The Sacred Heart University men's basketball team continues its three-game season opening road swing, traveling to Storrs, Conn. to take on the University of Connecticut. The Pioneers are 0-1 on the year, while the game is the season opener for the Huskies. The game will air on SNY with Gary Apple handling play-by-play duties, Vin Parise as the analyst and Chris Williamson as the sideline reporter.
SHU and UConn are meeting for the seventh time, with the Huskies winning each of the six first meetings. UConn was an opponent in the Pioneers first Division I season, an 83-56 Huskies victory on January 3, 2000. The closest game in the series cam in 2004, on December 28, with the Pioneers falling 73-55. The squads last met on December 2, 2015 at the XL Center, with UConn earning an 82-49 victory.
Scouting the Huskies... Friday nights game is the season opener for the host Huskies. The Huskies played St. Michaels in a scrimmage on October 30, winning 103-64. UConn connected on 38-76 from the field but just 6-22 from behind the arc in the game. Five players, led by the 21 points of Alterique Gilbert, scored in double figures. Christian Vital had 15 points, to go along with a team-best eight boards and six assists.
Last Time Out... Providence opened by hitting 7-9 from the field and never looked back on its way to a 106-60 opening night win over SHU. E.J. Anosike led the Pioneers with 20 points and seven rebounds. Aaron Clarke scored 12 points in 18 minutes of action, hitting 3-6 from behind the arc, and Kinnon LaRose tallied 11 points. SHU recorded 14 offensive rebounds on the night, and held a 14-11 advantage in second chance points. The Friars had seven players score in double figures, with 31 assists on 39 baskets.
Cameron Parker had his 25th game with five or more assists at Providence
Aaron Clarke knocked down 3-6 from behind the arc to score 12 Tuesday, his 16th career double figure collegiate game
Anosike scored 20 in a game for the fifth time as a Pioneer
Tyler Thomas made his collegiate debut at Providence and finished with three boards and an assist
Parker has led the Pioneers in assists in 29 of his 32 games played
SHU shot 40 percent from the paint against Providence, scoring 24 points
Record Watch... Jare'l Spellman blocked two shots at Providence, giving him 98 for his career at SHU and tied the program's Division I career record of Tevin Falzon (2012-16) in the process. His 99th block will give him the Division I record to himself and his second block will make him only the sixth player in program history to reach the century mark in program history. Spellman blocked 96 shots, a Division I single-season record last season, averaging 3.06 blocks per game, which ranked fifth in the nation.
Passing Parker... Cameron Parker picked up where he left off last season, by lending a helping hand. The sophomore dished out five assists at Providence. As rookie, Parker dished out 213 assists, finishing 17th in the nation. His assist total was the most by an NEC rookie in league history and was the highest assist total in the NEC in the past five seasons; surpassing JoJo Cooper's 201 in 2017-18. Parker reached double figures in assists seven times, with a career-best 14 against Western New England. Parker averaged 6.9 assists a game, seventh in the country.