Sacred Heart (2-3) at Binghamton (1-4)
Saturday, Nov. 24 - 2:00 PM
Dr. Bai Lee Court at Events Center - Vestal, N.Y.
Setting the Scene... After going 1-2 at the Brown Bears Tip-Off Classic, the Sacred Heart University men's basketball team travels to Vestal, New York to take on Binghamton on Saturday, Nov. 24, at 2 p.m. on ESPN+.
All-Time Vs. Binghamton... The Bearcats lead the all-time series against the Pioneers 2-1. The Bearcats won the last meeting, 51-48 on Dec. 17, 2017.
Last Meeting... The Sacred Heart men's basketball team was held scoreless for the final 9:16 Sunday at the Pitt Center, as the Binghamton Bearcats rallied from an eight-point second half deficit to win 51-48. Sacred Heart used a 13-1 run in the first half to take a 33-19 lead with 1:56 to go. Sean Hoehn, Kinnon LaRose, and Zach Radz each had a three-pointer in that stretch to give the Pioneers their largest lead of the game. Binghamton cut the deficit to 10 at halftime on four straight points from J.C. Show.
The Pioneers led 46-40 with 9:16 to go when E.J. Anosike made a jumper to put SHU back up by eight. That would be the Pioneers last basket of the game. Binghamton closed the game on an 11-0 run, with Show making three three-pointers including the eventual game-winner with 1:36 to go. SHU had a chance to force overtime in the final seconds, but Radz's three-pointer was off the mark.
Scouting Binghamton... The Bearcats come into the contest at 1-4, losing their last two contests. Binghamton has three players that average double-figure points in Sam Sessoms (17.6) and J.C. Show (11.7). In SHU's last contest against the Bearcats, Show scored 21 points.
Last Time Out... In SHU's last meeting, the Pioneers fell to UMass Lowell, 94-90, to close the Brown Bears Tip-Off Classic with a 1-2 record. The Pioneers had four players score in double-figures for the second consecutive game, with Sean Hoehn leading the way with 22 points and seven assists in the loss. Kinnon LaRose added 20 points, E.J. Anosike added 18 points and Jare'l Spellman chipped in 10.
Trailing 38-30 with 3:42 remaining in the first half, SHU closed the half with a 12-5 run to cut the deficit to 43-42 at the break. Anosike and LaRose combined to score 28 first-half points for the Pioneers.
Trailing 91-86 with less than two minutes remaining in regulation, Cameron Parker scored on a layup to cut the deficit to three with 1:22 left in the game. Hoehn was able to score on a layup with a second remaining in the game to cut the deficit to 91-90, but it wasn't enough as UMass Lowell held on for the 94-90 win
Oh Captain, Our Captain... The Pioneers' leading scorer from last season, Sean Hoehn, is currently fourth in the NEC in scoring, averaging 19.2 points per game. Hoehn is shooting 50.8% from the field and 40.5% from three so far this season. Hoehn is the only Pioneer to score in doube-figures in all five games this season, leading the team in scoring and dropping at least 20 points in three of the five contests.
Swat Leader Spellman... Red-shirt junior, Jare'l Spellman is averaging 3.2 blocks per game, which is tied for eighth in the nation and is tops in the NEC. Spellmas has totaled 16 blocks this season, which is tied for sixth in the nation. Spellman has led SHU in blocks in all five games played and has twice recorded four blocks in a contest.
Prior to transferring to Sacred Heart, Spellman spent two seasons at Florida Southern, where he was third in all of Division II in blocks and left as the program's all-time leader in blocks. In 2017, Spellman was named the Sunshine State Conference Defensive player of the Year after leading the league with 104 blocks.
Busy Beaver... Freshman guard Cameron Parker recorded a career-high 14 assists in the Pioneers 114-72 win over Western New England on Nov. 6. Parker was the first Pioneer player to record at least 10 assists in a game since Phil Gaetano recorded 10 against LIU Brooklyn (2/28/15). Parker is averaging seven assists a game which is tops in the NEC and 15th in the nation.
Sicko Mode... E.J. Anosike recorded his first double-double of the season after tallying 17 points and 16 rebounds in an 82-77 loss at Brown. the double-double brought Anosike's career total to three. Anosike is averaging a career-best 14 points per game and has twice scored a career-high 18 points this season.
Scoring is a Habit... Freshman guard Aaron Clarke is averaging 14 points per game and has been able to do it from all levels. Clarke is shooting 55.6% from the field, 38.5% from three and 90.9% from the free-throw line. Clarke has scored in double-figures in three of the Pioneers' five games, scoring 16 points twice and dropping a career-high 24 points against Army West Point on 9-for-12 shooting and 4-for-6 from three.
Big on the Boards... E.J. Anosike has been a big contributer for the Pioneers on the boards. Anosike's 8.2 rebounds per game leads the team and is tied for fourth in the NEC. Anosike's 4.2 offensive rebounds per game is tops in the NEC and 13th in the nation.
Protecting the Ball... The Pioneers are averaging 15.8 assists per game and have a 1.18 assist-to-turnover ratio, which both rank second in the NEC. Both Cameron Parker and Sean Hoehn rank in the top-10 in the conference in both assists per game and assist-to-turnover ration. Parker's seven assists a game ranks first, while Hoehn's four a game is tied for sixth. Parker's 2.00 assist-to-turnover ratio is tied for third in the NEC, while Hoehn's 1.54 ranks eighth.
Let it Fly... Through five games, the Pioneers have remained hot beyond the arc. SHU is shooting 37.6% from three so far this season, which ranks second in the NEC.
Radical Radz... In his season-debut, junior Zach Radz scored 12 points, all in the second-half to aid Sacred Heart to a 79-78 win over Army West Point to open the Brown Bears Tip-Off Classic.
Shooters Shoot... Sean Hoehn, Kinnon LaRose and Aaron Clarke are among the top three-point marksmen in the NEC. Hoehn is averaging 3.0 made three-pointers a game which is tied for third in the conference. Clarke is averaging 2.0 three-point makes a game which is tied for 10th and LaRose is making 1.4 threes per game.
Efficiency is Everything... The Pioneers have four players ranked in the top-15 in the NEC in field goal percentage. Jare'l Spellman is tied for fourth in the NEC, shooting 60% from the field. Aaron Clarke's 55.6% is tied for seventh, while E.J. Anosike's 54.3% ranks 10th in the conference. Sean Hoehn rounds out the group in 13th, shooting 50.8% from the floor.
Where the Pioneers' Rank in the Nation... The Pioneers are averaging 88.2 points per game, which ranks 23rd in the nation, while their 52.5 shooting percentage on the season ranks 13th in the nation
Swiper, No Swiping... Sean Hoehn is averaging two steals a game which is tied for fourth in the conference. Hoehn has recorded multiple steals in three of the Pioneers' five games and has recorded at least three steals in a game twice.
Off to the Races... Racine, Wisconsin product, Koreem Ozier has averaged 24.5 points through two games played. Ozier is shooting 64.5% from the field and 53.8% from beyond the arc. Touted as a gifted scorer during his recruitment. Ozier was the first player to average 30 points per game in his county as a senior. The Racine product led the state of Wisconsin in scoring for two years straight and set the all-time scoring record at Case high school with 1,405 points.
Familiar Faces... SHU returns seven letter-winners from last season's team, including team captain and leading scorer Sean Hoehn. The Pioneers also return Kinnon LaRose, E.J. Anosike, Anthony Boateng, Alex Watson, Zach Radz and Jare'l Spellman.
The Young and the Restless... The Pioneers also added seven new players to the roster, all being freshmen.
Welcome to College... The Pioneers had four players make their collegiate debuts against Holy Cross on 11/6. Koreem Ozier and Cameron Parker started in the backcourt, while Aaron Clarke and Zach Pfaffenberger contributed minutes off the bench for the Pioneers
NEC Rookie of the Week... Freshman guard Koreem Ozier was named the Northeast Conference Men's Basketball Rookie of the Week on Monday, Nov. 12.
Ozier came off a stellar collegiate debut for the Pioneers with a 23-point effort at Holy Cross to open the season on Tuesday, Nov. 6. It was the highest scoring game by an NEC freshman in his first outing since Robert Morris' Marcquise Reed went for 24 against North Carolina on November 16, 2014. Ozier also became the first SHU freshman to score at least 20 in a game since Cane Broome dropped 23 against Bryant on March 4, 2015. Ozier was an efficient 9-16 from the floor, made all four of his shots from the stripe, and added four rebounds and three assists.
Preseason Prognostication... SHU men's basketball team was picked to finish ninth in the Northeast Conference. Saint Francis U is this season's preseason favorite, garnering eight first-place votes. Fairleigh Dickinson was second choice and received a first place vote, followed by reigning NEC champions LIU Brooklyn in third with the final first-place vote. Wagner and Robert Morris rounded out the top-five, with Central Connecticut State and St. Francis Brooklyn in sixth and seventh. Bryant, the Pioneers and Mount St. Mary's rounded out the remaining NEC teams.
NEC Preseason Poll:
1. Saint Francis U (8 first-place votes)
2. Fairleigh Dickinson (1 first-place vote)
3. LIU Brooklyn (1 first-place vote)
5. Robert Morris
6. Central Connecticut
7. St. Francis Brooklyn
9. Sacred Heart
10. Mount St. Mary's
NEC Men's Basketball Preseason All-NEC Team
G – Jamaal King, Saint Francis U
G – Keith Braxton, Saint Francis U
G/F – Tyler Kohl, Central Conn.
G/F – Raiquan Clark, LIU Brooklyn
F – Mike Holloway, FDU