Sacred Heart Looks to Convert Second Straight Win for First Time at Wagner Monday

Sacred Heart Looks to Convert Second Straight Win for First Time at Wagner Monday

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STATEN ISLAND, NY – The Sacred Heart women's basketball team (5-9, 1-2 NEC) looks to collect its second consecutive win for the first time this season when the Pioneers travel to Wagner (3-11, 1-2 NEC) Monday evening at the Spiro Sports Center. The action commences at 7:00 p.m.

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Taking the "W" out of Wagner…

SHU leads the all-time series with Wagner 26-9 and is currently boasting a seven-game win streak having swept the Seahawks since the 2014-15 season. The Pioneers split outcomes with the Seahawks in 2013-14. 

Pioneers last time out…

Redshirt-junior guard Candice Leatherwood netted a career-high 24 points leading a group of three other Pioneers in double-figures-Tykera Carter (18), Katherine Haines (16) and Adrianne Hagood (15). Her tally not only helped sever Sacred Heart's four-game skid but ended a scoring drought of her own in the 82-52 victory over Mount St. Mary's Saturday afternoon at Knott Arena. The win is Sacred Heart's first NEC victory this season. 

Seahawks last time out…

Redshirt-freshman guard Morgan Lenahan scored a career-high 23 points and helped key a late rally, but Fairleigh Dickinson was able to hang on for 74-64 Northeast Conference (NEC) victory over Wagner this at the Spiro Sports Center this past Saturday. 

Lenahan, shot an astounding 9-of-12 from the floor, including 3-of-4 accuracy from three-point land while leading three players in double figures. Fifth-year senior Sierra Clark, who suffered foul trouble early, tossed in 14 second-half points of her 16 total. Redshirt-freshman guard Taylah Simmons was the third Seahawk to net double-figures ending with 11 points, nine prior to the intermission. 

Take me back…

On January 9, 2017, the Pioneers moved to 6-9 and 3-1 in the NEC as they took down the Seahawks on the road, 70-56, after a big second half. Then-Pioneer Kelcey Castro set a new season-high posting a team-high 16 points. Classmate, Hannah Kimmel, ended with 12 points and one rebound shy of a double-double with nine. Katherine Haines registered her fourth-consecutive double-digit performance tallying 12 points.

On January 21, 2017, Sacred Heart improved to 9-9 and 6-1 in the NEC after putting Wagner away in an overtime thriller in front of a Pitt Center audience. The Pioneers were led by Hannah Kimmel who ended the night with 19 points. Sacred Heart had two other Pioneers finish with double-figures as Adaysha Williams finished with 14 points and Kelcey Castro ended the night with 10.

New York, New York…

The Pioneers are 1-2 against New York teams topping Manhattan 65-61 two games into the season. Sacred Heart dropped a tough 86-81 double-overtime decision to Hofstra and fell behind in crunch time to Siena, 62-57.

You're so dramatic…

Sacred Heart's 30-point margin of victory against The Mount comes as the largest since the Pioneers beat Fairleigh Dickinson on February 12, 2013, 80-48. 

We won, now what?

Following wins, women's hoops has a strong tendency to fumble the next contest. After topping Manhattan, the Pioneers fell to Harvard three days later. Following that loss, Sacred Heart put Florida A&M away before being handled by Florida State. SHU went on to best Lehigh becoming the first Northeast Conference member to knock off the Mountain Hawks dating back to the 2013-14 season. Three days after, Brown controlled Sacred Heart. Women's basketball rallied back and knocked off BIG EAST member Providence before squandering a late lead to Siena.

The last time Sacred Heart won two in a row came late last season when the Pioneers collected a four-game win streak beginning February 11, 2017. The Pioneers defeated Central Connecticut (82-61), got by St. Francis Brooklyn in two bonus basketball sessions (61-58 2OT), got over on LIU Brooklyn (51-41) and escaped Fairleigh Dickinson following an overtime period (68-60 OT).

I'm sorry for the wait…

The Pioneers have been missing classic Candice Leatherwood since conference play commenced but Saturday that changed as the redshirt-junior played with a chip on her shoulder in a career-afternoon at Mount St. Mary's.

Leatherwood has struggled to score against Saint Francis U and Robert Morris, the only undefeated teams in NEC play, after reaching double-figures in seven of the eight non-conference clashes the guard participated in.

Prior to The Mount matchup, Leatherwood spearheaded the team's offense on two occasions and also tallied 20-plus points twice. However, against the NEC's current top two teams, the guard averaged two points and failed to hit a field goal. Against RMU, Leatherwood attempted two shots before succumbing to five fouls in 16 minutes and put up nine to Saint Francis U including three tries from downtown.

Nevertheless, Leatherwood took the court and made this conference appearance a punishment for the Mountaineers.

By the time Leatherwood stepped off the court at Knott Arena, she re-established her career-high recording 24 points on 63.6-percent shooting (7-of-11) including two makes from three-point territory (2-of-3). A third of her points were earned at the line on a perfect 100-percent shooting (8-of-8) and she was just one shy of tying her personal-best in dimes (7). She also committed just one turnover in 27 minutes out on the floor but pulled down six boards.

The Detroit, Michigan product shot perfectly (6-of-6) through the game's first 25 minutes and was flawless at the stripe going 8-of-8. This was the first perfect showing (minimum six) since Adrianne Hagood went 6-of-6 versus New Hampshire on December 20, 2017.

Droppin' dimes…

Candice Leatherwood drops a team-leading 4.2 dimes per game and her 3.9 tally prior to Saturday's performance sits third in the Northeast Conference. The guard came to Fairfield, Connecticut already carrying 93 helpers and now has 136 to her collegiate career. Her personal-best stands at eight assists registered against Hofstra.

The veteran being a veteran…

Tykera Carter's seniority has allowed her to modify her role in more ways than one. Carter's role primarily hails from the backcourt in part to her decision making. As an active floor general, she dictates the offense for 2.0 assists per game which sits second on the squad. Her point guard play has witnessed a pair of five-assist performances both resulting in wins for Sacred Heart (Manhattan and Florida A&M). With the Pioneers playing small ball, her showing against Manhattan also included an 11-rebound effort just two shy of forward Katherine Haines' 13 boards. Versus Florida A&M, Carter recorded a new career-high leading the team with 20 points on 70-percent shooting.

Carter averaged 13.8 points in the Pioneers four-game skid which was the most of any Pioneer who has appeared in each of those contests. Adrianne Hagood was second, averaging 12 points in the span. 

Carter is one of two student-athletes to have appeared in each of the Pioneers' outings this season with a starting position.

Of the team's nine most recent outings, the lone senior has reached double-figures in eight of them. She fell below the threshold against Saint Francis U only netting six. Her shooting has been spotting swishing as many as 70-percent of her looks (7-of-10 versus Florida A&M) but going 2-of-10 against The Red Flash hitting a mere 20-percent. 

Carter's career-high five steals tallied at Mount St. Mary's Saturday, marked the first time a Pioneer achieved this feat since Hannah Kimmel collected five against Bryant on February 4, 2017.

Give me one more chance…

Of its 14 outings thus far, Sacred Heart has only secured more second-chance points than its opponents on three separate occasions, two by only by one tally. Against Monmouth to open the season, the Pioneers edged the Hawks in the category 7-6 prior to a 69-64 loss. The Pioneers eked out the favorable 12-11 clip before a 73-68 victory over Florida A&M. However, in a 30-point victory over Mount St. Mary's, the Pioneers benefitted 11 second-chance points to the Mountaineers' four.

Of the 283 total points recorded as second-chance opportunities, Sacred Heart only credits 89 of them which accounts for only 31.4-percent.

SHU was exploited most by then nationally ranked Florida State, 27-3, and Brown, 22-3. In both contests, Sacred Heart gave up 100-plus points. 

Perimeter D…

Through week one of NEC play, guarding the perimeter was especially troubling for the Pioneers. Before Saturday, Sacred Heart allowed its opponents to attempt 20.9 shots from downtown and see 7.4 actually drop. 

Saint Francis U and Robert Morris both netted 11 looks from downtown while attempting 24 and 18, respectively. The Red Flash shot 45.8-percent for the game contrasting the Pioneers 20.8-percent mark. The Colonials shot an astounding 61.1-percent from behind the arc while SHU swished 31.6-percent.

Brown is the only other team to splash double-figures from deep as the Bears hit 15 of their threes. Brown shot 45.5-percent while Sacred Heart cashed in on 42.1-percent (8-of-19).

However, the Pioneers put the clamps on the Mountaineers on the outside. Normally, Mount is a 35.1-percent three-point shooting team. Saturday, Sacred Heart strapped up throwing 18 of the Mountaineers' 21 attempts off as the team shot a poor 14.3-percent.

Good defense leads to great offense as Sacred Heart hit a whopping 43.5-percent of its tries from downtown. Tykera Carter and Adrianne Hagood each swished three long-balls while Candice Leatherwood (2), Katherine Haines (1) and Erin Storck (1) also found the net. 34.4-percent of the team's made field goals were treys as the team generated 30 points from distance alone. Fortuitously, Sacred Heart topped Mount by 30 points.

The Haines' Train…

Haines earned her sixth double-double this season in the win over Mount St. Mary's comprised of 16 points and a game-high 13 rebounds. Her four offensive boards tied for a game-best. The forward also rejected a Mountaineers' shot and picked up a steal in her 28-minute performance.

Hey Hagood, didn't you just do that?

Adrianne Hagood has shown glimpses of promise in her rookie season. Her career-high stands at 20 points first registered at Harvard and reinforced against Robert Morris. However, both resulted in losses for the Pioneers. Her 15 points against Mount St. Mary's is the most configured in a win. Sacred Heart is 2-2 when she starts.

The freshman shot 5-of-13 against both Mount St. Mary's and Saint Francis U. Moreover, she shot 50-percent from three-point territory versus both teams (3-of-6) as the team split outcomes.

On the Seahawks' behalf…

Sierra Clark leads the club with 17 points per game on 43.3-percent shooting. She also leads on the boards with 8.8 rebounds per contest. Clark is also leading the Seahawks with 33 total rejections and is second-best in steals with 26.

Morgan Lenahan is slotted second in scoring putting up 9.6 points each time she is out on the floor on 35.7-percent shooting. She is first in total dimes with 28 and second with 27 thefts.

The duo combines for 36 made three-point baskets as Clark hits 33.3-percent of her looks with Lenahan netting 29.5-percent. 

Taylah Simmons is grabbing 4.8 balls off the backboard including 28 off the offensive glass.

Wagner has dropped four of its last five falling to Fairleigh Dickinson, Central Connecticut, Lafayette, and Princeton. The Seahawks started the season winless through four contests and collected a three-game skid in late November.