The Northeast Conference bestowed three major awards on SHU’s women’s basketball team this past season, capping off a winning year for the Pioneers.
Hannah Kimmel had cause to celebrate when she became the fourth Pioneer to earn the coveted NEC Player of the Year Award. With that accolade, Kimmel landed a spot on the All-NEC First Team for the second time in her career.
Third-year Head Coach Jessica Mannetti, who led SHU to the regular season title, grasped her first Brenda Reilly Coach of the Year Award. And, completing the triple threat, Alissa Tarsi made a splash in her senior campaign to become the first-ever recipient of the NEC Most Improved Player of the Year Award, along with All-NEC Second Team honors.
Kimmel was the driving force behind Sacred Heart’s offense throughout her junior season, leading the team in scoring in 17 games. A highlight of her stellar season came on Jan. 16, when she became the 19th Pioneer in program history to eclipse 1,000 career points with her first basket against St. Francis Brooklyn. After that, she continued to move up the program’s all-time scorers list and currently ranks 11th, with 1,255 career points.
Tarsi was a leader on the court for the Pioneers, lodging consistently in SHU’s top two in both points and rebounds. She finished the year averaging 8.2 rebounds per game, after grabbing just 2.9 per contest last year, leading the team and ranking fourth in the league.
Mannetti coached the Pioneers to a 16-2 record against NEC foes to clinch the regular season championship, and then led the team’s hunt for the Northeast Conference crown. The tournament run ended with a 56-51 loss to the Robert Morris Colonials at Coach Bike Court in SHU’s Pitt Center.
Men’s basketball reaches NEC quarterfinals
Sophomore guard Cane Broome became the first Pioneer in men’s program history to be honored as NEC Player of the Year and Associated Press All-America Honorable Mention. Those awards added to a list of distinctions Broome garnered under the mentorship of SHU staff.
A Northeast Conference All-Rookie selection in 2014-15, Broome elevated his game under the mentorship of the SHU staff. He was part of a trio of Pioneers—with De’von Barnett and Quincy McKnight—who were chosen to the NEC All-Rookie team the past three years, making Sacred Heart the only school in the conference to achieve the feat.
The Pioneer men reached the NEC’s quarterfinals this past season before bowing to LIU Brooklyn at the Pitt Center. The loss ended SHU’s season at 12-18, with a record of 11-7 in NEC play to tie for second place, matching its best-ever league finish in program history.