Wagner Seahawks (18-7, 11-3 NEC) at Sacred Heart Pioneers (9-18, 4-10 NEC)
Thursday, Feb. 15 - 6:00 PM
Coach Bike Court at the Pitt Center - Fairfield, Conn.
Setting the Scene... SHU opens its final homestand of the 2017-18 season on Thursday night against first-place Wagner.
Catch the Game... Thursday's game will be broadcast on NEC Front Row with Randy Brochu and Chris Smith on the call.
Last Time Out... SHU shot 59% from the field in the second half at CCSU last Saturday, turning a five-point halftime lead into a 67-50 win. Sean Hoehn led all scorers with a career-high 22 points, going 5-for-9 from the field and 9-for-10 from the foul line. Kinnon LaRose and De'von Barnett each added 16 points. The Pioneers led by as much as 24 in the second half, earning the season sweep of the Blue Devils.
Race For The NEC Tournament... SHU's 67-50 win at Central Connecticut proved crucial for the Pioneers' NEC Tournament hopes. With the win, SHU moved to within one game of the eighth-place Blue Devils with the tiebreaker by virtue of sweeping the season series with CCSU.
Getting Defensive... Thursday's game features the top-two teams in the NEC in scoring defense, field goal percentage defense, and rebound margin. Wagner leads the NEC 67.5 points allowed per game and a .399 field goal percentage. SHU is second with 70.1 points allowed per game and a .432 field goal percentage. The Pioneers lead the NEC with a +7.0 rebound margin, with the Seahawks second at +5.8.
Barnett Reaches 1,000 Points... Redshirt-Senior forward De'von Barnett scored his 1,000th career point Saturday in SHU's 67-50 win at Central Connecticut. Barnett entered the day needing exactly 16 points to reach the milestone, and hit it with a jumper with 2:34 to go. It was his eighth double-figure scoring game of the season, and fifth off the bench.
22 Goes For 22... Sean Hoehn led all scorers with a career-high 22 points in Saturday's win at Central Connecticut. His previous high was 19 points, set most recently against Dartmouth on Dec. 5. Hoehn made a career-high nine free throws Saturday and was 5-for-9 from the field with three three-pointers. In his last 10 games, Hoehn is averaging 13.8 points and 4.1 assists per game while shooting 38.3% from the three-point arc.
All-Time Vs. Wagner... The Seahawks lead the all-time series against SHU 23-14. Wagner has won nine of the last 11 meetings, including each of the last three games. SHU's last win over the Seahawks at the Pitt Center was on Feb. 5, 2015 when the Pioneers earned an 86-75 victory.
Last Meeting... SHU opened the 2018 calendar year with a 69-63 loss at Wagner on Jan. 4. After falling behind 12-0, the Pioneers closed the deficit to one, 35-34, at halftime. SHU led by as much as four in the second half, but a late 8-2 run by the Seahawks gave them the win. Mario Matasovic led SHU with 16 points as Joseph Lopez had a double-double of 10 points and 12 rebounds.
Scouting Wagner... The Seahawks enter this week 11-3 in the NEC and in first place by two games over Mount St. Mary's. Wagner had its six-game winning streak snapped on Sunday with a 76-69 loss at Fairleigh Dickinson. The Seahawks shot just 19% from the field in the first half to fall behind 33-18. Ramone Saunders led all scorers with 25 points. Blake Francis, the NEC's third-leading scorer at 18.4 points per game, added 16 points. Wagner leads the NEC in scoring defense (67.5 ppg allowed), field goal percentage defense (.399), and blocked shots (4.4 per game).