The Sacred Heart University (SHU) women’s basketball team currently sits on top of the Northeast Conference (NEC), with an over-all record of 14-9. The Pioneers finished with a 6-1 record in the month of January, with all of the team’s wins coming by double digits.
Much of the team’s success has come from the play of sophomore guard, Amelia Wood. Wood was named to the 2023 NEC All-Rookie Team last season.
“I realized I needed to pick my game up. I am going to the gym to get extra shots up because that is what my team needs,” said Wood.
Wood is averaging 10.7 points per game this season. That is the second most on the team.
“I feel like Wood has a lot more confidence in herself this year. She has been that spark that we needed and she is going to keep her foot on the gas. She just looks to get better one play at a time,” said sophomore Ny’Ceara Pryor.
When asked about this weekend’s two matchups, Head Coach Jessica Mannetti said, “We have been doing so well in the league right now because we have really stayed focused on the next opponent.”
The Pioneers won their last two games, defeating Stonehill on Thursday, Feb.1, as well as Le Moyne on Saturday, Feb. 3. With sole possession of first place in the conference, the team has their sights set on another NEC Title, which would secure their spot in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) March Madness tournament for a second straight year.
“March Madness was a great experience. Not a lot of people get that experience in their whole four years and the fact that we got there in our first year was amazing but we are just trying to get back there again,” said Pryor.
Mannetti added that the squad feels that they have a “target on their back all the time” after being unanimously voted as NEC Champs in the preseason poll.
“We talk about it. We talk about how to handle that pressure and we know that we are going to get every team’s best game,” said Mannetti.
The Pioneers are back on the court on Friday, Feb. 9 when they take on the Central Connecticut State University Blue Devils at the William H. Pitt Center in Fairfield, CT.
Sacred Heart Athletics contributed to this article.