Sacred Heart Pioneers (2-4) at UMass Lowell River Hawks (5-1)
Wednesday, Nov. 29 - 7:00 PM
Costello Athletic Center - Lowell, Mass.
Setting the Scene... The Pioneers continue their current three-game road swing Wednesday night at UMass Lowell.
Last Time Out... SHU wrapped up play in the 2017 Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament last Friday with an 81-50 loss at Northwestern. Mario Matasovic and Joseph Lopez each had a team-high 13 points. Sean Hoehn had eight points and eight assists. SHU shot 50% from the field in the first half and 42.9% for the game.
All-Time Vs. UMass Lowell... Sacred Heart leads the series against the River Hawks 24-18. UMass Lowell has won two of the three meetings between the two programs since reclassifying to Division I.
Last Meeting... Led by 34 points and nine rebounds from Quincy McKnight, SHU earned a 91-82 win over UMass Lowell on December 6, 016 at the Pitt Center. Cha Cha Tucker added 13 points and five assists, as Joseph Lopez had 11 points and seven rebounds. SHU shot 55.4% from the field and made 23 of 27 free throws. The Pioneers led 42-31 at halftime and by as much as 18 points in the second half.
On The Glass... The Pioneers lead the NEC in rebound margin, outrebounding its opponents by 11 rebounds per game. SHU had its second-best rebound margin this season last week against Mitchell of +16 (49-33). The Pioneers have three of the top-10 rebounders in the NEC - E.J. Anosike (1st-9.0/game), Joseph Lopez (3rd-8.3/game), and Mario Matasovic (8th-6.5/game). SHU's rebound margin is the 17th-highest in the nation.
Matasovic Making Shots... Redshirt-Senior forward Mario Matasovic is 42nd in the country in field goal percentage at 62.7%. In two games last week against Mitchell and Northwestern, Matasovic shot 65% from the field including a 9-for-13 game against Mitchell. He has shot at least 55% from the floor in all six games this season, scoring in double-figures in all six while averaging 12.7 points per game.
Hoehn Distributing... Junior guard Sean Hoehn had a season-high eight assists last Friday at Northwestern. That total was one shy of tying his career-high of nine set last February against LIU Brooklyn. It was his third game this season with at least five assists. Through the first six games, Hoehn is averaging 10.7 points and 4.5 assists per game with a 1.4 assist/turnover ratio.
Radz Rad Off The Bench... Sophomore guard Zach Radz has become a scoring threat off the bench for the Pioneers in the last three games. Radz has averaged eight points and three rebounds per game since Nov. 19, shooting 45% from the field. The sophomore scored a career-high 10 points in SHU's overtime win over Maine on Nov. 19, and had eight points and four rebounds in 26 minutes at Northwestern.
Scouting UMass Lowell... Picked to finish tied for sixth in America East in the preseason, the River Hawks have won five straight games after falling in its opener at UMass. On Sunday, UMass Lowell defeated Loyola 83-77 at Costello Athletic Center. Matt Harris made five three-pointers in leading the River Hawks with 19 points. Jahad Thomas had a double-double with 17 points and 14 rebounds. Thomas leads UMass Lowell in scoring and rebounding with 19.8 points and 12.3 rebounds per game. The River Hawks average 83.7 points per game.