Dec. 8, 2009
Sacred Heart Pioneers (4-3, 1-0 NEC) vs. Saint Peter’s Peahens (2-3, 0-0 MAAC)
Game #8 - Wednesday, December 9, 2009 - 5:30 pm - Jersey City, N.J. - Yanitelli Center (3,200)
Radio: WICC 600 am; SacredHeartPionners.com
Multimedia: Live Stats
The Storyline... Sacred Heart continues their four-game road swing heading back to the state of New Jersey Wednesday night to take on the Saint Peter’s Peahens. The Pioneers are coming off a 64-48 win at Fairleigh Dickinson in their Northeast Conference opener last time out. This is the second of four games this season against the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference this season. The Pioneers have already beaten Manhattan and will face Fairfield on Sunday and Siena at the end of the month. The Peahens are coming off 66-47 win over New Hampshire on Saturday, snapping a three-game skid.
Series... Saint Peter’s holds a 4-2 lead in the all-time series. The Pioneers have won two-straight, posting wins during the 2005-06 and 2006-06 seasons. SHU posted an 82-54 win at home on January 2, 2006 and a 68-50 win on the road on December 20, 2006. The first meeting took place on February 17th, 1981 with the Peahens posting an 80-33 win. The two teams met again the following two seasons with Saint Peter’s winning in blowout fashion both years. The two team’s wouldn’t meet up again until the 1997-98 season when Sacred Heart made their first trip to Jersey City in the series but the result stayed the same, an 81-53 Saint Peter’s win.
Pioneers vs. the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference... Since joining the Northeast Conference in 1999-2000, the Pioneers are 6-4 against teams from the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. The Pioneers face Manhattan, Fairfield, Saint Peter’s and Siena this season. SHU has faced Fairfield University more than any other team from the MAAC, trailing in the series, 9-4 but are 0-2 against the Stags as part of the MAAC. Sacred Heart is 2-0 against both Rider and Saint Peter’s. The Pioneers are 1-1 against Iona and Manhattan.
The Coaches... Ed Swanson (SHU ‘89) is in his 20th season as head coach at his alma mater. Swanson posts a 326-224 record in his career at Sacred Heart. His teams have a 200-103 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 (326). He has been named the NEC Coach of the Year three times and is the all-time leader in regular season NEC wins (139). Stephanie DeWolfe (Saint Peter’s ‘97) is in her sixth season at the helm of the Saint Peter’s College women’s basketball program. DeWolfe has a 70-80 record in her six years as the head coach of the Peahens and overall. She spent six seasons as an assistant coach at Saint Peter’s after a stellar playing career for the Peahens. She was inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame in 2002.
Scouting the Peahens... The Saint Peter’s Peahens are off to a 2-3 start to their season, coming off a 66-47 home win over New Hampshire on Saturday. Their other victory came in the season opener, 61-38 over Lafayette. Saint Peter’s features four double figure scores led by senior guard Alena Ali who is scoring at a 14.4 points per game clip. Sophomore Jynae Judson and senior Natasha Morris average 13.2 and 12.8 points per game respectively. Junior forward Charlene Riddick is averaging 10.2 points per game and is the team’s top rebounder at 7.4 boards per game. The Peahens came into the season picked to finish fifth in the MAAC Preseason Coaches’ Poll.
Last Meeting with Saint Peter’s... The Sacred Heart Pioneers got 25 points and 15 rebounds from senior Amanda Pape and outscored the Saint Peter’s Peahens 17-5 over the final 5:35 to come away with a 68-50 win on December 20, 2006. The Pioneers used a 9-0 run, fueled by six-straight points from Pape, with under five minutes to play to run away in what was a tight six-point game to that point. After a slow start, the Pioneers used a 10-0 run to grab their first lead of the night, 10-4, five minutes into the game. Pape spearheaded the charge on defense, getting a pair of steals that she turned into fast break lay-ups on the other end. With the Pioneers leading 12-11 at the 12:15 mark, the Peahens answered again and built a seven point lead, 23-16, by using a 12-4 run over the next four minutes. SHU scrapped together a 10-0 run that Pape capped with a baseline jumper to put the Pioneers back in front, 26-23 but SPC pulled even at the break, 26-26. SHU grab the lead back for good, 34-32 at the 16 minute mark of the second half. Leading by six, 51-44, the Pioneers began their run on a three from Lisa Moray as the Peahens went without a bucket until the 2:28 mark. The damage was done with SHU up by 15 on the road to the win. In addition to Pape’s 25, Jasmine Walker finished with 10 points and just missed a double double with nine rebounds. SHU failed to get to the free throw line in the first half, but knocked down 18-of-20 from the charity stripe in the second half. The Pioneers forced 22 SPC turnovers, scoring 32 at the other end and outscored the Peahens 42-24 in the second half.
Last Time Out... Sacred Heart sophomore Callan Taylor finished with 18 points and junior Alisa Apo netted 16 as the Pioneers posted a 64-48 win at Fairleigh Dickinson in the Northeast Conference opener for both teams. SHU opened the game 7-0 with a Maggie Cosgrove three and a pair of jumpers from Taylor and Kiley Evans, forcing a Knight time-out. With SHU up 9-2, FDU pulled even on an Alannah Driscoll-Sbar lay-up just over four minutes in and Jenna Strich gave her team a 12-9 lead capping a 10-0 run with a three at 14:31. Apo gave SHU the lead back with back-to-back buckets and the Pioneers push their lead to double digits, 26-15, with an 11-2 spurt over the next five minutes. Taylor fueled Sacred Heart with 12 of her 18 in the first half as SHU closed the opening stanza with three-straight lay-ups and a free throw for a 35-19 halftime advantage. Fairleigh Dickinson looked to fight their way back, pulling within 13, 42-29, on back-to-back three’s by Alyssa Mayrose but that would be as close as the Knights would come on the day. The Pioneers put the game away over the next five minutes, running their lead to 57-31 on a game-clinching 15-2 run, capped by a pair of Cosgrove three’s. The Pioneers shot 46.3% (25-54) from the field and 42.9% (6-14) from behind the arc as Cosgrove continued to light it up from behind the arc. The junior guard hit four-of-five from downtown on the way to a 12 point afternoon. Apo added five rebounds, four assists and a pair of steals to her 16 point line. Taylor finished with seven rebounds and three assists. Junior Maureen Reilly led the Pioneers off the bench with seven points and six boards. The Knights got 22 points from guard Mariyah Laury but where hurt by 36.3% (17-47) shooting and 22 turnovers. The Pioneers held a 24-16 scoring advantage in the paint and out rebounded the Knights 36-26.