Sacred Heart (4-7) at St. John's (11-0)
Saturday, Dec. 22 - 8:00 PM
Carnesecca Arena - Queens, N.Y.
Setting the Scene... After falling to Seton Hall in its last time out, Sacred Heart University men's basketball will hit the road to take on St. John's on Saturday, Dec. 22 at 8:00 p.m. at the Carnesecca Arena in Queens, N.Y.
All-Time Vs. St. John's... The Red Storm leads the all-time series 3-0.
Last Meeting... Down 24-16 with 6:53 to play in the first half, SHU went on an 18-10 run over the next 4:28 to tie the game 34-34 with 1:30 to play. The Pioneers made six of nine shots from the field to tie the game, including a stretch of five in a row capped by a De'von Barnett jumper. St. John's got the last basket of the half on a Marvin Clark II layup to take a 36-34 halftime lead.
After trading baskets to start the second half, St. John's went on a 15-2 run over 4:03 to take a 53-38 lead with 14:02 to go. Clark had six of the Red Storm's 15 points over that stretch. The Pioneers went almost seven minutes without a field goal as St. John's pulled away to a 73-41 lead with 6:53 to go and held on for the 90-55 win.
Scouting St. John's... The Red Storm come in the contest as one of eight undefeated teams remaining in the nation with an 11-0 record. Shamorie Ponds leads St. John's in scoring with 20.2 points per game. L.J. Figueroa is second in scoring with 15.5 points per game and leads the team in rebounding with 7.4 boards per game.
Last Time Out... Sean Hoehn became the 42nd player in program-history to score 1,000 career points, but it was not enough as the Sacred Heart University Pioneers fell to Seton Hall, 92-76, on the road Wednesday evening at the Prudential Center. The loss dropped the Pioneers to 4-7 on the year, while the Pirates improves to 8-3.
The Pirates used the opening 7:15 of the contest to jump to a 20-6 lead. The Pioneers stopped the run after Jare'l Spellman was fouled on a made layup and made the free-throw attempt. Spellman's three-point play sparked a 14-9 run for the Pioneers, cutting the deficit to 29-20 with 7:26 remaining in the half. However, the Pirates outscored the Pioneers 25-17 to close the half with a 54-37 lead
The Pioneers opened the half with a 7-3 run to cut the deficit to 57-44 with 17:39 remaining in the half. The Pirates responded with a swift 9-0 run to push its lead to 66-44 with 14:13 remaining. SHU was unable to overcome the deficit and fell 90-76.
Oh Captain, Our Captain... The Pioneers' leading scorer from last season, Sean Hoehn, is currently second in the NEC in scoring, averaging 19.1 points per game. Hoehn is shooting 44.3% from the field and 41% from three so far this season.
Mr. 1,000... In the December 19th loss at Seton Hall, Sean Hoehn became the 42nd player in program-history to score 1,000 career points. Hoehn achoeved the feat after he made a free-throw with 13:56 remaining in the second half. Ironically, Hoehn scored the first point of his career at the free-throw line as well.
Swat Leader Spellman... Red-shirt junior, Jare'l Spellman is averaging 2.82 blocks per game, which ranks ninth in the nation and is tops in the NEC. Spellman has totaled 31 blocks this season, which ranks 11th in the nation. Spellman has led SHU in blocks in all 11 games played and has recorded three or more blocks in six contests this season.
Passing Parker... Freshman guard Cameron Parker's 7.5 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 career-high 14-assist performance against Western New England on Nov. 12
Point Guard Parker... Cameron Parker is 18th in the nation in total assists (75) and is fifth in the nation in assists per game (7.5)
Sicko Mode... E.J. Anosike recorded his second double-double of the season after tallying 13 points and 12 rebounds in a loss at Seton Hall. The double-double brought Anosike's season-total to two and career-total to four. Anosike is averaging a career-best 13.2 points per game and 8.3 rebounds per game.
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... E.J. Anosike tallied 13 points and 12 rebounds against Seton Hall for the fourth double-double of his career. It was the fourth time a Pioneers' player recorded a double-double with points and rebounds this season as Anosike has done so twice this season and Kinnon LaRose Jare'l Spellman 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 8.3 rebounds per game, which leads the team and is second in the NEC. Anosike's 4.0 offensive rebounds per game is tops in the NEC and fifth in the nation.
Protecting the Ball... The Pioneers are averaging 16.09 assists per game and have a 1.15 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 7.5 assists a game ranks first, while Hoehn's 3.09 a game ranks ninth. Parker's 2.08 assist-to-turnover ratio ranks second 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 54.5% from the field. E.J. Anosike's 45.5% ranks 15th 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 10 of the Pioneers' 11 games, leading the team in scoring and dropping at least 20 points in five of the 11 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 seven 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 1.73 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 3.3 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 8.1 points per game in losses. Three of the Pioneers' seven 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 2.91 made three-pointers a game which ranks fourth in the conference, while Clarke is knocking down 1.6 threes per game. LaRose rounds out the trio, knocking down 1.5 three-pointers a game.
Let it Fly... Through 11 games, the Pioneers are shooting 47% from the field, which is tops in the NEC and 35.9% from beyond the arc, which ranks third in the conference.
Scoring is a Habit... Freshman guard Aaron Clarke is averaging 10.5 points per game and has been able to do it from multiple levels. Clarke is shooting 45.2% from the field and 78.3% from the free-throw line. Clarke has scored in double-figures in six of the Pioneers' 11 games, leading the Pioneers' in scoring with 17 points in a loss at Seton Hall 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