Sacred Heart Looks to Extend Its First Streak at Central Connecticut State Saturday

Sacred Heart Looks to Extend Its First Streak at Central Connecticut State Saturday

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NEW BRITAIN, Conn. – The Sacred Heart women's basketball team (6-9, 2-2 NEC) looks to win three in a row when they travel to Central Connecticut State (1-13, 1-2 NEC), Saturday afternoon for a 1:00 p.m. meeting at Detrick Gymnasium. 

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SHU leads the all-time series with Central Connecticut 31-17. Last season, the two teams split their series with CCSU picking up a win in January and SHU taking bragging rights for its Senior Day in February.

Last season's series…

On January 7, 2017, SHU traveled to New Britain, Connecticut to take on the Blue Devils. Katherine Haines led the Pioneers with 15 points and recorded her third-straight double-digit game, as the Pioneers fell 67-50 to CCSU. This marked the first NEC loss for SHU, three games into the season. 

On February 11, 2017, SHU avenged their loss to Central Connecticut, as they blew the Blue Devils out of the water, handing them their largest margin of defeat in conference play, with a score of 82-61. Katherine Haines led the Pioneers as she posted her fifth double-double of the season, ending with 22 points, and 15 rebounds. The win clinched the Pioneers' spot in the NEC tournament. 

Pioneers last time out…

Katherine Haines credited three of her career-high 26 points in an 8-0 run in the early proceedings of the third quarter. Such spurt turned the tide for Sacred Heart as the Pioneers rallied for a come-from-behind 72-55 victory over host Wagner Monday evening at the Spiro Sports Center.

Haines became the first student-athlete to sink more than 25 points since Erin Storck registered 29 in the Providence victory in December. Haines (26), Adrianne Hagood (16) and Candice Leatherwood (10) finished in double-digit scoring which is the first time a trio has done so since Tykera Carter (18), Leatherwood (13) and Haines (13) did so against Siena on December 17. 

Blue Devils last time out…

Central Connecticut dropped a 66-50 decision at Bryant Saturday, after holding an 11-point first half lead. Freshman Emma McCamus paced the Blue Devils with a career-high 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting. 

Central fell behind by as many as 18 points in the final quarter and shot just 29.3 percent (17-of-58) from the floor including a 22.7-percent clip from far. Freshman Tiffany Slicklein ended the day with a career-high and team-leading nine boards. Graduate student Morgan Johnson chipped in eight points and six rebounds.

Coach's corner…

Head Coach Jessica Mannetti began. "We have to do a better job executing our game plan. So we always want to take away dominate scorers' opportunities and I think we have had some success with that when you look at Providence and teams that we have beat. Then you look at where we've had failure in Jessica Kovatch [Saint Francis U] having 31 points against us."

Mannetti continued. "Executing our game plan is going to be very important to never let Central [Connecticut] get into a comfort zone. When we play them on the road, it is so tough. It is one of our tougher road games. They always bring great energy. They are scrappy and athletic and they're active. They challenge us in the way that they're going to try and win every 50\50 ball. They're going to try and beat us in terms of hustle play. We have to play our game."

Watch the full interview here

A fresh take from the freshman…

Freshman guard Olivia Dabney began. "Offensive rebounds have been big for us this year. We want to limit their amount of possessions. Limiting their amount of possessions each time will really benefit us. We don't want them getting second and third chances at scoring. Boxing out and rebounding are very important to us."

Watch the full interview here

A few things in common…

Both SHU and Central Connecticut endured setbacks to Brown. The Pioneers fell to the Bears 102-77 after the Blue Devils were outworked, 78-55. Erin Storck and Central Connecticut's Justine Gaziano and Taylor Will were the only NEC student-athletes to finish with 20-plus points. Storck added 23 in the contest while Gaziano and Will ended with 22 and 21, respectively.

In both contests, Brown out-rebounded its opponents (CCSU, 55-41; SHU 56-32), served up eight rejections, shot over 40-percent while keeping both SHU and CCSU in the neighborhood of 30-percent and forced 11 or more turnovers.

Northeast Conference action is still in its early stages but even so, Sacred Heart has seen two of the Blue Devils' NEC opponents already. 

SHU and Central Connecticut have collected wins against Wagner. Moreover, the Pioneers have also knocked off The Mount while the Blue Devils were put away by the Mountaineers.

Central Connecticut erased 12-point first-half deficit to take a late three-point third quarter lead, but could not get by Mount St. Mary's falling in its opener, 68-56. Senior Caroline Hummell tossed in a game-high 21 points in the loss.

Brianna Jacobs netted a pair of free-throws on the Blue Devils' behalf to give them a 55-53 lead with 4:31 left against Wagner. Such advantage was maintained by CCSU en route to its first victory of the season 59-56.

Candice Leatherwood established a career-high 24 points leading a group of three other Pioneers in double-figures. Her tally not only helped sever SHU's four-game skid but ended a scoring drought of her own in the 82-52 victory over Mount St. Mary's. That marked the first NEC victory this season for the Pioneers.

Katherine Haines credited three of her career-high 26 points in an 8-0 run in the early proceedings of the third quarter. Such spurt turned the tide for SHU as the Pioneers rallied for a come-from-behind 72-55 victory over host Wagner. This established the first consecutive win for the Pioneers this season.

Board "O" Board…

Considering Northeast Conference production alone, the Pioneers are outrebounding their opponents on the offensive glass, 51-38. Katherine Haines' paint presence and keen timing on misses have allowed the forward to raise for 12 of SHU's 51 offensive rebounds. Her prowess doubles the stat of the second team-leading figure. Abigail Kangudie, Tykera Carter, and Candice Leatherwood have each won six balls off the Pioneers' backboard. With Kangudie appearing for only 122 minutes at variance to Haines' 325-minute playing time, Kangudie is winning 16.0-percent of the offensive rebounds grabbed while on the floor. Haines is getting 9.8-percent of the available "o" boards during her time on the hardwood.

Katherine Haines (26), Candice Leatherwood (15), Erin Storck (13) and Adrianne Hagood (10) have yanked defensive boards as the team totals 143.

Box out…

Inside the NEC window, the Pioneers are only being edged in their rebounding efforts, 152-143. This comes after being hounded on the glass, 509-399, in the non-conference slate. All games considered, Katherine Haines leads the team with 10.8 boards per game having grabbed 119 total. Erin Storck has earned the second-most rebounds with 58 but Candice Leatherwood's 54 dispersed amongst her 12 games played upstages Storck, 4.5 rpg. Storck averages 3.9 rebounds each time out as she has been featured in each contest this year.

Of the total rebounding opportunities when present on the court, Haines is getting to 18.6-percent of the balls through her 325 total minutes. Kangudie in rebounding for 16.6-percent of the total opportunities in her 122-minute production while Asia McCray makes up for 11.8-percent of the available boards in her 60 minute-addition.

One, two, three...

Taking into account free-throws, two-pointers and shots from downtown, Madison Cheatham leads the club having gone 1-of-1, 100-percent. However, having played more than 300 minutes this season, Katherine Haines and Adrianne Hagood are both sinking 54.3-percent of their attempts across the three categories. Tykera Carter is making 51.4-percent of her tries. 

Droppin' dimes…

Candice Leatherwood drops a team-leading 4.0 dimes per game and 3.0 per NEC contest. The guard came to Fairfield, Connecticut already carrying 93 helpers and now has 141 to her collegiate career. Her personal-best stands at eight assists registered against Hofstra.

Ericka Norman of the women's hoops 2012-13 squad holds the single-season record dishing out 6.9 dimes per game while accumulating 229 for the year.

Tykera Carter helps on 2.0 makes per game having distributed eight assists in NEC play.  

At the line…

When the Pioneers miss more of their free-throw opportunities than their opponent, SHU is 2-4. When SHU is a better free-throw shooting team than its counterpart, the Pioneers are 4-5.

Overall, the Pioneers are knocking down almost double what their opponents are and are shooting 68.4-percent (99-of-291). Their rivals are hitting 66-percent of their tries but that only accounts for 51 makes of 227 total.

Candice Leatherwood earns the most trips to the line being granted 5.7 free-throws a game. She nets 4.1 a game for a fourth-best 72.1-percent. Katherine Haines leads the club as an 87.5-percent free-throw shooter but only gets to the line 1.5 times a contest. Asia McCray is drilling 83.3-percent of her attempts through nine games while Tykera Carter is sinking 76.7-percent of her free-throws encompassing all 15 games played.

Up, up and away…

The Pioneers are 3-5 away from home picking up wins over Florida A&M, Mount St. Mary's and Wagner. SHU has lost to Monmouth, Harvard, Florida State, Brown and Siena on the road.

Outside of the Pitt Center, women's basketball is only behind on a -5.0-scoring margin as it nets 67.4 points a game contrasting its opponents' 72.4 a game.

In two meetings on the road, the Pioneers gave up 100-plus points (Florida State, 101 and Brown, 102). Other than that, SHU has contained its opponents to 70 points or fewer. SHU has scored as many as 82 points evidenced at Mount St. Mary's.

Give me one more chance…

Of its 15 outings thus far, Sacred Heart has only secured more second-chance points than its opponents on four separate occasions, two by only by one tally. Against Monmouth to open the season, the Pioneers edged the Hawks in the category 7-6 prior to a 69-64 loss. The Pioneers eked out the favorable 12-11 clip before a 73-68 victory over Florida A&M. However, in a 30-point victory over Mount St. Mary's, the Pioneers benefitted 11 second-chance points to the Mountaineers' four. Most recently, SHU upstaged Wagner 15-12.

Of the 310 total points recorded as second-chance opportunities, Sacred Heart only credits 104 of them which accounts for only 33.5-percent. 

SHU was exploited most by then nationally ranked Florida State, 27-3, and Brown, 22-3. In both contests, Sacred Heart gave up 100-plus points. 

Makin' 'em pay for their mistakes…

The Pioneers exploited Wagner and forced the Seahawks to commit 26 turnovers in their most recent outing which are more than the Seahawks averaged on the season (24.8).

Of the Seahawks' 26 miscues, SHU redeemed 28 points while Wagner benefited nine off of the Pioneers' ten turnovers. 

Considering just the NEC window of play, the Pioneers are profiting more points off of turnovers than its counterparts in head-to-head matches. Of the 141 points netted following mistakes, SHU is adding 81 to its side of the scoreboard leaving only 60 points for their opponents. SHU's dominance is the category accounts for 57.4-percent of the points off of turnovers. 

SHU is 2-1 when they swish more points following turnover situations than its foes. Saint Francis U is the only NEC team thus far to top the Pioneers in the stat, 24-10.

We all make mistakes…

In conference, Candice Leatherwood and Erin Storck have been the most susceptible to turning the rock over having done so 11 times each. Tykera Carter and Adrianne Hagood have committed eight and seven mistakes, respectively. 

In fairness, that quartet accounts for 510 minutes played which translates to 63.8-percent of the team's time on the hardwood. Moreover, that same cohort makes up 182 of the squad's 259 total points (70.3-percent).

...But we make up for it…

Playing in all four NEC games, Candice Leatherwood and Tykera Carter make up for their miscues earning a respective 1.09 and 1.00 assist-to-turnover ratio. Adrianne Hagood (0.86) and Erin Storck (0.55) are also making efforts.

Follow the leader…

Candice Leatherwood, Adrianne Hagood, Tykera Carter, Erin Storck and Katherine Haines are the only Pioneers to have led SHU's offensive output in at least one game. Leatherwood is the lone Pioneer to have a winning record when she leads the charge, 2-1. Leatherwood netted 23 points against Manhattan and rewrote her career-high at Mount St. Mary's (24) both serving as Pioneer wins. She put up a team-leading 19 points in a loss at Monmouth.

SHU is 2-2 when Storck is the student-athlete in the scoring forefront. She contributed a career-high 29 and 15 points in wins versus Providence and Lehigh, respectively. Her 23 points came in a loss at Brown and her 16 in a setback at Florida State.

Carter (1-2) and Haines (1-1) have each added a victory when they drop team-leading scoring numbers. Hagood (0-3) has yet to put up a team-best in a win.

When at least one Pioneer finishes with 20 or more points, SHU is 5-4. 


Sacred Heart's two-game win streak (Mount St. Mary's and Wagner) is the first for the Pioneers this season.

Let's compare…

  • Candice Leatherwood (eighth, 13.0 ppg), Tykera Carter (T-ninth, 12.6 ppg), Erin Storck (12th, 12.0 ppg) and Adrianne Hagood (18th, 10.3) fall within the NEC's top 30 in scoring.
  • Leatherwood's 4.5 boards per game are 19th best in the NEC.
  • Leatherwood (41.5-percent) and Storck (40.6-percent) are tied for thirteenth and 15th, respectively.
  • Leatherwood is third in the league with 4.0 assists per game. Carter's 2.1 apg slots her 15th.
  • Storck's 37.1-percent clip from distance ranks her eighth in the conference.
  • Storck competes for 35.8 minutes in each contest which is the most of any NEC student-athlete.

On Central Connecticut's behalf…

Central has only won one game this season occurring in NEC play. The Blue Devils topped Wagner, 59-56 on December 31. The Blue Devils are allowing their opponents to score 18.9 points more than they do a game.

In New Britain, the Blue Devils are 1-5 overall but 1-1 inside the NEC window. CCSU endured setbacks against Brown, Albany, Morgan State, Yale and Mount St. Mary's at home.

Kiana Patterson is CCSU's leading scorer registering 12 points per game on 35.1-percent shooting. Andi Lydon's 11.4 points a contest is second-most on 34.0-percent shooting. Lydon also serves as the team's primary rebounder, 5.5 rpg and has worked for the most steals, 20 total.

Central Connecticut limited Bryant to a 2-of-10 clip from downtown in its lone game last week. The performance came after the Blue Devils limited Wagner to one triple in 12 tries on New Year's Eve. CCSU leads the circuit in three-point field goal percentage defense (.286).