Sacred Heart meets St. Francis in NEC semis

No. 3 seed Sacred Heart (20-12, 13-6) vs. No. 2 seed St. Francis (Pa.) (21-9, 14-5)

Northeast Conference Tourney Semifinals, DeGol Arena, Loretto, Pennsylvania; Saturday, 12 p.m. EST

BOTTOM LINE: Sacred Heart is ready to take on St. Francis (Pa.) with a spot in the NEC championship game on the line. St. Francis (Pa.) swept the two-game regular season series. The teams last played on Feb. 6, when the Red Flash shot 40.9 percent from the field and went 10 for 11 from the free throw line en route to a 70-68 victory.

STEPPING UP: St. Francis (Pa.)’s Keith Braxton has averaged 17.4 points and 7.5 rebounds while Isaiah Blackmon has put up 18.1 points and 5.1 rebounds. For the Pioneers, E.J. Anosike has averaged 15.9 points and 11.7 rebounds while Koreem Ozier has put up 13.8 points.

SPARKING THE OFFENSE: Braxton has made or assisted on 50 percent of all St. Francis (Pa.) field goals over the last three games. The senior guard has accounted for 25 field goals and 16 assists in those games.

STREAK STATS: St. Francis (Pa.) has won its last six home games, scoring an average of 81.7 points while giving up 67.7.

ACCOUNTING FOR ASSISTS: The Red Flash have recently used assists to create buckets more often than the Pioneers. St. Francis (Pa.) has 35 assists on 82 field goals (42.7 percent) across its past three outings while Sacred Heart has assists on 31 of 74 field goals (41.9 percent) during its past three games.

DID YOU KNOW: Sacred Heart is ranked first among Division I teams with an offensive rebound percentage of 36.1 percent. The Pioneers have averaged 13.2 offensive boards per game and 17.8 over their four-game winning streak.