Sacred Heart (5-10, 0-2 NEC) at Central Connecticut (2-11, 0-2 NEC)
Thursday, Jan. 7 - 7 PM
Detrick Gymnasium - New Britain, Conn.
Setting the Scene... Sacred Heart opens a stretch of four consecutive road games Thursday night, travelling to Central Connecticut.
Last Time Out... An early 15-0 run for Saint Francis U powered the Red Flash to an 87-67 win over the Pioneers at the Pitt Center New Year's Eve. It was the third straight game SHU scored 67 points. Charles Tucker Jr. led the Pioneers with a season-high 19 points and nine assists. Chris Robinson added 10 points off the bench. De'von Barnett, Joseph Lopez, and Quincy McKnight each scored eight points.
All-Time vs. Central Connecticut... The Blue Devils lead the all-time series with Sacred Heart 37-21, winning 20 of the 28 games played in New Britain. SHU won both meetings last season with Central Connecticut, and have won three of the last four installments of the series.
Last Meeting... Sacred Heart shot 56.1% from the field on Feb. 13, 2016 to defeat Central Connecticut 87-52 at the Pitt Center. Cane Broome led all scorers with 28 points. Quincy McKnight had a double-double of 16 points and 13 rebounds, adding five assists as well. Jordan Allen and Matej Buovac each scored 12 points. The Pioneers shot 59.3% in the second half to build on a 43-25 halftime lead.
Cha-Cha Dimes... Junior guard Charles Tucker Jr. had a season-high 19 points and nine assists last Saturday against Saint Francis U. He was a part of 39 of SHU's 67 points against the Red Flash. Over the last five games, Tucker has averaged eight points and 6.2 assists per game with a 1.8 assist-to-turnover ratio. He enters this week third in the NEC with 4.2 assists per game and sixth with an .809 free throw percentage.
Sharing the Basketball... Sacred Heart leads the NEC in assists, averaging 14.53 per game. SHU had a positive assist-to-turnover ratio against Saint Francis U on Dec. 31 with 16 assists to 13 turnovers. Over the last 10 games, the Pioneers have averaged 15.6 assists per game. SHU has assisted on 62.4% (156-250) of made baskets during that stretch.
Points In Reserve... SHU got 24 points from its bench last Saturday against Saint Francis U, led by Chris Robinson's 10 points. Robinson is eighth in the NEC in three-point field goal percentage at .386. The Pioneers' 24 bench points was their highest total since getting 27 at Lafayette on Dec. 11.
Lopez In The Lane... Joseph Lopez is second in the NEC in rebounding with 8.6 rebounds per game. He's also third in field goal percentage at .595. Lopez averaged 14.8 points and 9.3 rebounds in the month of December, shooting 67.1% from the floor. He had three double-doubles last month including a season-high 23-point, 16-rebound effort against Robert Morris on Dec. 29.
Scouting the Blue Devils... Picked to finish tenth in the NEC preseason poll, Central Connecticut is 0-2 in the league after losing at St. Francis Brooklyn 86-77 in overtime last Saturday. Khalen Cumberlander led the Blue Devils with 18 points, making 8 of 12 shots from the field. Austin Nehls, CCSU's leading scorer at 14.1 points per game, scored 16 points. Tidell Pierre had a double-double of 15 points and 19 rebounds.