Men's Basketball Hosts St. Francis U In Key NEC Matchup

Kinnon LaRose had his second double-double of the year in the Pioneers win at St. Francis Brooklyn in SHU's last outing. The Pioneers begin a three-game homestead on Thursday night on SNY. (Photos: Steve McLaughlin).
Kinnon LaRose had his second double-double of the year in the Pioneers win at St. Francis Brooklyn in SHU's last outing. The Pioneers begin a three-game homestead on Thursday night on SNY. (Photos: Steve McLaughlin).

Game Notes                NEC Front Row           Livestats

The Sacred Heart University men's basketball team begins a three-game homestand on Thursday, when it hosts the back end of a home-and-home with Saint Francis University. The Pioneers have won four straight and are half-a-game in the loss column in front of the Red Flash, winners of consecutive games, in the NEC standings.  The game will air on SNY and NEC Front Row, with Randy Brochu and Joe DeSantis on the call.

The 2020 UCA Division I All-Girls National Championship cheer squad will make its first appearance at a basketball game since winning the title. The team will be honored at halftime for its accomplishments.

The Pioneers and Red Flash 35th time, with the Red Flash leading the series, 20-14. The Red Flash won on their home court, 72-65, when the teams met on January 18, 2020. SHU last earned a win in the series, 94-84, in the regular season finale last season. That ended a five-game Red Flash win streak in the series. SFU has won 11 of the 13 last meetings between the two teams. SHU owns the longest series win streak, seven games, from 2005-05 through 2009-09.

Quick Hitters (Rankings through 2/2)

  • SHU has equaled a season-best four-game win streak
  • Aaron Clarke has 13 assists and just two turnovers in the last three games  (35.3 mpg)
  • The Pioneers shot identical 24-53 from the field in wins over Mount and St. Francis Brooklyn, in the last two games
  • SHU equaled a season-low with eight turnovers against Mount, is averaging 8.5 the last two games and over the last three games has an assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.3 (39-31)
  • The Pioneers are 12-0 when scoring 73 or more points; winning with 58 against Mount and 66 at home versus CCSU
  • SHU moved up to 197 in the NET rankings, tops in the NEC and four spots in front of Saint Francis U
  • The Pioneers are 10th in the country in total rebounds (932) and 18th in rebounds per game (40.5) both of which lead the NEC
  • SHU plays three consecutive home games beginning Thursday and will play five of its final eight games at home

Within The NEC

  • The Pioneers are allowing 65.1 points per game, which is fourth in league play and are fourth in scoring margin at +5.0
  • SHU leads the league in rebounding, 38.6, rebounding margin, +7.6 and rebounding defense, 31
  • Koreem Ozier is seventh in the league at 15.5 points per game
  • E.J. Anosike leads the league in rebounding, 11/7 a game, and is eighth in scoring, 15.1 points per game
  • Jare'l Spellman has a league-best 25 blocks and is third at 2.5 blocks per outing
  • The Pioneers are shooting 44.1 percent from the field 35 percent from behind the arc and 67.1 percent from the line against league foes
  • Five Pioneers are scoring 7.9 or more in league play, with three in double figures
  • With the win over the Mount, SHU now holds tiebreakers over CCSU, the Mount and Wagner in NEC standings

Notable Numbers (rankings through 1/23)

  • E.J. Anosike has scored 943 career points for his career and is on pace to become the 44th Pioneer to reach 1,000
  • Kinnon LaRose needs five rebounds to reach 400 for his Pioneer career
  • LaRose as made 286 field goals during his SHU career
  • Jare'l Spellman has 155 career blocks and owns the top, 96, and second, 59, single-season block totals in SHU Division I history 
  • Spellman is 14 field goals shy of 200 for his Pioneer career
  • SHU recorded 51 rebounds against CCSU, its third game with half a century on the boards; also reaching the mark at Binghamton (53) and versus Pine Manor (50)
  • SHU has had 40 or more rebounds 12 times this season
  • Jare'l Spellman moved over 400 career rebounds against FDU and now has 416 in his time at SHU
  • Cameron Parker dished out an NCAA Division I record 24 assists in the Pioneers win over Pine Manor
  • The effort surpassed the old mark of 22 by Avery Johnson, Sherman Douglas, Trae Young and Tony Fairley
  • SHU assisted on 33 of 42 made field goals vs. Pine Manor, a team single-game mark (30 vs. LIU 2/7/09)