Sacred Heart (5-25, 2-13 NEC) vs. Central Conn. State (10-18, 6-9 NEC) Game 31
March 1st, 2014 - 3:30 pm - William H. Pitt Center
Setting the Scene... Sacred Heart wraps up its season on Saturday afternoon as the Central Connecticut State Blue Devils come to town for a 3:30 tip inside the William H. Pitt Center. The Pioneers are looking to end the season on a two game winning streak, after defeating Mount St. Mary's Thursday night. CCSU will be attempting to improve its tournament seed after clinching a spot in the NEC Tournament Thursday night. The Blue Devils defeated Sacred Heart, 74-69, in New Britain on February 15th. SHU will be honoring its two seniors, Louis Montes and Mostafa Abdel Latif prior to the start of the game. At halftime, there will be a ceremony in which the Pitt Center Court will be named after former head basketball coach, Dave Bike.
Last Time Out... In front of a contingency of friends and family, Maryland-native De'Von Barnett scored a career-high 24 points as the Sacred Heart Pioneers defeated Mount St. Mary's, 71-65, Thursday night at Knott Arena. With the win, Sacred Heart snaps a 12 game losing streak. Barnett was an efficient 12-of-16 from the floor to go along with seven boards. Evan Kelley scored 14 points and also grabbed 7 rebounds, while Phil Gaetano chipped in with 11 points and dished out seven assists. Sacred Heart shot 58 percent from the floor and outscored MSM in the paint, 52-18.
SHU vs. CCSU Series Notes... Saturday marks the 53rd meeting all-time between SHU and CCSU.
- The Blue Devils own a 24-10 record against the Pioneers since SHU joined the NEC in 1999-2000.
- SHU is 7-9 against CCSU at home and 3-15 in Detrick Gymnasium since joining the NEC.
- Sacred Heart and Central have met five times in the postseason.
- The Blue Devils knocked the Pioneers from the NEC Tournament three times including winning the 2007 NEC title game. Sacred Heart ousted CCSU from the 2008 and 2009 tournaments.
Pioneers in the NEC... Sacred Heart is in its 15th season of play in the Northeast Conference in 2013-14.
- SHU is 108-165 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.
Streak Snapped... For the first time in 47 days, the Pioneers tasted victory with a 72-65 win over Mount St. Mary's on Thursday night. The Pioneers had dropped 12 consecutive games, their longest losing streaking since the 2004-05 season. The Mount had defeated Sacred Heart nine straight times prior to Thursday night.
Beastly Barnett... Freshman De'Von Barnett put on a show in his home state of Maryland Thursday night. Barnett scored a career high 24 points on 12-of-16 shooting., while also grabbing seven rebounds. Barnett scored eight consecutive points late in the second half to help the Pioneers run away from the Mount. The rookie Pioneer is now averaging 10.7 points per game in his debut season, while being named NEC Rookie of the Week twice this season.
About Mostafa... Senior Mostafa Abdel Latif has appeared in 29 games as a Pioneer, and has been inserted into the starting lineup in Sacred Heart's last 18 games. He currently leads the Pioneers and ranks eighth in the Northeast Conference in rebounding, averaging 5.7 boards per game. Earlier this year, he grabbed 17 rebounds in one game, which is the second most by a Pioneer in a single game since Sacred Heart turned Division I.
About Louis.... Senior Louis Montes has appeared in 120 games in his four-year career. He has amassed over 1,200 points and 600 rebounds in his Sacred Heart career. A versatile scorer, his 1,236 career points ranks 29th all-time on the Sacred Heart scoring list. Louis scored his 1,000th career points earlier this season at Santa Clara. He has scored double digits in 57 career games, including a career-high 35 in a win over LIU Brooklyn last season. He currently leads the Pioneers in scoring this season, averaging 13.5 points per game.