Robert Morris (4-9, 0-0 NEC) at Sacred Heart (5-8, 0-0 NEC)
Thursday, Dec. 29 - 3:30 PM
Coach Bike Court at the Pitt Center - Fairfield, Conn.
Setting the Scene... The Pioneers return from the Christmas holiday to open Northeast Conference play against Robert Morris at the Pitt Center.
Last Time Out... Sacred Heart rallied from an eight-point deficit to tie Holy Cross 67-67 with 0:45 left last Wednesday at the Pitt Center, but the Crusaders scored the final five points to win 72-67. Joseph Lopez led the Pioneers with 22 points and 10 rebounds, his third double-double of the season. Matej Buovac and Sean Hoehn both added 10 points.
All-Time vs. Robert Morris... The Colonials lead the all-time series 20-10. The two teams split their two games last season, with the visiting team winning both games.
Last Meeting... SHU led Robert Morris by one at halftime against Robert Morris on Feb. 25, 2016 at the Pitt Center, but a cold-shooting second half allowed the Colonials to come back for a 73-63 win. Robert Morris' Rodney Pryor led all scorers with 26 points and added nine rebounds. Billy Giles added 16 points and nine boards. Cane Broome led the Pioneers with 21 points, as Matej Buovac added 16 points and seven rebounds off the bench.
Lopez Double-Doubles Up... Joseph Lopez had his third double-double of the season last week against Holy Cross. The junior forward led SHU with a season-high 22 points and added 10 rebounds. He was 10-for-14 from the field, marking his seventh consecutive game where he shot 50% or better. Since Nov. 30, Lopez is averaging 15.1 points and nine rebounds per game. Lopez enters NEC play second in field goal percentage (.584) and third in rebounds (8.3/game).
McKnight's Career Nights... Sophomore guard Quincy McKnight has broken his career-high in scoring four times already this season. He is tied with Bryant's Nisre Zouzoua for the most 20-point games in the NEC so far this season with seven. McKnight also has the two highest-scoring games in the conference this season, scoring 34 points against UMass Lowell on Dec. 6 and his current career-high of 36 at Boston College on Dec. 18. He's third in the NEC in scoring at 19.1 points per game.
On the Rebound... Sacred Heart has outrebounded its opponent nine times in 13 games so far this season. The Pioneers have done this in six of the last eight games, including posting a combined rebound margin of +21 in the two games at Lafayette and Boston College. SHU has outrebounded its opponent by at least 15 rebounds three times with a season-high +18 rebound margin (32-18) at Fordham on Nov. 30.
Scouting the Colonials... Picked to finish sixth in the NEC preseason poll, Robert Morris enters conference play at 4-9 after a 74-71 win over Buffalo on Dec. 21. Kavon Stewart was named NEC Player of the Week on Monday after leading the Colonials with 18 points and seven assists in the win over the Bulls. Fourteen of his points came in the second half as Robert Morris attempted to hold on to its seven-point halftime lead. Stewart is averaging 11 points and 3.8 assists per game. Isaiah Still leads the Colonials with 15.2 points per game.