Sacred Heart (4-24, 1-12 NEC) vs. LIU Brooklyn (8-18, 3-10 NEC) Game 29
February 25th, 2014 - 7:00 pm - Pitt Center
Setting the Scene... The Pioneers begin the final week of the regular season with a home match-up against the Blackbirds of LIU Brooklyn. Sacred Heart and LIU Brooklyn were originally scheduled to play on February 13th but that game was postponed due to a snowstorm. SHU is looking to snap an 11 game losing streak, while LIU Brooklyn is still battling for the eighth and final NEC Tournament spot. The Blackbirds have lost two consecutive games and are currently two games behind CCSU for the final playoff spot.
Last Time Out... Fairleigh Dickinson had five players score in double digits Saturday afternoon, on its way to a 73-66 win over Sacred Heart at Stratis Arena. SHU has now dropped eleven consecutive games and falls to 1-12 in the NEC this season. For the second consecutive game, Louis Montes led the way for SHU, scoring a game-high 19 points, on 5-of-12 shooting.Freshman De'Von Barnett scored 18 points on 8-of-17 shooting, while senior Mostafa Abdel Latif grabbed 14 rebounds to go along with four points.
SHU vs. LIU Brooklyn Series Notes... Tuesday marks the 27th meeting between SHU and LIU Brooklyn.
- The Blackbirds lead the all-time series, 17-9
- SHU and LIU Brooklyn split last season, with each team holding serve on their home court.
- The Pioneers and Blackbirds have met just once in the postseason. LIU Brooklyn knocked the Pioneers from the tournament last in 2012 as the top-seed, winning 80-68 at home in the WRAC on their way to a second-straight NEC title.
- SHU is 6-6 at home against LIU Brooklyn and 1-5 at the Wellness Center
Pioneers in the NEC... Sacred Heart is in its 15th season of play in the Northeast Conference in 2013-14.
- SHU is 107-164 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.
Tough Season... The Pioneers have lost 11 consecutive games for the first time since the 2004-05 season. The Pioneers have gone 45 days without a win. Sacred Heart has separate losing streaks of four, six and now 11 games this season.
Shooting Through the Years... Sacred Heart is shooting a NEC worst 40.9 % from the field this season. This is the lowest field goal percentage for the Pioneers in six years. (NEC Ranking)
2012-13: 44.0% (3rd)
2011-12: 46.0% (2nd)
2010-11: 42.9% (5th)
2009-10: 44.2% (2nd)
2008-09: 48.4% (1st)
Offensive Struggles... Over their last six games, the Pioneers are averaging 63.2 points per game, while shooting 37.7 percent from the field (134-for-355). The Pioneers are now shooting a NEC worst 40.9 percent from the floor for the season.
Phil 500 ... Point guard Phil Gaetano dished out his 500th career assist on February 2nd against Bryant. Gaetano is now sixth all-time on the Sacred Heart assists list with 523 career dimes.
First for Phil... For the the first time in his college career, Gaetano did not register an assist in Sacred Heart's loss to Wagner on February 8th. The junior point guard had dished out atleast one assist in 74 consecutive games. Gaetano was second in the country last season, averaging 7.9 assists per game. This season, Gaetano ranks tenth in country, averaging 6.1 dimes per game.
Tough Starts... Sacred Heart has been outscored by 165 points in the first half of games this season, while being outscored by just 47 points the rest of the game.
Home (Not So) Sweet Home... Sacred Heart is 1-8 at home this season. The Pioneers' lone win came against Fairleigh Dickinson on January 11th. SHU is shooting 40.8 percent (222-of-544) from the floor at the Pitt Center with a minus 7.5 scoring margin. The Pioneers shot 26.2 percent from the floor (lowest at home this season) on February 8th against Wagner.
Barnett Back on Track...After three games of averaging an uncharacteristic 5.7 points per game, freshman Barnett has averaged 11.6 points and 5.3 rebounds in Sacred Heart's last seven games. Barnett has been named NEC Rookie of the Week twice this season after missing the Pioneers' first nine games due to a leg injury.
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 1,228 career points in 116 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 56 career games.
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 21.9 minutes per game over the past 17 games. Mostafa is now leading the Pioneers in rebounding (5.7 rebs/game) and has climbed all the to eighth in the NEC. Over his last two games, Abdel Latif is averaging 15.5 rebounds per game.
Up Next... Sacred Heart travels to Mount St. Mary's on Thursday night, before finishing its season Saturday afternoon against CCSU on Senior Day.