Men's Basketball Closes Pennsylvania-Swing With Saturday Contest vs. St. Francis U. at 7 PM

Men's Basketball Closes Pennsylvania-Swing With Saturday Contest vs. St. Francis U. at 7 PM

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Sacred Heart (8-12, 4-3 NEC) at St. Francis U. (7-11, 3-4 NEC)

Saturday, Jan. 26 - 7:00 PM

Degol Arena - Loretto, Pa.

Setting the Scene... After falling to Robert Morris in its last time out, Sacred Heart University men's basketball travels to take on NEC-foe St. Francis U. on Saturday, Jan. 26 at 7:00 p.m. on NEC Front Row.

All-Time vs. St. Francis U.. The Red Flash leads the all-time series 18-13. Saint Francis U has won each of the last four meetings, and nine of the last 10 overall. The Pioneers' last win at DeGol Arena came on Jan. 19, 2013 when SHU defeated Saint Francis U 75-72.

Last Meeting... The Pioneers led 70-65 with 3:22 to go after consecutive layups by Barnett and Joseph Lopez. The Red Flash stormed back. Two straight layups from Jamaal King cut the SHU lead to one, 70-69, with 1:12 to go. Scott Meredith then made a three-pointer with 0:03 left to give Saint Francis U a 72-70 lead. The Pioneers had a chance to tie when King fouled Robinson with 0.6 seconds left and SHU in the double bonus. Robinson made his first free throw, but his second rimmed out, making the final score 72-71.

Scouting the Red Flash... St. Francis U. comes into the contest with a 7-11 record and a 3-4 record through NEC-play so far this season. The Red Flash are led by Keith Braxton. who is averaging a double-double this season with averages of 15.9 points and 10 rebounds per game.

Last Time Out...  Despite a late second-half comeback attempt, the Sacred Heart University men's basketball team fell to Robert Morris, 72-64, Thursday afternoon on at the North Athletic Complex. The loss dropped the Pioneers to 8-12 overall and 4-3 in league play, while the Colonials improved to 11-9 on the year and 6-1 in NEC action.

The Pioneers were led by Zach Radz, who tallied 17 points in the loss, tying his career-high. 

The Colonials used the opening 5:48 of the half to go on a 17-7 run to extend their lead to 52-36 with 14:12 remaining. The Pioneers responded with a 15-6 run over 9:50 of game time to cut the deficit to 58-51 with 3:52 left in the half. SHU cut it as close as 60-53 with 2:07 remaining, but was unable to get over the hump as the Colonials secured the 72-64 win.

Oh Captain, Our Captain... The Pioneers' leading scorer from last season, Sean Hoehn, is currently third in the NEC in scoring, averaging 17.6 points per game. Hoehn is shooting 44.4% from the field and 38.4% from three so far this season. 

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 55 blocks this season, which ranks fourth in the nation and 1st in the conference. Spellman has led SHU in blocks in 18 of the 20 contests this season and has recorded three or more blocks in nine contests this season. The last time Spellman had three or more blocks was in a win over Wagner (1/21), when he tallied nine blocks.

Passing Parker... Freshman guard Cameron Parker's 6.95 assists per game ranks eighth in the nation. Parker has recorded 10+ assists four times this season, including a career-high 14-assist performance against Western New England (11/12). Parker most recently registered 10+ assists in a win over Bryant (1/12), where he tallied 12 assists and only one turnover.

Off to a Good Start... SHU's 4-3 start in NEC-play has the Pioneers tied for second with St. Francis Brooklyn, Wagner and Bryant in the conference standings.

He Protects the Pitt... In SHU's home win over Wagner (1/21), Jare'l Spellman recorded nine blocks, which set the SHU Div. I program-record.

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. Coming into the contest, Hoehn has scored 1,144 points in his career, which sits tied for 34th all-time in program-history.

Point Guard Parker... Cameron Parker is ninth in the nation in total assists (132) and is ninth in the nation in assists per game (6.95) 

Sicko Mode... E.J. Anosike recorded his fourth double-double of the season after tallying 19 points and 11 rebounds in loss at St. Francis Brooklyn. The double-double brought Anosike's season-total to four and career-total to six. Anosike is averaging a career-best 13.9 points per game and 8.0 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 currently boasts 132 assists on the season, which surpassed the previous the SHU freshman program assist-record of 129 set by Phil Gaetano during the 2011-12 season.

Off to the Races... Racine, Wisconsin-product, Koreem Ozier is averaging 14.3 points per game, on 38.7% shooting from the field, 83.8% from the charity stripe and 35.1% shooting from beyond the arc in 11 games played this season. Ozier has scored in double-figures in seven of the 11 games he has appeared in and 20+ points in three contests.

Not in His House... Jare'l Spellman tallied a career-high nine blocks in the Pioneers' win over Wagner. The nine blocks were the most by an NEC player in nearly five years. St. Francis Brooklyn's Amdy Fall rejected 10 shots against Bryant on February 27, 2014. Spellman's nine rejections tied for the second-most in the nation this season.

Protecting the Ball... The Pioneers are averaging 15.21 assists per game and have a 1.02assist-to-turnover ratio, which ranks first and second in the NEC respectively. 

Defensive Showing... The Pioneers defeated Wagner 62-38 on Jan. 21, 2019. Wagner's 38-point total ties the SHU program-record for least points allowed in a contest which was originally set on Dec. 29, 1987 when the Pioneers held Franklin Pierce to 38 points.

First-Half Clamps... The Pioneers held Wagner to 15 first-half points in the win over the Seahawks (1/21). The 15 points are the least amount of points the Pioneers have allowed in any half this season.

KO With the Quick Hands... Koreem Ozier recorded a career-high and game-high three-steals in SHU's 62-38 win over Wagner (1/21). 

Hitting the Boards... Freshman guard Cameron Parker grabbed a career-high nine rebounds against St. Francis Brooklyn (1/19). Koreem Ozier followed in the next game by grabbing a career-high nine rebounds of his own against Wagner (1/21).

Count on E.J... E.J. Anosike's team-high 19 points helped push SHU past LIU Brooklyn to open league-play. Anosike made a career-high three three-pointers including the go-ahead three to put SHU up 77-75 with 59 seconds left

Double-Double Galore... In the win over Bryant (1/12) Cameron Parker (11 pts, 12 asts) and Jare'l Spellman (13 pts, 13 rebs) became the first Pioneer teammates to record a double-double in the same game since Kinnon LaRose and Mario Matasovic did so against Mount St. Mary's on Feb. 17, 2018.

Player of the Week... E.J. Anosike was named the NEC Player of the Week on Jan. 7, after averaging 19.5 points and 10 rebounds per game in SHU's first two games in NEC-play.

Everybody Eats... E.J. Anosike tallied 19 points and 11 rebounds against St. Francis Brooklyn for the sixth double-double of his career. It was the seventh time a Pioneers' player recorded a double-double with points and rebounds this season as Anosike has done so four times, Jare'l Spellman twice and Kinnon LaRose did it once this season as well.

Big on the Boards... E.J. Anosike and Jare'l Spellman have been big contributers for the Pioneers on the boards. Anosike is second in the NEC with 8.0 rebounds a game, while Spellman's 7.6 rebounds a game are third in the league. Anosike's 3.55 offensive rebounds per game is tops in the NEC and ninth in the nation, while Spellman's 2.35 offensive rebounds per game ranks fourth in the NEC.

Good in His Hands... Cameron Parker ranks in the top-5 in the NEC in both assists per game and assist-to-turnover ratio. Parker's 6.95 assists a game ranks first, while his 1.89 assist-to-turnover ratio ranks fourth in the NEC

Efficiency is Everything... The Pioneers have two players ranked in the top-10 in the NEC in field goal percentage. Jare'l Spellman ranks fourth in the NEC, shooting 54.5% from the field, while E.J. Anosike's 51.3% ranks sixth in the conference.

Sean the Scoring Machine... Sean Hoehn has scored in double-figures in 18 of the Pioneers' 20 games, leading the team in scoring in nine games and dropping at least 20 points in seven of the 20 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.

Hold The Lead... In its 10 games where the Pioneers held the lead at halftime, they are 8-2. 

First-Half Struggles... Through 20 games, the Pioneers are averaging 36.7 points per game in the first half of games and are being outscored by 1.3 points per game by opponents.

Second-Half Team... Through 20 games, the Pioneers are averaging 43.1 points per game in the second half of games and are outscoring opponents by 2.5 points per game.

Protect the Pitt... In its seven games played at home, the Pioneers are 6-1 and are outscoring opponents on average by 15.7 points per game.

Road Blues... The Pioneers are 1-10 on the road so far this season and are being outscored by 8.3 points per game away from the Pitt. 

75 Points or Less... SHU is 6-1 in games this season when holding opponents to 75 points or less

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 1.75 steals a game which is ranks fifth in the conference. Hoehn has recorded multiple steals in nine of the Pioneers' 20 games and has recorded at least three steals in a game seven times. 

Captain Closer... Senior-captain Sean Hoehn is averaging a team-high 10.2 points per game in the second-half of games this season.=

He Will Find You... In 19 games played, Cameron Parker has led SHU in assists in 18 of those contests.

Let it Fly... Through 20 games, the Pioneers lead the conference in scoring with 80.2 points per game. SHU is shooting 46% from the field, which is second in the NEC and 35% from beyond the arc, which ranks third in the conference.

Radical Radz... Zach Radz scored a team-high and season-high 17 points in a loss at Robert Morris (1/24). The 17 points tied his career high, which he has now done three times.

Shooters Shoot... Sean Hoehn, Kinnon LaRose and Koreem Ozier and are among the top three-point marksmen in the NEC. Hoehn is averaging 2.15 made three-pointers a game which ranks eighth in the conference. LaRose is knocking down 1.4 threes per game, while Ozier rounds out the squad with 1.8 three-point makes per game in 11 games played.

Captain Snipers... Co-captains Sean Hoehn and Kinnon LaRose both rank in the top-10 in the conference in three-point field-goal percentage as they both are shooting 38.4% from beyond the arc which is tied for ninth.

Scoring is a Habit... Freshman guard Aaron Clarke is averaging 9.2 points per game and has been able to do it from multiple levels. Clarke is shooting 41.3% from the field and 82.2% from the free-throw line. Clarke has scored in double-figures in 10 of the Pioneers' 20 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.

Co-Captain Kinnon... It was announced from head coach Anthony Latina on Tuesday, January 8th, that red-shirt junior Kinnon LaRose was named as co-captain of the team. LaRose joins senior captain Sean Hoehn as the team captains for the remainder of the 2018-19 season.

Familiar Faces... SHU returns six letter-winners from last season's team, including team captain Sean Hoehn. The Pioneers also return Kinnon LaRose, E.J. Anosike, 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

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.