The Storyline... With little certain in the Northeast Conference playoff picture the SHU women's basketball team hosts Fairleigh Dickinson Monday night in the final game of the 2010-11 regular season. Both sides have punched their ticket into the playoffs while the Knights are guaranteed the eight seed. The Pioneers currently sit in a four-way tie for third place with one team a single game in front of the pack and another squad just one game back. Sacred Heart will need a victory to keep one of the most impressive streaks in NEC history alive as the Pioneers have never finished lower than third in the standings since joining the league in 1999-2000. Sacred Heart dropped a 59-54 verdict Saturday afternoon at the hands of Monmouth despite recovering from an early 19-1 deficit. Fairleigh Dickinson fell 76-59 in a road contest at Quinnipiac to fall back to .500 overall and become locked into the eight seed for the 2011 NEC tournament.
Current Northeast Conference Standings (2/27)
|Saint Francis (PA)||
|Central Conn. St.||10-7|
|Mount St. Mary's||5-12|
|St. Francis (NY)||0-17|
Sacred Heart 2011 Northeast Conference Tie-Break Scenarios
As of 2/27/11
vs. Long Island – LIU Wins
vs. Monmouth – MU Wins
vs. Quinnipiac – SHU (with SFPA win or MU loss Monday); QU (with SFPA loss and MU win Monday)
vs. Robert Morris – SHU Wins
vs. Central Conn St. – SHU (with SFPA win or MU loss Monday); CCSU (with SFPA loss and MU win Monday)
Three Team Tie:
vs. Teams – 1st/2nd/3rd
vs. Long Island/Monmouth – MU/LIU/SHU
vs. Long Island/Robert Morris – LIU/SHU/RMU
vs. Long Island/Quinnipiac – LIU/SHU or QU (based on head-to-head tiebreak)
vs. Monmouth/Quinnipiac – QU/MU/SHU
vs. Monmouth/Robert Morris – MU/SHU/RMU
vs. Quinnipiac/Robert Morris – SHU/RMU/QU
Four Team Tie:
vs. Teams – 1st/2nd/3rd/4th
vs. Long Island/Monmouth/Robert Morris – MU/LIU/SHU/RMU
vs. Quinnipiac/Monmouth/Robert Morris – QU/MU/SHU/RMU
vs. Quinnipiac/Long Island/Robert Morris – LIU/SHU/RMU/QU
vs. Quinnipiac/Long Island/Monmouth – LIU/QU/MU/SHU
Five Team Tie:
vs. Teams – 1st/2nd/3rd/4th/5th
vs. Monmouth/Long Island/Quinnipiac/Robert Morris – LIU/QU/MU/SHU/RMU
Series... The Pioneers own an impressive 19-1 all-time record versus Fairleigh Dickinson. Sacred Heart has won 15 straight meetings against the Knights, last falling to FDU back on January 31, 2000. SHU routed Fairleigh Dickinson 65-39 earlier this season in Teaneck, NJ. The Pioneers have claimed its last six victories over the Knights by a double-digit margin. Sacred Heart is also a perfect 10-0 against FDU inside the friendly confines of the William H. Pitt Center.
Scouting the Knights... Eighth place Fairleigh Dickinson boasts one of the most dangerous players in the Northeast Conference in Mariyah Laury. Laury ranks second in the NEC averaging 15.9 points per game and third in the league in three-point percentage, shooting 41.4 percent from downtown. However, as a team the Knights have struggled from the floor to the tune of 35.5 percent, 11th in the NEC. It has been the team defense of FDU that has propelled them to a playoff berth. The Knights have held opponents to 35.4 percent from the field and a Northeast Conference best 27 percent from three-point range. FDU is also tops in the circuit with 5.1 blocked shots per game, led by Ester Wallace's 74 total blocks in 2010-11.
Cold Start Dooms Pioneers... In Sacred Heart's last outing it was the Monmouth Hawks who stormed out of the gate to take a 19-1 lead. The Pioneers scored their first field goal on a Callan Taylor layup more than 11 minutes after the opening tip. But Sacred Heart recovered and surged back to take a seven point lead with 7:21 remaining in regulation. However, the Hawks would rally down the stretch and hold of the Pioneers to pick up the victory and sweep the season series from SHU.
Saying Goodbye to a Spectacular Senior Class... Before Saturday's game against Monmouth the Pioneers honored this year's four graduating seniors: Alisa Apo, Maggie Cosgrove, Maureen Reilly, and Markie Schmidt. Together this group has compiled an 80-41 overall record in their time at Sacred Heart. In the 2008-09 season this group was part of Sacred Heart's historical perfect run through the Northeast Conference that concluded with the program's second championship and trip to the NCAA tournament. The class of 2011 has posted a 55-16 mark against league opposition and won 46 games at home inside the Pitt Center.
Counting on Callan... Junior Callan Taylor is fourth in the NEC in scoring with 15.0 points per game and second in rebounding at 9.2 boards per contest. She has been even better in league games averaging a double-double with 14.9 points and 11.0 rebounds per game. Taylor recorded her league leading 11th double-double of the year against Monmouth registering 20 points and 14 rebounds. The six-foot forward has secured at least 10 boards in five consecutive games.
Let's Play to 70... Sacred Heart is 7-0 this season when reaching the 70 point plateau. The Pioneers last scored 70+ in back-to-back wins over Bryant and Central Connecticut State. SHU also holds a 0-3 record in 2010-11 when opponents notch at least 70 points. Sacred Heart is 8-2 when tallying 60-69 points and is 2-9 without reaching the 60 point mark.
Cosgrove Eclipses 1,000 Point Barrier... Senior Maggie Cosgrove drilled a trey at the 12:25 mark of the second half against Bryant to become the 16th player in program history to reach 1,000 career points. Cosgrove has tallied 747 of her now 1,028 career points with a school record 249 three-point baskets. During her career the guard has averaged 8.4 points per game and shot 42 percent from beyond the arc.