HACKENSACK, NJ – The Sacred Heart women's basketball team (6-11, 2-4 NEC) searches for its first win in three games and first of a three-game road trip, Saturday, January 20 against Fairleigh Dickinson (10-7, 2-4 NEC). The Northeast Conference drama unfolds in the Rothman Center at 2:00 p.m.
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SHU leads the all-time series with Fairleigh Dickinson 28-4, and split outcomes with the Knights last season picking up a 58-56 loss on the front end but stealing an overtime 68-60 victory in the second 2016-17 meeting.
SHU traveled to Stratis Arena on February 6, 2017 on a Monday to take on the Knights where they would eventually fall 58-56. Katherine Haines registered a then-new career-high 22 points as she shot 9-of-15 from the floor. Then-Pioneer, Adaysha Williams, ended in double-digits as well recording 13 points for the visitors.
The Knights came out guns blazing in the final quarter as they put together a 14-5 run to fill in all but two points of their gap. In the clutch window, Haines absorbed the contact and managed to secure an old-fashioned three to level the playing field at 56-up. Williams used the shot clock but the Pioneers would fail to execute the play drawn up and gave the Knights custody of the ball with 13.5 seconds remaining. FDU ran a play resulting in a layup falling leaving just enough time for SHU to get the ball inbound but nothing more as the host escaped 58-56.
In the second meeting of the season on February 20, 2017, SHU picked up a 68-60 overtime victory over Fairleigh Dickinson in its third to final regular season game. Katherine Haines recorded her seventh double-double of the season, finishing with 20 points, and 10 boards. Then-Pioneers, Hannah Kimmel reached 13 points while Kelcey Castro finished with 10.
Shelby Hickey sank a shot from downtown to get the extra session rolling 23 seconds in. Haines would extend the lead to 59-54 after adding a pair of layups with 1:59 remaining. The Knights managed to knot the score once more but a dagger three from Erin Storck shifted momentum for the final time as the Pioneers would go on to hold off the Knights, and win 68-60.
Pioneers last time out…
After leading for almost 33 minutes straight in large part to Tykera Carter's career-high 21 point-production, SHU's defense faltered in the fourth allowing Bryant to rattle off seven unanswered points. Such spurt not only gave way to the Bulldog's first lead since the game's early proceedings but rhythm the Pioneers failed to nullify. Candice Leatherwood's hard take to the rack knotted the score once more but Bryant credited 19 of the game's final 30 points to escape with the 81-73 conclusion, Monday afternoon at the Pitt Center.
Knights last time out…
Lauren Francillon had a career night as the sophomore tallied her third double-double of the season with career-highs of 16 points and 16 rebounds as Fairleigh Dickinson cruised past Central Connecticut, 78-49, on Monday night. Francillon, who started for the first time this season, was 7-of-10 from the field. The sophomore added three assists, three blocks, and two steals in 28 minutes of action.
SHU as of late…
Giving up losses to Central Connecticut and Bryant back-to-back presents only the second skid by the Pioneers. The Pioneers had a four-game string of losses to close out the calendar year-Siena, New Hampshire, Saint Francis U and Robert Morris. However, the consecutive victories over Mount St. Mary's and Wagner not only severed that four-game slide but presented the first streak for SHU this season. Before the aforementioned contests, women's basketball alternated wins and losses night in and night out.
The 82 points versus Mount St. Mary's stands as the most points secured by the team this season which edges the 81-point finish against Hofstra through two overtime periods. New Hampshire and Saint Francis U contained SHU to under 50 points on straight nights.
The Pioneers have shown signs of more scrappiness as the team has recorded 10 and 15 steals against Wagner and Central Connecticut, respectively, which marks the only time the team has reached double-figures in the stat.
SHU's three-point shooting has not been the best lately as the team has only drilled 14 through the last three games for a mere 23.3-percent.
Since NEC play has started, the Pioneers have pulled down 10 or more offensive rebounds a game which is the most through any other comparable window this season. The 18 off the offensive glass against Saint Francis U is the most this season.
On FDU's behalf…
FDU was pegged to finish ninth amongst its league counterparts before the 2017-18 campaign began without a single player selected to the Preseason All-NEC Team. The Knights went on to tabbed victories through its first three clashes-Rutgers-Newark, Army West Point, and NJIT. The Knights squandered an outcome with Colgate but defeated five of its following seven opponents which included Monmouth, a team SHU failed to overcome.
FDU too began its league slate with Saint Francis U and Robert Morris registered losses in both. Moreover, the squad was defeated by Bryant and Mount St. Mary's but recorded a convincing 29-point win over CCSU.
Fairleigh Dickinson puts up 63.2 points per game ranking them third in the NEC. It is 2.2 points shy of what SHU is able to net a game. Additionally, the Knights are second in the league in scoring defense allowing its opponents to score 62.1 points a contest.
The Knights are a 35.2-percent three-point shooting team and guard the arch only allowing their opponents to hit 29.7-percent of their looks.
FDU is active on defensive stopping 3.6 of its foes attempts while grabbing 25.1 rebounds a game. In both categories, the Knights are top two in the conference.
Amina Markovic and Madelynn Comly are putting up 12.4 and 11.8 points per game, respectively, slotting them 11th and T13th on the conference's leaderboard. Comly leads the league knocking down 55.3-percent tries from the floor.