WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ - The Sacred Heart women's basketball team makes a trip to West Long Branch, NJ for the launch of another season Friday, November 10, battling old league rival, Monmouth. The Hawks too commence their season with Friday's tip-off. This marks the second time the two teams will face each other in five years since Monmouth moved from the Northeast Conference to the MAAC prior to the 2013-14 season.
- Sacred Heart owns the all-time clip against the former conference foe, 18-12
- Monmouth snapped a two-game skid against the Pioneers with last season's 65-54 victory inside the William H. Pitt Center.
- Last meeting, December 8, 2016 – Monmouth won, 65-54
- First meeting, November 13, 2000 – SHU won, 79-63
- Live stats link – http://stats.statbroadcast.com/broadcast/?id=197736 or click here
- Live video link – http://www.espn.com/watch/_/id/3210360/sacred-heart-vs-monmouth or click here
- Head Coach Jessica Mannetti begins her fifth season at the helm.
Start it up…
All but one starter hung up their jersey at the conclusion of last season but Katherine Haines will suit up for another go-round on the hardwood. Last year's initial five out shared 154.5 minutes out on the floor with Haines crediting about 30 minutes of playing time. The quintet also poured in nearly 53 points a game of the Pioneer's 62.8 averaged a contest. Defensively, that same group allowed for almost 26 second-chance opportunities for the Pioneers of the 35.8 total rebounds pulled down each game.
One-two and "three" punch…
Haines was selected to the All-Northeast Conference Preseason Team to begin her 2017-18 campaign. The redshirt-junior forward was a member of the All-NEC Second Team and dubbed the league's Most Improved Player just a season ago.
Starting in all 31 games she appeared in, Haines filed 12.9 points per game slotting her second on the squad while crashing the boards for a team-high 8.7 rebounds per contest, grabbing 269 total. Haines' defensive prowess also credited 46 blocks on the season, the most of any Pioneer and finished with 10 double-doubles. The Ridgefield Park, NJ native tabbed double-figure scoring in 22 performances.
Lone senior Tykera Carter got her shot at commanding the floor in 32 contests seeing about 17.2 minutes played. As a junior, she averaged 4.0 points per game while shooting almost 30-percent from the field, 22.4-percent from deep. Carter was a 74.2-percent free-throw shooter and lent an average of one helper a game. On the other side of the floor, Carter grabbed a pair of boards and averaged a near steal in each contest she participated in.
Erin Storck flirted with 28 minutes of playing time in each of the 32 contests she appeared in. 16 of those contests doubled as starts. The now junior shot 37 percent from the field and netted about 36 shots from beyond the arc for 5.7 points a contest. She also won three balls on the glass and added 1.4 assists in each of her performances. Storck led the Pioneers in steals and assists each on four separate occasions and reached double-digit point totals three different times.
Size you up…
Jenna Silletti and Madison Cheatham will both see time under the basket again. Silletti saw 10 minutes in and out of the paint in each of the 11 games she appeared in last season. Cheatham registered about three minutes in 16 contests down low. In Silletti's rookie campaign, the forward scored about 2.4 points a game.
Cleo Polyzou re-enters the fold, after sitting out a season ago. In her debut season, 2015-16, the forward came off the bench in 21 games averaging 1.8 points and a rebound in seven minutes played.
Sophomore Allyson Murphy and redshirt-junior Kiana Ye return to the backcourt looking to up their contributions this season. Murphy checked in 19 times last season and competed for 4.1 minutes in each of those games. Ye saw action in 14 contests averaging 2.1 minutes per contest.
Freshmen Friday and not so Freshman Friday…
Korina Guerra (Fr. G.), Jayla Davis (Fr. G.), Olivia Dabney (Fr. G), Asia McCray (Fr. G.), Adrianne Hagood (Fr. G) and Abigail Kangudie (Fr. PF.) will suit up for the first time in their collegiate careers at Oceanbank First Center.
Guerra is a product of The Ursuline School and a White Plains, NY native. Davis joined the Pioneers by the way of Saint Anne's Belfield High School as a Hurt, VA native. Dabney was a member of the women's basketball program at Rutgers Preparatory as an East Windsor, NJ product. McCray, out of Washington, DC, touched the hardwood at St. John's College High School. Hagood hails from Elizabeth Seton High School reigning from Accokeek, MD.
Candice Leatherwood, a redshirt-sophomore guard, and transfer from Liberty will also compete as a Pioneer for the first time. She appeared in all 61 games for the Flames during her freshman and sophomore seasons, making the first 12 starts of her career as a sophomore.
She set career highs for points (11) and rebounds (7) while tying her career-high of two steals against Coastal Carolina. Leatherwood played a Liberty program-record 49 of 50 possible minutes during the Big South Championship title game against UNC-Ashville on March 13, 2016, finishing with nine points, a career-high seven assists, four rebounds while committing only two turnovers.
Scouting the Hawks…
Monmouth is projected to finish fifth in the MAAC according to its league coaches. Sophomore guard Kayla Shaw was selected to the league's third team after earning a spot on the All-Rookie Team following her freshman debut. The starting sophomore has been known to light it up from three shattering the Hawks' program record of 93 three-pointers made in just one season while leading the team with 11.4 ppg.
Rosa Graham (6.5 ppg) and McKinzee Barker (6.4 ppg) will also represent Monmouth's guard play after netting the third and fourth most points per game, respectively.
On the defensive side of things, Alexia Middleton will be seen as a force on the glass after pulling down 6.3 boards a game last season which ranked second-most on the team. The forward also served up 20 total rejections.
Alaina Jarnot, who earned 28 starts, registered 6.1 points a game. After graduating two starters, the Hawks also have to option to possibly integrate veterans Taylor Nason (29 gp, 26 gs) and Kayla Quintana (31 gp, 1 gs) into the first five out onto the floor.