Men's Basketball Aims for Season-Sweep Over Central Connecticut, Saturday Afternoon

Men's Basketball Aims for Season-Sweep Over Central Connecticut, Saturday Afternoon

Game Notes (PDF) | Live Stats | Watch 

Sacred Heart (12-16, 8-7 NEC) at Central Connecticut (11-17, 5-10 NEC)

Saturday, Feb. 23 - 3:30 PM

Detrick Gymnasium - New Britain, Conn.

Setting the Scene... After falling to Fairleigh Dickinson on the road Thursday, Sacred Heart University men's basketball will look to secure the season-sweep against NEC-foe Central Connecticut on the road Saturday, Feb. 23 at 3:30 p.m. on NEC Front Row.

All-Time vs. Central Connecticut... The Blue Devils lead the all-time series 37-26, but the Pioneers have won seven-straight against Blue Devils.

Last Meeting... SHU opened the second half with a 7-2 run that opened its lead to 12 points and never let CCSU closer than six points the remainder of the game. The Pioneers were 6-6 at the free throw line in the final 71 seconds of play to seal the 73-61 win at home.

Scouting the Blue Devils... Central Connecticut comes into the contest with an 11-17 record and a 5-10 record in NEC-play this season. The Blue Devils are led by senior Tyler Kohl, who leads CCSU in points (18.1), rebounds (7.0) and assists (4.5) per game.

Last Time Out... The Sacred Heart University men's basketball team fell to Fairleigh Dickinson, 81-63 on the road Thursday evening at the Rothman Center. The loss drops the Pioneers' record to 12-16 overall and 8-7 in league play, while the Knights improve to 14-13 on the year and 9-6 in NEC action.

E.J. Anosike tallied a double-double with 21 points and 13 rebounds, while Koreem Ozier added a team-high 22 points in the loss.

With FDU leading 44-40, the Knights went on a 12-4 run to push its lead to 56-44 with 12:34 left in the half. After SHU cut the deficit to 58-50 with 10:52 remaining, FDU went on a 14-4 run to push its lead to 72-54 with 4:23 to go in the contest. The Knights held on for the 81-63 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 45.9% from the field, 39.4% from three and 83.9% from the charity stripe this season. 

Swat Leader Spellman... Red-shirt junior, Jare'l Spellman is averaging 2.96 blocks per game, which ranks fourth in the nation and is tops in the NEC. Spellman has totaled 83 blocks this season, which ranks fourth in the nation and first in the conference. Spellman's 83 blocks surpassed SHU's team total of 71 from the 2017-18 season. 

Passing Parker... Freshman guard Cameron Parker's 6.85 assists per game ranks seventh in the nation. Parker has recorded 10+ assists five 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 St. Francis Brooklyn (2/2), where he tallied 12 assists and only one turnover.

Fighting for Positioning... SHU sits at 8-7 through 15 NEC games, surpassing last season's conference win total of five. SHU's 8-7 record has it tied for fourth with two other teams.

He Protects the Pitt... Jare'l Spellman's 83 blocks on the season set the program's Div. I record for most blocks in a single-season. Spellman's 83 blocks places him fifth all-time on the program's Div. I blocks list. 

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. Coming into the contest, Hoehn has scored 1,286 career points, which places him 25th all-time on the program's scoring list.

Chasing History... Cameron Parker is seventh in the nation in total assists (185). Parker's 185 surpassed the previous NEC freshman assist record of 180, set by Jason Brickman during the 2010-11 season

Sicko Mode... E.J. Anosike recorded his fifth double-double of the season after tallying 21 points and 13 rebounds in loss at Fairleigh Dickinson. The double-double brought Anosike's season-total to five and career-total to seven. Anosike is averaging a career-best 14.3 points per game and 7.9 rebounds per game.

Busy Beaver... Beaverton, Oregon-product Cameron Parker has lived up to his billing as a gifted passer so far during his first-year campaign. Parker currently boasts 185 assists on the season, which surpassed the previous 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 14.6 points per game, on 38.1% shooting from the field, 76.7% from the charity stripe and is knocking down 2.1 threes per game in 19 games played this season. Ozier has scored in double-figures in 13 of the 19 games he has appeared in and 20+ points in five 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 Andy Fall rejected 10 shots against Bryant on February 27, 2014. Spellman's nine rejections is tied for the second-most in the nation this season.\

Protecting the Ball... The Pioneers are averaging 14.82 assists per game and have a 1.01 assist-to-turnover ratio, which ranks first and third in the NEC respectively. 

Keep Up If You Can... The Pioneers are scoring 77.6 points per game per game in NEC games this season, which ranks first in the conference. The Pioneers' +2.9 scoring margin ranks third in the conference

Charity-Stripe Champs... Through 15 NEC games, the Pioneers lead the conference in free-throw shooting percentage, knocking down 79.2% of shots from the charity stripe.

Locking-Up... SHU is holding NEC-opponents to 43.6% shooting from the floor and 35.7% from beyond the arc, which ranks fifth and eighth in the NEC.

Rebounding Machines... SHU is averaging 37 rebounds per game and are allowing opponents to grab 33.8 boards per game in NEC-play, which ranks second and third in the conference. SHU's +3.2 rebounding margin is also tops in conference-play.

Taking Care of the Rock... The Pioneers are averaging 14.07 assists per game through 15 NEC games, which ranks second in the conference. SHU's 0.97 assist-to-turnover ratio ranks third in the conference.

Anosike's Coming-Out Party... E.J. Anosike is making a case for the NEC's Most Improved award. Anosike averaged 4.2 ppg last season and upped his average to 14.3 ppg this season. The +10.1 differential is the largest jump in ppg by a player in the NEC this season.

A League of His Own... The Pioneers are averaging 4.4 blocks per game as a team and has totaled 66 blocks in NEC-play, which ranks second. Jare'l Spellman is averaging 3.33 blocks per game and has totaled 50 blocks in NEC-play, which is more than five teams in the NEC.

Pick Your Poison... The Pioneers have three players that rank in the top-20 in NEC-games in scoring. Sean Hoehn's 16.7 points per game is which is ranked fifth, while E.J. Anosike's 15.4 points per game ranks 10th. Koreem Ozier's 13.1 points per game ranks 17th.

Renowned Rebounders... SHU has three players that rank in the top-20 in NEC games in rebounding. E.J. Anosike is averaging eight rebounds per game, which ranks second, while Jare'l Spellman's 6.8 rebounds per game is seventh in the NEC. Koreem Ozier rounds  out the group with five rebounds per game, which ranks 20th.

Freshman on the Boards... Koreem Ozier is averaging five rebounds per game in NEC-play, which ranks first among all freshman in the conference.

Heartbreakers... SHU overcame a 16-point second half deficit to defeat Bryant 105-104 on Feb. 14. It tied the largest deficit the Pioneers overcame in a win this season, as SHU overcame a 16-point deficit in a 71-62 win over St. Francis Brooklyn on Feb. 2.

Assist Leader... Freshman point guard Cameron Parker leads the conference in assists through 15 NEC games. Parker is averaging 6.4 assists per game and has totaled 96 assists, both leading the NEC. Parker's 1.63 assist-to-turnover ratio ranks fifth in conference.

Clarke's Consistency... Freshman guard Aaron Clarke is averaging 7.3 points off the bench for the Pioneers through 15 NEC games. Clarke has registered double-figure points off the bench in six of the 15 conference games and has done so in six of the last 12 games.

Three's Company... Through 15 NEC games, the Pioneers have three players that rank in the top-15 in the conference in three-point shooting percentage. E.J. Anosike is third in the conference in three-point shooting at 46.9%, while Kinnon LaRose's 45.7% ranks fourth. Sean Hoehn rounds out the group at 11th with a 39.3% mark.

Protectors of the Pitt... The Pioneers are 6-1 at home in the NEC this season. In the seven games, SHU is outscoring opponents by 11.4 points and holding teams to 37.4% shooting from the floor.

Home Sick... The Pioneers are 2-6 in road games in NEC-play so far this season. The Pioneers are being outscored by 4.5 points per game and are allowing opponents to shoot 49.4% from the floor.

Defensive Showing... The Pioneers defeated Wagner 62-38 on Jan. 21, 2019. Wagner's 38-point total tied 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.

Hibachi Anosike... E.J. Anosike scored a career-high 27 points on 8-of-13 shooting from the field and 4-of-6 from three in a win over St. Francis Brooklyn (2/2)

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

KO With the Quick Hands... Koreem Ozier recorded a career-high and game-high four-steals in SHU's 69-63 win over Fairleigh Dickinson (2/7). 

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 21 points and 13 rebounds against Fairleigh Dickinson for the eighth double-double of his career. It was the ninth time a Pioneers' player recorded a double-double with points and rebounds this season as Anosike has done so five times, Jare'l Spellman three times 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's 7.9 rebounds per game ranks second in the NEC, while Spellman's 7.4 ranks third. Anosike's 3.36 offensive rebounds per game is tops in the NEC and 20th in the nation, while Spellman's 2.25 offensive rebounds per game is 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 6.85 assists a game ranks first, while his 1.76 assist-to-turnover ratio ranks fourth in the NEC.

Efficiency is Everything... The Pioneers have two players ranked in the in the top-five of the NEC in field goal percentage. Jare'l Spellman ranks fourth, shooting 52.5% from the field, while E.J. Anosike is also tied for fourth at 52.5%.

Sean the Scoring Machine... Sean Hoehn scored a game-high 33 points in the 105-104 win over Bryant on Feb. 14. Hoehn has scored in double-figures in 24 of the Pioneers' 28 games, leading the team in scoring in 12 games and dropping at least 20 points in 10 of the 24 contests. 

Kinnon the Conqueror... Red-shirt junior co-captain Kinnon LaRose is averaging 8.4 points and 4.5 rebounds per game and is currently in fourth in the NEC in three-point shooting percentage, knocking down 45.7% of shots behind the arc in league games. LaRose's 132.8 offensive rating ranks first in the NEC and 27th in the nation.

Hold The Lead... In its 12 games where the Pioneers held the lead at halftime, they are 9-3. 

First-Half Struggles... Through 28 games, the Pioneers are averaging 36.2 points per game in the first half of games and are being outscored by 1.6 point per game by opponents.

Second-Half Team... Through 28 games, the Pioneers are averaging 43.3 points per game in the second half of games and are outscoring opponents by 2.2 points per game.

Protect the Pitt... In its nine games played at home, the Pioneers are 8-2 and are outscoring opponents on average by 12.2 points per game.

Road Blues... The Pioneers are 3-13 on the road so far this season and are being outscored by 6.8 points per game away from the Pitt. 

75 Points or Less... SHU is 8-1 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 1.54 steals a game which is fifth in the conference. Hoehn has recorded multiple steals in 11 of the Pioneers' 28 games and has tallied at least three steals in a game eight times. 

Captain Closer... Senior-captain Sean Hoehn is averaging a team-high 10.5 points per game in the second-half of games this season.

He Will Find You... In 27 games played, Cameron Parker has led SHU in assists in 25 of those contests.

Let it Fly... Through 28 games, the Pioneers lead the conference in scoring with 79.8 points per game. SHU is shooting 45.5% from the field, which is second in the NEC and 36.1% from beyond the arc, which ranks second 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 two made three-pointers a game which is tied for 10th in the conference. LaRose is knocking down 1.4 threes per game, while Ozier rounds out the squad with 2.1 three-point makes per game in 19 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. LaRose and Hoehn are both tied for sixth, shooting 39.4% from deep.

Scoring is a Habit... Freshman guard Aaron Clarke is averaging 8.7 points per game and has been able to do it from multiple levels. Clarke is shooting 40% from the field and 84.7% from the free-throw line. Clarke has scored in double-figures in 13 of the Pioneers' 28 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.