February 4, 2011

Pioneers Head To Brooklyn To Face-Off With St. Francis (NY) Saturday Afternoon

The Storyline...  The Sacred Heart women's basketball team looks to win its fourth straight game Saturday afternoon as they travel to Brooklyn Heights, NY to take on St. Francis (NY).  The Pioneers defeated the two teams atop the Northeast Conference standings last weekend to surge back into contention for a conference title.  In both games it was Maggie Cosgrove who knocked down a trifecta to put SHU on top with less than a minute to play.  Sacred Heart is also coming off of a school record 14 three-pointers last time out against Robert Morris.  In the victory over Robert Morris the Pioneers got a pair of double-doubles from Kiley Evans and Callan Taylor.  The Terriers enter Saturday's tilt on a ten game losing streak and still searching for their first conference win of 2010-11.  Most recently, SFNY fell at Monmouth and Fairleigh Dickinson.       

Series...  Sacred Heart is 18-9 all-time against St. Francis (NY).  However, the Pioneers had a 17 game winning streak over the Terriers snapped last season in a 67-66 setback at the William H. Pitt Center.  The loss was also Sacred Heart's first division I was defeat at the hands of the Terriers.  St. Francis (NY) accounted for the first victory in SHU women's basketball history as the Pioneers topped SFNY 62-50 February 4, 1975.         

Scouting the Terriers...  St. Francis (NY) has struggled so far in 2010-11, ranking last in the Northeast Conference in scoring (47.4 ppg) and rebounding (31.9 rpg).  Autumn Lau paces the Terrier attack with 12.0 points and 5.4 boards per game this season. St. Francis (NY) has reached 60 points three times this year and held under 40 points on nine occasions.  SFNY also averages the post turnovers per game in the league, making 22.0 miscues per contest.  St. Francis (NY) drops in 4.9 trifectas per game shooting 27.7 percent from beyond the arc.  As a team the Terriers are at 63.1 percent from the free throw line, led by Kayla Williams 80.5 percent mark.

Long Range Record... The Pioneers poured in a program best 14 three-point baskets and shot 63.6 percent (14-22) from beyond the arc against Robert Morris.  Senior Maggie Cosgrove led the effort with six triples, including a clutch shot that put Sacred Heart on top 67-65 with 35 seconds remaining in regulation.  Callan Taylor added four treys on seven attempts while Blair Koniszewski knocked down two threes in her six minutes of action.  It was the Pioneers best percentage from downtown since January 23, 2010 when SHU went 10-14 for 71.4 percent against Bryant.

Cosgrove Named Choice Hotels/NEC Co-Player of the Week...  Last week the senior guard supplied a pair of go-ahead trifectas with under a minute to play in regulation. Cosgrove broke a 59-59 tie with 58 seconds remaining on a trey from the left corner Saturday afternoon as Sacred Heart went on to defeat Saint Francis (PA), 64-61. Two days later the SHU all-time leader for three-pointers struck again as Cosgrove buried a clutch shot from the same spot for three of her season high 22 points of the night.

Double Trouble... Last time out against the Colonials the Pioneers had two players record double-doubles for the second time this season.  Callan Taylor tallied 14 points and 11 rebounds as the junior forward posted her NEC leading seventh double-double of the year.  Kiley Evans added 11 points and ten rebounds as she reached double figures in both categories for the third time in 2010-11.  Sacred Heart is 8-0 on the year when any player notches a double-double.         

Surviving the Buzzer... After suffering some early heartbreak at the final buzzer this season the Pioneers escaped a pair of final shot attempts in their two victories last weekend.    Saturday afternoon the NEC's leading scorer Samantha Leach misfired on a running three as time expired as SHU defeated the Red Flash.  Two days later it was Yohanna Morton who came up short for Robert Morris as the Pioneers came away with a one point triumph.

Norman's Helping Hands... Freshman Ericka Norman has excelled since taking over the Pioneers starting point guard.  The California native is averaging four assists per game against league opposition.  Norman dished out five assists in both of the Pioneers wins over first-place opposition last weekend.  She has gone 11 straight games with multiple helpers, including a career high seven against Wagner.  Norman is also chipping in 7.2 points per contests in NEC contests.              

Keeping Them Down...  Sacred Heart is 10-0 this season when they lead heading into the intermission.  The Pioneers are a perfect 11-0 in 2010-11 when having an advantage with ten minutes remaining in regulation.  SHU holds a 13-1 mark when leading with 5:00 minutes to play with the only loss coming against Wagner as SHU led by one late after overcoming a 10 point Seahawk advantage in the second half.                             

SHU Sharpshooters... Maggie Cosgrove and Callan Taylor both rank in the top-five in the NEC in three-point field goal percentage in 2010-11.  Cosgrove is second in the conference shooting at a 43.4 percent (43-99) clip from downtown this season.  Taylor is fourth in the league with a 41.8 percent (33-79) mark from beyond the arc.  Cosgrove is also the Sacred Heart all-time leader in career treys, currently sitting at 236 long balls in her three plus seasons wearing red and white.