Sacred Heart Pioneers (8-17, 3-9 NEC) at Fairleigh Dickinson Knights (8-15, 5-7 NEC)
Thursday, Feb. 8 - 7:00 PM
Stratis Arena - Hackensack, N.J.
Setting the Scene... SHU opens a pivotal conference weekend on the road at Fairleigh Dickinson Thursday night.
Catch the Game... Thursday's game will be on NEC Front Row.
Last Time Out... The Pioneers used a 9-0 run to open the second half against CCSU last Saturday at the Pitt Center to take a 36-30 lead with 14:33 to play. SHU also went on a 13-2 run late in the game to take a 13-point lead, winning 67-54 to snap a five-game losing streak. Mario Matasovic and Sean Hoehn each scored a team-high 16 points. Matasovic added 10 rebounds for his third double-double of the season, while Hoehn had a game-high six assists and four steals.
Race For The NEC Tournament... SHU has a chance to earn two key tiebreakers this week. Sitting two games back of FDU and CCSU, who are both tied for seventh, a pair of wins this week will give the Pioneers the season series over both teams which could become key late in the season.
Sharing Is Caring... SHU had a season-high 18 assists in Saturday's win over Central Connecticut. The Pioneers' previous high was 17 in three other games, most recently on Jan. 6 against Bryant. SHU only committed 10 turnovers against the Blue Devils, its lowest total in seven games.
Hoehn Bounces Back... Sean Hoehn bounced back from missing the Saint Francis U game on Jan. 28 to score in double-figures in both games last week. After scoring 11 points against LIU Brooklyn last Thursday, Hoehn scored a team-high 16 points, with a game-high six assists and four steals, in SHU's win over Central Connecticut Saturday. It was his fifth game this season with at least 10 points and five assists. Hoehn is fourth in the NEC with 4.29 assists per game and fifth in assist/turnover ratio at 1.81.
Matasovic's High Percentage... Redshirt-Senior forward Mario Matasovic moved into second in the NEC in field goal percentage over the weekend, as his 6-for-9 effort in Saturday's win over Central Connecticut moved him to 57.4% for the season. Matasovic also had 16 points on Saturday, adding 10 rebounds for his third double-double of the season. He had 20 points in his previous three games combined.
All-Time Vs. FDU... SHU leads the all-time series against FDU 19-12. The Pioneers have won each of the last four meetings, and nine of the last 11 dating back to 2012. Despite the current run of dominance by SHU in recent years, six of the last nine meetings have been decided by five points or less.
Last Meeting... Mario Matasovic's driving layup with 2.8 seconds remaining gave SHU a 66-65 win over Fairleigh Dickinson on New Year's Eve. Redshirt-Sophomore guard Kinnon LaRose led all scorers with 24 points and nine rebounds. Matasovic and Joseph Lopez both scored 15 points. Darian Anderson led the Knights with 19 points.
Scouting FDU... The Knights are 3-2 in their last five games after a 73-67 win at Robert Morris on Saturday. FDU led 37-26 at the half, and shot 42% from the field for the game. Darnell Edge led the Knights with 19 points, adding seven rebounds. Kaleb Bishop and Noah Morgan each had 15 points and combined for 14 rebounds. Forward Mike Holloway Jr. leads FDU in scoring and rebounding, averaging 13.3. points and 7.2 rebounds per game. The Knights enter this weekend at 5-7 in the NEC, tied for seventh with Central Connecticut and two games up on SHU in the standings.