Sacred Heart (13-16, 9-7 NEC) vs. Robert Morris (15-14, 10-6 NEC)
Thursday, Feb. 28 - 6:00 PM
Coach Bike Court at the Pitt Center - Fairfield, Conn.
Setting the Scene... After defeating Central Connecticut on the road Saturday, Sacred Heart University men's basketball will look to improve its seeding in the NEC Tournament by taking on Robert Morris at home Thursday, Feb. 28 at 6 p.m. on NEC Front Row.
All-Time vs. Robert Morris... The Colonials lead the all-time series 25-10 and have defeated the Pioneers in six straight contests, dating back to the 2015-16 season.
Last Meeting... 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.=
Scouting the Colonials... Robert Morris comes into the contest with a 15-14 record and a 10-6 record in NEC-play this season. The Colonials are led by senior Josh Williams, who leads the team with 14.3 points per game.
Last Time Out... The Sacred Heart University men's basketball snapped its two-game losing streak by defeating Central Connecticut, 80-66 on the road Saturday afternoon. The win improved the Pioneers' record to 13-16 overall and 9-7 in league play, while the Blue Devils fell to 11-18 on the year and 5-11 in NEC action. With the win, the Pioneers clinched a berth in the NEC Tournament for the fourth time in five years.
The Pioneers had five players score in double-figures, with Sean Hoehn's 18 points leading the way.
After CCSU cut the SHU lead to 42-40 with 18:56 left in the half, the Pioneers went on an 11-2 run to increase its lead to 53-42 with 16:11 remaining in the half. The Blue Devils responded with a 14-7 run to cut the SHU lead to 60-56 with 10:02 remaining in the half. However, the Pioneers outscored CCSU 20-10 to secure the 80-66 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 46.1% from the field, 39.9% from three and 84.4% from the charity stripe this season.
Swat Leader Spellman... Red-shirt junior, Jare'l Spellman is averaging 3.07 blocks per game, which ranks fourth in the nation and is tops in the NEC. Spellman has totaled 89 blocks this season, which ranks third in the nation and first in the conference. Spellman's 89 blocks surpassed SHU's team total of 71 from the 2017-18 season.
Passing Parker... Freshman guard Cameron Parker's seven assists per game ranks seventh in the nation. Parker has recorded 10+ assists six 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 Central Connecticut (2/23), where he tallied 10 assists in the win.
Fighting for Positioning... SHU sits at 9-7 with two NEC games remaining in regular-season play. SHU's 9-7 record has it in sole possession of fourth place.
He Protects the Pitt... Jare'l Spellman's 89 blocks on the season set the program's Div. I record for most blocks in a single-season. Spellman's 89 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 1,304 career points, placing him 24th on the program's all-time scoring list
Chasing History... Cameron Parker is eighth in the nation in total assists (195). Parker's 195 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 14.2 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 195 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 14.5 points per game, on 38% shooting from the field, 77.3% from the charity stripe and is knocking down two three-pointers per game in 20 games played this season. Ozier has scored in double-figures in 14 of the 20 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 14.86 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 77.8 points per game per game in NEC games this season, which ranks first in the conference. The Pioneers' +3.6 scoring margin ranks first in the conference as well.
Charity-Stripe Champs... Through 16 NEC games, the Pioneers lead the conference in free-throw shooting percentage, knocking down 79.4% of shots from the charity stripe.
Locking-Up... SHU is holding NEC-opponents to 43.1% shooting from the floor and 35.9% from beyond the arc, which ranks fourth and seventh in the NEC.
Rebounding Machines... SHU is averaging 37.4 rebounds per game and are allowing opponents to grab 33.6 boards per game in NEC-play, which ranks first and second in the conference. SHU's +3.9 rebounding margin is also tops in conference-play.
Taking Care of the Rock... The Pioneers are averaging 14.19 assists per game through 16 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 14.2 ppg this season. The +10 differential is the largest jump in ppg by a player in the NEC this season.
A League of His Own... The Pioneers are averaging 4.56 blocks per game as a team and has totaled 73 blocks in NEC-play, which ranks second. Jare'l Spellman is averaging 3.5 blocks per game and has totaled 56 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 16.8 points per game is which is ranked fifth, while E.J. Anosike's 15.3 points per game ranks 11th. Koreem Ozier's 13 points per game ranks 18th.
Renowned Rebounders... SHU has two players that rank in the top-10 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.
Freshman on the Boards... Koreem Ozier is averaging 4.9 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 16 NEC games. Parker is averaging 6.63 assists per game and has totaled 106 assists, both leading the NEC. Parker's 1.68 assist-to-turnover ratio ranks fourth in conference.
Kinnon's Consistency... Red-shirt junior co-captain Kinnon LaRose is averaging 8.6 points off the bench for the Pioneers through 16 NEC games. LaRos has registered double-figure points off the bench in seven of the 16 conference games and has done so in four of the last six games.
Three's Company... Through 16 NEC games, the Pioneers have three players that rank in the top-15 in the conference in three-point shooting percentage. Kinnon LaRose's 47.1% ranks second, while E.J. Anosike is fourth in the conference in three-point shooting at 45.5%. Sean Hoehn rounds out the group at 8th with a 40.3% 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 3-6 in road games in NEC-play so far this season. The Pioneers are being outscored by 2.4 points per game and are allowing opponents to shoot 47.7% 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 3.28 offensive rebounds per game is tops in the NEC and 23rd in the nation, while Spellman's 2.24 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 seven assists a game ranks first, while his 1.79 assist-to-turnover ratio ranks fourth in the NEC.
Efficiency is Everything... The Pioneers have three players ranked in the in the top-10 of the NEC in field goal percentage. E.J. Anosike ranks fourth, shooting 52.2% from the field, while Jare'l Spellman's 51.5% ranks fifth. Kinnon LaRose ranks sixth, shooting 50.9%.
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 25 of the Pioneers' 29 games, leading the team in scoring in 13 games and dropping at least 20 points in 10 of the 25 contests.
Kinnon the Conqueror... Red-shirt junior co-captain Kinnon LaRose is averaging 8.6 points and 4.6 rebounds per game and is currently in second in the NEC in three-point shooting percentage, knocking down 47.1% of shots behind the arc in league games. LaRose's 133.5 offensive rating ranks first in the NEC and 22nd in the nation.
Hold The Lead... In its 13 games where the Pioneers held the lead at halftime, they are 10-3.
First-Half Struggles... Through 29 games, the Pioneers are averaging 36.4 points per game in the first half of games and are being outscored by 1.3 point per game by opponents.
Second-Half Team... Through 29 games, the Pioneers are averaging 43.1 points per game in the second half of games and are outscoring opponents by 2.4 points per game.
Protect the Pitt... In its 10 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 4-13 on the road so far this season and are being outscored by 5.6 points per game away from the Pitt.
75 Points or Less... SHU is 9-1 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 1.48 steals a game which is fifth in the conference. Hoehn has recorded multiple steals in 11 of the Pioneers' 29 games and has tallied at least three steals in a game eight times.
Captain Closer... Senior-captain Sean Hoehn is averaging a team-high 10.4 points per game in the second-half of games this season.
He Will Find You... In 28 games played, Cameron Parker has led SHU in assists in 26 of those contests.
Let it Fly... Through 29 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 36.2% 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 2.3 made three-pointers a game which ninth in the conference. LaRose is knocking down 1.4 threes per game, while Ozier rounds out the squad with two three-point makes per game in 20 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's 40.4% mark ranks fifth, while Hoehn sits in seventh at 39.9%
Scoring is a Habit... Freshman guard Aaron Clarke is averaging 8.4 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' 29 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.