Jan. 27, 2010
Sacred Heart Pioneers (14-5, 7-1 NEC) vs. Mt. St. Mary’s Mountaineers (7-11, 3-5 NEC)
Game #20 - Thursday, January 28, 2010 - 5:00 pm - Emmitsburg, Md. - Knott Arerna (3,196)
Radio: www.SacredHeartPioneers.com Multimedia: Live Stats
The Storyline... Sacred Heart hits the road for a pair of games this week starting Thursday night at Mount St. Mary’s. The Pioneers rebounded from their first NEC loss of the year with a 77-68 win over Bryant last time out. SHU sits tied atop the conference standings with Robert Morris, both at 7-1 on the year. The Mount is 3-5 in the NEC, tied for ninth overall, and coming off a 59-48 loss at Long Island as the play host to the Pioneers and Quinnipiac this week.
Series... Sacred Heart leads the all-time series, 18-4. The Pioneers won a 67-56 decision at home earlier this season. SHU swept the season series last year and then knocked the Mount out of the NEC Tournament with a first round 73-59 win in the Pitt Center. The Mount snapped a 13-game Pioneer winning streak in the series with a 74-63 win at home in their only meeting during the 2007-08 season. Sacred Heart’s 13-game streak extended back to the 2001-02 season and included a pair of NEC Tournament meetings with the Pioneers ending the Mount’s season in 2005 and 2007. The two schools met for the first time during SHU’s inaugural season in the NEC, splitting both meetings. SHU is 12-0 at home against the Mount, 6-3 in Emmitsburg and 0-1 at a neutral site.
SHU in the Northeast Conference... Sacred Heart is in its 11th season of play in the Northeast Conference and has posted a 145-43 conference record over that span. The Pioneers are coming off their second NEC Championship along with a 21-0 run through the league last season. SHU won their first championship during the 2005-06 season, running off a 26-5 record and 16-2 NEC mark. SHU has never finished lower then tied for third in the final league standings. Head Coach Swanson is the leader in all-time NEC wins at 145 victories.
The Coaches... Ed Swanson (SHU ‘89) is in his 20th season as head coach at his alma mater. Swanson posts a 336-226 record in his career at Sacred Heart. His teams have a 210-107 record since joining the Division I ranks in 1999-00. Swanson was inducted in to the New England Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009 and is the program’s longest tenured coach and all-time leader in coaching wins (336). He has been named the NEC Coach of the Year three times and is the all-time leader in regular season NEC wins (145). Bryan Whitten (King’s College ‘91) is in his third season on the Mount St. Mary’s bench posting a 29-49. Whitten began his coaching career as the head coach of Division III King’s College where he led the Lady Monarchs to a 220-103 record.
Scouting the Mount... Mount St. Mary’s comes in at 7-11 overall and 3-5 in the NEC, tied for ninth in the league standings. The Mount split their last six games and is coming off a 59-48 at Long Island last time out. Junior forward Mary Dunn is averaging a team best 11.7 points and 7.3 rebounds per game on the year. She ranks fifth in the NEC in rebounding and fifth in field goal percentage, shooting 51.0% (79-155) from the field. The Mount is second in the league in scoring defense (57.1 ppg) and third in field goal percentage defense (.371).
Last Meeting with Mount St. Mary’s... Sacred Heart junior Maggie Cosgrove hit a career-high seven three’s, one off the school record, on her way to a 21 point afternoon as the Pioneers posted a 67-56 victory over Mount St. Mary’s on January 9th. Sophomore Callan Taylor recorded her eighth double double of the year with 19 points and 10 rebounds while junior Alisa Apo came up with 18 points in the win. The Pioneers struggled offensively in the first half, shooting just 29.4% (10-34) but took advantage of 12 Mount turnovers and a quick run to close the half for a 27-23 lead at the break. SHU would go nearly seven minutes managing just two points, and a 12-2 run would only put Mount up five, 21-16. SHU turned up the heat defensively and forced four of their 12 first half turnovers to help fuel a 9-0 run into the locker room. Freshman Morgan Merriman started the rally with a jumper in the lane and Cosgrove and Apo hit on back-to-back three’s at 26 seconds and the buzzer to send the Pioneers into the break up 27-23. Mount’s 12 miscues turned into 11 points at the other end. The Mount would pull the game even twice in the second half before Sacred Heart could finally pull away. Up 51-50 with just over seven minutes left, the Pioneers used a 14-4 run to seal the win. Apo hit on three straight shots inside on three-straight possessions and Taylor finished the rally with a lay-up off a feed from the junior point guard for a 65-54 lead with 1:53 left. Cosgrove’s 21 point day came on seven-of-14 from behind the arc. Apo added six rebounds, six assists and a pair of steals to her 18 points. Merriman finished with seven points and five rebounds off the bench for the Pioneers. The Mount held a 42-35 edge on the glass, scoring 14 second chance points. Mary Dunn finished with 16 points and seven boards.
Last Time Out... Junior Alisa Apo led four players in double figures finishing with 17 points, nine assists, eight rebounds and a steal to lead the Sacred Heart Pioneers past Bryant University, 77-68, last Saturday. Junior Maggie Cosgrove buried five-of-seven from behind the arc on her way to a 17 point afternoon. Apo had a big first half for the Pioneers scoring 15 of her 17 points, making six-of-10 at the free throw line. SHU opened up a 17-11 lead as Apo buried her lone three of the game and hit on a pair of three-point plays, scoring 10 points by the 12:39 mark. With the Pioneers up 36-26 with 3:40 on the clock, the Bulldogs closed out the half strong and pulled within 36-33 after Lindsey Hudspeth was fouled on a three with 40 seconds left and hit all three free throws. Apo hit on a runner in the lane with 29 seconds left to give SHU a 38-33 lead at the break. Freshman Kiley Evans answered Apo’s big first half with 13 of her 17 points in the second stanza and gave SHU a 50-43 lead with her only three of the game at 16:36. Cosgrove buried her third three at 14:48 and put her team up eight, 53-45, with just under 15 minutes to go. Bryant dug in and put together an 8-2 spurt capped by a Kelsey O’Keefe lay-up at 12:31 to pull within a bucket, 55-53. After Cosgrove’s fourth triple put SHU in front 60-55, Bryant again used a quick run, tying the game at 60-60 on an O’Keefe fast break lay-up. An Evans jumper briefly put the Pioneers back in front before O’Keefe answered right back with a jumper to knot it a 62-62 with 9:55 left. From there the Pioneers used the next four minutes to piece together an 11-0 run and take control heading into the stretch. Cosgrove buried her fifth three on the fast break and Apo followed with a transition lay-up on consecutive possession for a 73-62 lead with 5:40 left. O’Keefe briefly halted the rally with a jumper before Taylor left no doubt burying a three off a feed from Cosgrove for a 76-64 advantage on the way to sealing up the win. Taylor finished with her third-straight double double and fifth in the last six games with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Apo, Evans and Cosgrove all had 17 in the win as the Pioneers shot 47.2% (25-53) from the field and 71.4% (10-14) from behind the arc. The Pioneers did hold a 44-32 rebounding advantage, a season-high total on the glass. O’Keefe finished with a game-high 22 points along with seven rebounds, five assists and a steal.