Women’s Hoops Aims to Stay Perfect at The Pitt

Women’s Hoops Aims to Stay Perfect at The Pitt

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FAIRFIELD, Conn. – The Sacred Heart women's basketball team (2-3) returns to the William H. Pitt Center, Thursday, November 30, after capping their three-game road swing with a visit to the Sunshine State. Hofstra (3-3) arrives at Fairfield fresh off its trip to Las Vegas. Both squads look for their second win in three games.

Quick hits…

When the student becomes the master…

Before becoming the eighth head coach in SHU women's basketball history and second in the Division I era, Jessica Mannetti spent time on head coach Krista Kilburn-Steveskey's ranks as a member of Hofstra's staff. While in Hempstead, then assistant, Mannetti helped direct the Pride to a 72-55 record as well as a pair of appearances in the WNIT, feats she has nearly replicated in Fairfield.

Coach Mannetti stated. "I'm very excited to welcome my former boss and colleagues to SHU. All of them have been instrumental in my development as a coach, both in their support and guidance at the Division I level."

In four seasons, Mannetti has guided the Pioneers to their second and third trips to the WNIT and is just a handful of victories away from mirroring a win total she helped establish with the Pride.

Mannetti continued. "Hofstra will challenge us a lot in many ways. [Kilburn-Steveskey] has a good system showcasing their personnel. We will be challenged to rebound and defend against a solid CAA team."

Thursday's matchup presents the first time Mannetti and Kilburn-Steveskey will represent opposing sidelines as the Pride look to defend a perfect home-and-home clip against the Pioneers (2-0) dating back to December 11, 2004.  Thursday will also commence another home-and-home series allowing Long Island natives, Allyson Murphy and Jenna Silletti, to return home and junior Erin Storck to compete in front of a home-crowd for what could be the final time in her collegiate career.

Home sweet home…

Women's hoops have only graced the Pitt hardwood once this season and it resulted in a thrilling win over Manhattan, 65-61.

Both the Pioneers and Jaspers traded six-point leads as SHU credited its advantage in the third and the Jaspers saw their cushion come to fruition in the fourth. However, the Pioneers remained relentless registering a 7-2 run to deadlock play at 61-61 apiece. With just 70 ticks pictured on the clock, Sacred Heart eliminated any more scoring of the visitors while tacking on four more of its own to settle the final.

What time is it? Primetime…

Storck averaged a 15-point production, netted half of her looks from the field including 40-percent of her tries from three-point domain, hauled seven total boards and handed out a pair of assists during her time in the Sunshine State. Such lineage dubbed her a week three Northeast Conference Prime Performer. 

Against then no. 13/11 Florida State's sixth-ranked defense, Storck led the Pioneers with 16 points in large part to her long-range game. The junior went almost three quarters without missing a triple until an expiring game clock forced an unlucky heave with a tick remaining in the quarter. However, her four three-pointers over the nationally ranked Seminoles tied her personal best.

While you were gone…

Adrianne Hagood has yet to perform in front of a Pitt Center crowd but has found some footing on the road. In Cambridge, Massachusetts, the freshman fired off 20 points in her debut and emitted 16 in Tallahassee, Florida which included a 12-point showing versus the Seminoles. Hagood was sidelined for the early onset of November including the Pioneers' lone home event.

The guard is a 46.2-percent shooter and knocks down 30.8-percent from distance. She drops in a dozen points per 24 minutes on the court.

Get on board…

For the second time this season, Abigail Kangudie corralled eight boards, most recently in front of a 3,233-person crowd, evenly dividing her team-high total on each side of the floor. The freshman averages three offensive rebounds a game.

Wait, is that you?

In Candice Leatherwood's return following a brief two-game hiatus, the redshirt-sophomore registered six points through 15 minutes of a play. Her three-pointer was supported by three free throws. She also pulled down six rebounds including one off the offensive glass.

Hofstra Prides itself in…

Hofstra's most recent win over Wake Forest is its first over the Demon Deacons and just its third over a current member of the ACC. The Pride's last victory over an ACC team came as 65-57 win over Virginia in the third round of the 2016 WNIT.

After averaging just five points through the Pride's first two matches, Aleana Leon has put up double-figures in their last four outings including a 10-point and 19-point effort at the Lady Rebel Round-Up Tournament hosted by UNLV that landed her a spot on the All-Tournament team.

Ashunae Durant bests the Pride in points and rebounds per game crediting 14.2 and eight, respectively. Her nine blocks and eight steals also slot her in the Pride's defensive forefront.

E'Lexus Davis and Sica Cuzic have netted 8.7 and 8.0 respective points while Davis' total is supported by 3.3 assists a game.