February 5, 2014

Sacred Heart and Mount St. Mary's Set for ESPN3 Matchup Thursday night

Sacred Heart (4-19, 1-7 NEC) vs. Mount St. Mary's (9-12, 5-3 NEC)

February 6th, 2014 - 9:00 pm -  William H. Pitt Center - "PACK THE PITT"

TV: ESPN3 & MASN

Talent: Dave Popkin, Joe DeSantis, Paul Dottino

Full Game Notes

Setting the Scene... The Pioneers will play their third televised game of the season as the Mount St. Mary's Mountaineers come town for a rare 9:00 tip-off at the William H. Pitt Center. Sacred Heart is looking to snap a six-game losing streak and win its first game since January 11th. The Mount currently sits in fourth place in the NEC with a conference record of 5-3. MSM is looking to win their third NEC game in a row, after defeating FDU in overtime last Thursday night, and then beating LIU Brooklyn on Saturday afternoon. Sam Prescott drilled a three-pointer with 0.3 seconds left to down the Blackbirds.

Last Time Out...
The Pioneers were defeated 76-67 to the Bryant Bulldogs on Saturday afternoon. SHU lost both match-ups with the Bulldogs this season by nine points each. Sacred Heart battled back from a 22 point halftime deficit to pull within five with 2:06 left, before losing by nine. Steve Glowiak knocked down six three-pointers in the second half, as he and Louis Montes combined for 38 of Sacred Heart's 44 second half points.

SHU vs. Mount St. Mary's Series Notes...
Thursday night marks the 27th meeting between SHU and the Mount.
- Mount St. Mary's holds an 19-7 edge in the all-time series.
- The Mount has won eight consecutive against SHU, with the Pioneers' last win coming on Dec. 4th, 2008.
- The Pioneers and Mountaineers have played twice in the postseason with Mount St. Mary's winning both meetings.  The Mount knocked the Pioneers out of the 2009 tournament with a 68-63 win at home in the semifinals.  They also met in the 2008 NEC Championship with the Pioneers falling at home, 68-55.

Pioneers in the NEC... 
Sacred Heart is in its 15th season of play in the Northeast Conference in 2013-14.  
- SHU is 107-159 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.

Phil 500 ... Point guard Phil Gaetano dished out his 500th career assist on Sunday afternoon against Bryant. Gaetano is now sixth all-time in Sacred Heart history with 502 career assists. After finishing last season second in the country with 7.9 assists per game, junior the connecticut-native is averaging 6.6 helpers per game this year, good for 2nd in the NEC and 9th in the country. In his last five games, Gaetano is averaging 8.6 assists per game.

Tough Starts... Sacred Heart has been outscored by 151 points in the first half of games this season, while being outscored by just 9 points the rest of the game.  Down 22 at the half on Saturday against Bryant, the Pioneers pulled within five with 2:06 left ,before losing by nine.

Home (Not So) Sweet Home... Sacred Heart is 1-6 at home this season. The Pioneers' lone win came against Fairleigh Dickinson on January 11th. SHU is shooting 43.6 percent (181-of-415) from the floor at the Pitt Center with a minus seven scoring margin.

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 23.8 minutes per game over the past 12 games. Mostafa is now leading the Pioneers in rebounding (5.2 rebs/game) and has climbed all the way into tenth in the NEC.  

Getting to the Line...Although Chris Evans has struggled from the floor of late, shooting 33% (11-of-33), from the floor, he gets to the foul line more than any other Pioneer. Evans has shot 49 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 averaged 11.7 points and 6.7 rebounds in Sacred Heart's last three games.

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  3.4 boards per contest.

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 1,1170 career points in 109 career games. Montes becomes the 37th Pioneer to eclipse 1,000 points in a career and the 190th player in Northeast Conference history. Montes has scored in double digits in 53 career games.

Up Next... Sacred Heart will continue its five-game homestand with a match-up against the Wagner Seahawks on Saturday afternoon at 2:00.