Pioneers and Bobcats Meet for NEC Rivalry Week
Feb. 3, 2010
Sacred Heart Pioneers (16-5, 9-1 NEC) vs. Quinnipiac Bobcast (9-12, 4-6 NEC)
Game #22 - Thursday, February 4, 2010 - 5:00 pm - Fairfield, Conn. - William H. Pitt Center (2,100)
Radio: www.SacredHeartPioneers.com Multimedia: Gametracker, Live Stats
TV: Fox College Sports; CT Sports Network; ESPN Full Court; ESPN 360; DirectTV (Ch. 617)
The Storyline... The inaugural Northeast Conference Rivalry Week kicks-off with the Sacred Heart Pioneers and Quinnipiac Bobcats set to square off in home-and-home match-ups on Thursday and Saturday. The Pioneers and Bobcats will be featured as part of Rivalry Week on NEC TV with Paul Dottino and Pam Roecker calling the action and Jaclyn Vocell on the sidelines. SHU comes in at 9-1 holding a share of first place in the standings with Robert Morris. Junior Alisa Apo and freshman Kiley Evans were named the NEC Player and Rookie of the Week after guiding the Pioneers to wins at Mount St. Mary’s and Wagner last week. The Bobcats have lost five-straight coming in and sit at 4-6 in conference play.
Series... Sacred Heart leads the all-time series, 30-23, and has won 11 of the last 14 meetings. SHU is 15-7 against the Bobcats since joining the NEC in 1999-2000. Tonight’s game marks the 25th time head coaches Ed Swanson and Tricia Fabbri will face each other in the rivalry between the two schools with Swanson holding a 17-7 edge. The Pioneers have won nine-straight against the Bobcats at home in the Pitt Center with Quinnipiac’s last win in Fairfield coming during the 2000-01 season, 72-69 in overtime. The Bobcats have lost 11-straight in the Pitt Center including NEC Tournament losses in 2003 and 2009 The first ever meeting took place during the 1975-76 season, SHU’s second year of competition.
SHU in the Northeast Conference... Sacred Heart is in its 11th season of play in the Northeast Conference and has posted a 147-43 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 147 victories.
The Coaches... Ed Swanson (SHU ‘89) is in his 20th season as head coach at his alma mater. Swanson posts a 338-226 record in his career at Sacred Heart. His teams have a 212-107 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 (338). He has been named the NEC Coach of the Year three times and is the all-time leader in regular season NEC wins (147). Tricia Fabbri (Fairfield ‘91) is in her 15th season at the helm of the Quinnipiac University women’s basketball program. Fabbri owns a 204-208 record in her 15 seasons at QU and overall.
Scouting the Bobcats... The Quinnipiac Bobcats have lost five-straight coming in to this week’s games against the Pioneers. The Bobcats are 4-6 on the year after losses at Mount St. Mary’s and Wagner and are now tied for eighth in league standings with both teams. Junior center Courtney Kaminski leads the team in scoring at 14.3 points per game with 7.7 rebounds per outing. Sophomore Jacinda Dunbar averaged 10.0 points and pulls down 8.1 rebounds per game. Kaminski and Dubar are third and fourth in NEC in rebounding. The Bobcats lead the league in field goal defense (.357) and rebounding (43.2).
Last Meeting with Quinnipiac... Sacred Heart got a double double performance from senior center Kaitlin Sowinski with 21 points and 10 rebounds as the Pioneers beat rival Quinnipiac, 72-56, at home on February 9th last season. The Pioneers shot 50.0% from the field and from behind the arc in the second half on pace to the win sweeping the 2008-09 season series. The Pioneers opened up a 12-4 lead in the early going thanks to eight points from Callan Taylor in the games first seven minutes. Leading 19-16 at 6:06, the Pioneers put together an 11-7 rally for their first double digit lead of the night with a minute left. Quinnipiac was plagued by poor shooting, hitting just 21.4% (6-28), to trail 35-25 at the break. QU’s leading scorer Erin Kerner was held scoreless in the first half, going 0-for-5 with five turnovers. Sacred Heart quickly took control out of the locker room as a Sowinski three-point play and a Stephanie Ryan triple pushed the lead to 42-27 at 17:46. The Pioneers extended that lead to 21 as Apo and Taylor buried back-to-back three’s to cap off a 17-3 run to open the second half. A Maggie Cosgrove three helped put the game out of reach, fueling a 9-4 spurt to take their biggest lead of the night at 70-46, with 5:45 left. Sowinski’s double double night came on eight-of-14 shooting and five-of-nine at the line. Her dominance inside led to SHU holding a 26-6 advantage in the paint. Apo finished with 16 points hitting four-of-seven from downtown with five assists. The Pioneers got out rebounded 44 to 32 in the win but had 29 points off 19 QU turnovers.
Last Time Out... Sacred Heart junior Maggie Cosgrove hit four-of-five from behind the arc to become the school’s all-time three-point leader on her way to a 16 point effort as the Pioneers posted a 71-64 win at Wagner College Saturday afternoon. Freshman Kiley Evans and junior Alisa Apo added 20 and 19 points, respectively, as the Pioneers improved to 9-1 in the NEC with the win. The Pioneers jumped out to a 9-3 lead as Cosgrove opened the game with a three and the Sacred Heart lead grew to 25-13 by the 7:40 mark as the junior guard buried her second of the day. The Seahawks cut the lead to seven thanks to a three-point play from Veronick Fournier at 5:44 but back-to-back three’s by Callan Taylor and Cosgrove pushed the SHU lead to 33-22. Cosgrove delivered her fourth three ball of the half with 43 seconds on the clock to send her team to the locker room up 36-29. She finished the first half with 14 of her 16 points, hitting five-of-six and four-of-four from behind the arc. The Pioneers shot 42.9% (12-28) and took advantage of seven Wagner turnovers for 10 points at the other end. Apo and Evans did their damage in the second half, combining for 29 of SHU’s 35 points. The Pioneers built their lead to 15 with just under eight minutes to go but had to hang on and ward off a late Seahawk rally for the win. Wagner pulled within five, 42-37, early in the second half on consecutive lay-ups from Sha’Ron Harrison. Evans answered completing a three-point play at 15:44 for a 45-37 lead and then helped extend the lead to 51-41, scoring eight of the Pioneers first 17 points of the second half. Sacred Heart used a 12-7 spurt for a 63-48 lead by the seven minute mark, capped by an Apo runner in the lane. The Seahawks used a 7-0 spurt late to pull within 69-63 but Evans helped ice it away with two free throws with eight seconds left. Evans 20 point afternoon came on seven-of-12 shooting and five-of-five at the free throw line. She added seven rebounds and a pair of steals to her totals. Apo finished eight-of-15 from the field while dishing seven assists and grabbing seven boards in the win. The Pioneers shot 43.9% (25-57) overall and passed out 18 assists as a team.
Sacred Heart’s New 3pt Queen... Junior guard Maggie Cosgrove, 84 games into her Sacred Heart career, set the new school record for career three-point field goals in Saturday’s win over Wagner. Cosgrove buried four-of-five from behind the arc against the Seahawks to pass Ashley Kohl on the SHU all-time list. Cosgrove has 176 career three’s, eclipsing Kohl’s mark of 173 set from 2000 through 2004. Last season, she tied school record for three point makes in a season, matching Lisa Moray’s 69 triples from the 2006-07 season. She is closing in on that mark as well with 59 makes this season with eight regular season games to go. Her career three-point percentage of 43.3% is currently tops all-time at Sacred Heart.
Cosgrove & Pioneers Filling it up from Behind the Arc... Junior Maggie Cosgrove leads the nation in three-point shooting percentage, hitting 55.1% (59-107) from behind the arc on the year. She leads Emily London of Samford (52.3%) and Brigid Mulroy of Detroit (51.3%). The Pioneers as a team are the top-shooting team in the NCAA from behind the arc, hitting 41.9% (129-308) on the year. Cosgrove is averaging 2.81 three point makes per game, a mark that ranks 26th in the NCAA. Cosgrove leads the NEC in both categories as well.
Apo a Three Time NEC Weekly Award Winner... Junior Alisa Apo picked up her third Choice Hotels NEC Player of the Week Award on Monday. Apo averaged 19.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists while notching her fifth 20 point game of the season leading the Pioneers to wins at Mount St. Mary’s and Wagner to share this week’s award with Saint Francis (PA)’s Allison Daly. Her first award this came on Nov. 30th after leading the Pioneers to wins over Stony Brook, where she scored a season-high 28 points, and Manhattan. Her second nod came on Jan. 4th, after averaging 19.7 points, 6.7 assists, and 4.7 rebounds over Sacred Heart’s final three non-conference games. Apo won the award three times last season on her way to earning NEC Player of the Year honors.
Rookie Evans Nabs her Third NEC Award of the Season... SHU freshman Kiley Evans was named the Choice Hotels NEC Rookie of the Week for the third time this season on Monday. Evans picked up the award after averaging 16.5 points and 6.5 rebounds in the wins over Mount and Wagner last week. Evans won her first career award on Nov. 23rd for her efforts in the 92-77 win over Harvard. The freshman netted a career-high 24 points on 10-of-19 shooting to sink the Crimson. She added seven assists, five rebounds, and three steals in 39 minutes of action against Harvard. Evans repeated the honor on January 4th after scoring 40 points during a pair of Pioneers victories over Binghamton and Yale. She matched her season-high with 24 points to lead the Pioneers past Binghamton, 67-59. The Pioneer record for NEC Rookie of the Week awards in a season is seven, held by Amanda Pape in 2003-04. Three players have won the award four times in a season in teammates Callan Taylor (2008-09) and Alisa Apo (2007-08) and former Pioneer Nicolle Rubino (2002-03). Taylor, Apo, Pape and Rubino all ended their freshman seasons by earning spots on the NEC All-Rookie team.