Sacred Heart (4-8) vs. UMass Lowell (7-7)
Saturday, Dec. 29 - 2:00 PM
Coach Bike Court at the Pitt Center - Fairfield, Conn.
Setting the Scene... After falling to St. John's in its last time out, Sacred Heart University men's basketball returns home close its non-conference schedule against UMass Lowell on Saturday, Dec. 29 at 2 p.m. on Coach Bike Court at the Pitt Center in Fairfield, Conn.
All-Time Vs. UMass Lowell... The Pioneers lead the all-time series 25-19, but UMass Lowell won the last contest played between the two earlier this season.
Last Meeting... 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. Trailing 60-55 with 12:06 remaining, a Sean Hoehn layup sparked a SHU 17-8 run that gave the Pioneers a 72-68 lead with 8:49 remaining in regulation. 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.
Scouting the Riverhawks... UMass Lowell comes into the contest with a 7-7 record, having gone 4-4 in its last eight contests. Christian Lutete leads the Riverhawks in scoring and rebounding, averaging 16.6 points and 8.1 boards per game. Obadiah Noel is second in scoring with 15.6 points per game.
Last Time Out... Sacred Heart University men's basketball lost its third-straight contest as the Pioneers fell to St. John's, 104-82, on the road Saturday evening at Carnesecca Arena. The loss dropped the Pioneers to 4-8 on the year, while the Red Storm improved to 12-0.The Pioneers had four players score in double-figures with Sean Hoehn leading the way with 16 points. Koreem Ozier added 15 points, while E.J. Anosike and Aaron Clarke scoring 13 points apiece in a losing effort.
St. John's used the opening 4:35 to go on 23-5 run. Anosike's layup with 14:56 remaining halted the St. John's run and sparked a 22-13 run for the Pioneers to cut the deficit to 36-27 with 8:46 remaining in the half. However, St. John's outscored the Pioneers 17-11 to take a 53-38 lead into the half.
SHU opened the second half with a 6-0 run to cut the deficit to 53-45 with 18:16 remaining in regulation. The Red Storm answered with a 29-9 run over 7:33 to extend its lead to 82-54 with 10:37 remaining in the contest. The Pioneers outscored St. John's 28-22 to close the contest but the Red Storm held on for the 104-82 win.
Oh Captain, Our Captain... The Pioneers' leading scorer from last season, Sean Hoehn, is currently third in the NEC in scoring, averaging 18.8 points per game. Hoehn is shooting 44.3% from the field and 40.7% 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 achieved 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 2.75 blocks per game, which ranks ninth in the nation and is tops in the NEC. Spellman has totaled 33 blocks this season, which ranks 10th in the nation. Spellman has led SHU in blocks in all 12 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 13th in the nation in total assists (82) 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 7.9 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
Off to the Races... After missing nine games, Racine, Wisconsin product, Koreem Ozier returned to the lineup to score 15 points in a loss at St. John's. Ozier has averaged 21.3 points per game, on 61.5% shooting from the field and 52.6% shooting from beyond the arc in three games played this season.
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 and Jare'l Spellman have been big contributers for the Pioneers on the boards. Anosike and Spellman both average 7.9 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 fourth in the nation.
Protecting the Ball... The Pioneers are averaging 16.00 assists per game and have a 1.10 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 3.25 a game ranks ninth. Parker's 2.10 assist-to-turnover ratio ranks third in the NEC, while Hoehn's 1.03 ranks 11th.
Efficiency is Everything... The Pioneers have three players ranked in the top-15 in the NEC in field goal percentage. Jare'l Spellman ranks third in the NEC, shooting 53.8% from the field. E.J. Anosike's 46.7% ranks 13th in the conference, while Aaron Clarke's 45.7% is 15th in the NEC.
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 11 of the Pioneers' 12 games, leading the team in scoring in seven games and dropping at least 20 points in five of the 12 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 eight 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 1.67 steals a game which is ranks fifth in the conference. Hoehn has recorded multiple steals in five of the Pioneers' 12 games and has recorded at least three steals in a game three times.
Second-Half Team... Through 12 games, the Pioneers are being outscored by 4.2 points per game in the first half, but are outscoring opponents by 2.2 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.
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 2.75 made three-pointers a game which ranks fourth in the conference, while LaRose is knocking down 1.4 threes per game. Clarke rounds out the trio, knocking down 1.2 three-pointers a game.
Let it Fly... Through 12 games, the Pioneers lead the conference in scoring with 81.1 points per game. SHU is shooting 47.2% from the field, which is tops in the NEC and 36.4% from beyond the arc, which ranks third in the conference.
Scoring is a Habit... Freshman guard Aaron Clarke is averaging 10.8 points per game and has been able to do it from multiple levels. Clarke is shooting 45.7% from the field and 78.3% from the free-throw line. Clarke has scored in double-figures in seven of the Pioneers' 12 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.
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