioneers' most reliable scorers, Chris Evans and Steve Glowiak, have been struggling shooting the basketball of late. Over their last ten games, Evans and Glowiak are shooting a combined 34.1 percent (63-of-185) from the floor, and 32.5 percent (28-of-86) from beyond the three-point line.
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 51 more free throws than any other SHU player this season, and accounts for 29.6 percent (101 makes) of Sacred Heart's total made free throws.
Barnett Back on Track... After three games of averaging an uncharacteristic 5.7 points per game, freshman Barnett has scored double digits in the past two games, 14 vs SFU and 12 against SFBK. He has grabbed a team-high 13 boards the past two games as well.
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 4.1 boards per contest. The Pioneers outrebounded St. Francis, 37-33, on Wednesday night.
Same Old Guy (Tano)... After finishing last season second in the country with 7.9 assists per game, junior Phil Gaetano is averaging 6.59 dimes per game this year, good for 2nd in the NEC and 13th in the NCAA. In his last five games, Gaetano is averaging 8.8 per contest. The Point guard has also made a three-pointer in 12 straight games.
Tough Starts... Sacred Heart has been outscored by 129 points in the first half of games this season, while being outscored by just 21 points the rest of the game. Down six at half, the Pioneers outscored the Terriers by one in the second half Wednesday night.
Home (Not So) Sweet Home... Sacred Heart is 1-5 at home this season. The Pioneers' lone win came against Fairleigh Dickinson on January 11th. SHU is shooting 44.3 percent (156-of-352) from the floor at the Pitt Center with a -6.8 scoring margin.