Sacred Heart (4-6) at Seton Hall (7-3)
Wednesday, Dec. 19 - 6:30 PM
Prudential Center - Newark, N.J.
Setting the Scene... After a nine-day hiatus, the Sacred Heart University men's basketball team hits the road to take on Seton Hall on Wednesday, Dec. 19. at 6:30 p.m. at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.
All-Time Vs. Seton Hall... This is the first meeting between the two teams.
Scouting Seton Hall... The Pirates come into the contest at 7-3, having won six of its last seven contests, including an 84-83 overtime win over then No. 9 Kentucky at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 8.
Seton Hall is led by junior guard Myles Powell, who is averaging 23.5 points per game so far this season. Sandro Mamukelashvili is second on the Pirates in scoring with 11.6 points per game and leads Seton Hall with nine rebounds a game.
Former Sacred Heart guard Quincy McKnight is averaging 8.7 points per game and leads Seton Hall with three assists per game. In his two years at Sacred Heart, McKnight was named to the NEC All-Rookie team as a freshman and as a sophomore he was named first-team All-NEC, first-team NABC All-District 18 and third-team All-Met Writers.
Last Time Out... Jare'l Spellman's career-high 19 points wasn't enough as the Sacred Heart University men's basketball team fell to Dartmouth, 82-73, on the road Monday, Dec. 10 at Leede Arena. The loss dropped the Pioneers to 4-6 on the year, while the Big Green improved to 6-5.
With SHU leading 17-16 with 11:15 remaining in the half, Dartmouth closed the half with a 26-10 run to take a 42-27 lead into halftime. SHU shot 38.2% in the first half compared to Dartmouth's 60%. SHU also went 0-for-9 from beyond the arc in the half, while Dartmouth went 6-for-15 (40%).
Trailing 65-51 with 7:18 remaining, the Pioneers went on a 17-9 run over 4:33 to cut the deficit to 74-68 with 2:45 left in regulation. Sean Hoehn and Jare'l Spellman combined to score 15 of the 17 points on the run.
After Dartmouth pushed its lead to 77-71 with 2:01 remaining in regulation, the Big Green outscored the Pioneers 5-2 to secure the 82-73 win. The Pioneers had four players score in double-figures with Spellman's 19 points and eight rebounds leading the way. Hoehn added 15 points, E.J. Anosike contributed 14 points and eight rebounds, while Kinnon LaRose added 11 points in a losing effort.
Oh Captain, Our Captain... The Pioneers' leading scorer from last season, Sean Hoehn, is currently second in the NEC in scoring, averaging 19.3 points per game. Hoehn is shooting 44.2% from the field and 40.5% from three so far this season.
Closing in on 1,000... Sean Hoehn has recorded 986 career points, 14 points away from 1,000 for his career
Swat Leader Spellman... Red-shirt junior, Jare'l Spellman is averaging 2.9 blocks per game, which ranks eighth in the nation and is tops in the NEC. Spellman has totaled 29 blocks this season, which ranks sixth in the nation. Spellman has led SHU in blocks in all nine games played and has recorded four or more blocks in three contests this season
Passing Parker... Freshman guard Cameron Parker's 7.7 assists per game ranks fifth in the nation and is tops among all freshmen in the nation. Parker has recorded 10+ assists three times this season, including a 14-assist performance against Western New England on Nov. 12
Point Guard Parker... Cameron Parker is 14th in the nation in total assists (69) and is fifth in the nation in assists per game (7.7)
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 13.2 points per game and recorded a career-high 22 points against Boston College on Nov. 29
Busy Beaver... Beaverton, Ore. product Cameron Parker has lived up to his billing as a gifted passer so far during his first-year campaign. Parker recorded his first collegiate double-double with 12 points and 10 assists in a win over Hartford. Parker is the first Pioneer with a points-assists double-double since Phil Gaetano recorded 15 points and 10 assists on Feb. 28, 2015
Not in His House... Jare'l Spellman tallied a career-high five blocks in the Pioneers' win over Lafayette. Spellman's five blocks marked the first time a Pioneer player recorded five or more blocks in a game since Tevin Falzon recorded five blocks against Bryant on Jan. 24, 2015.
Everybody Eats... Jare'l Spellman tallied 18 points and 13 rebounds against Lafayette for the first collegiate double-double of his career. He is the third Pioneer player to record a double-double with points and rebounds this season as E.J. Anosike and Kinnon LaRose each did so once earlier this season.
Big on the Boards... E.J. Anosike has been a big contributer for the Pioneers on the boards. Anosike's 7.9 rebounds per game, which leads the team and is second in the NEC. Anosike's 3.9 offensive rebounds per game is tops in the NEC and 10th in the nation.
Protecting the Ball... The Pioneers are averaging 16.3 assists per game and have a 1.23 assist-to-turnover ratio, which both rank first 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 7.7 assists a game ranks first, while Hoehn's 3.10 a game ranks ninth. Parker's 2.30 assist-to-turnover ratio ranks first in the NEC, while Hoehn's 0.97 ranks 10th.
Efficiency is Everything... The Pioneers have two players ranked in the top-15 in the NEC in field goal percentage. Jare'l Spellman ranks third in the NEC, shooting 54.9% from the field. E.J. Anosike's 46.9% ranks 13th in the conference.
Another One... Freshman guard Cameron Parker was named the Northeast Conference Men's Basketball Rookie of the Week, as announced by the league office Monday, Dec. 17, making it the second time this season Parker earned the honor.
Parker came off the bench to dish for a team-best seven assists, to go along with six points, three rebounds and a pair of steals in a setback at Dartmouth last Monday. Parker, who hit 3-5 from the floor, sparked SHU's second half comeback, assisting on four buckets in a 3:30 span that help the Pioneers slice a 14-point deficit to six with 3:31 to play.m the line.
Sean the Scoring Machine... Sean Hoehn has scored in double-figures in nine of its first 10 games, leading the team in scoring and dropping at least 20 points in five of the 10 contests. Hoehn topped his previous career-high of 31 points, by dropping 35 points against Binghamton on Nov. 24, including a career-high seven made three-pointers.
Kinnon the Conqueror... Red-shirt junior Kinnon LaRose has recorded two double-figure rebound games in his career. Ironically, both performances resulted in double-doubles for LaRose, most recently at Binghamton (11/24) where he tallied 12 points and a career-high 12 rebounds in the loss.
Heating Up... Kinnon LaRose has scored in double-figures in five of the last six contests, including a season-high 20-point performance against UMass Lowell. LaRose most recent double-figure output was a 15-point performance in a 64-62 win at Lafayette.
Have a Day Jare'l... Jare'l Spellman had a career day in SHU's 64-62 win over Lafayette. Along with scoring the game-winner, Spellman tallied 18 points, 13 rebounds and five blocks, which were all career-highs for the big man at the time.
Swiper, No Swiping... Sean Hoehn is averaging 1.8 steals a game which is ranks fourth in the conference. Hoehn has recorded multiple steals in five of the Pioneers' 10 games and has recorded at least three steals in a game three times.
Second-Half Team... Through 10 games, the Pioneers are being outscored by 1.9 points per game in the first half, but are outscoring opponents by 3.0 points on average in the second-half
Protect the Pitt... In its two games played at home, the Pioneers are 2-0 and are outscoring opponents on average by 25.5 points per game.
Close but No Cigar... The Pioneers are being outscored by 7.2 points per game in losses. Three of the Pioneers' six losses have been by five or less points.
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 Classic.
Hold The Lead... In its five games where the Pioneers have the lead at halftime, they are 4-1, with the lone loss being at Binghamton.
Shooters Shoot... Sean Hoehn, Kinnon LaRose and Aaron Clarke are among the top three-point marksmen in the NEC. Hoehn is averaging 3.00 made three-pointers a game which ranks third in the conference, while LaRose is knocking down 1.67 threes per game. Clarke rounds out the trio, knocking down 1.3 three-pointers a game.
Let it Fly... Through 10 games, the Pioneers are shooting 47.1% from the field, which is tops in the NEC and 35.6% from beyond the arc, which ranks fourth in the conference.
Scoring is a Habit... Freshman guard Aaron Clarke is averaging 9.9 points per game and has been able to do it from all levels. Clarke is shooting 43.8% from the field, 32.5% from three and 84.2% from the free-throw line. Clarke has scored in double-figures in five of the Pioneers' 10 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.
Familiar Faces... SHU returns seven letter-winners from last season's team, including team captain 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.
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.
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, St. Francis
G – Keith Braxton, St. Francis
G/F – Tyler Kohl, CCSU
G/F – Raiquan Clark, LIU Brooklyn
F – Mike Holloway, FDU