Preview: Pace Basketball Teams host Southern Connecticut State on Saturday

Amine Kassaoui, Feature Editor

PLEASANTVILLE, NY – The Pace University basketball squads welcome Southern Connecticut State University to the Goldstein Fitness Center on Saturday afternoon. The women tip-off at 1:30 p.m., followed by the men at 3:30.


It’s been a tough stretch for Pace (8-14 overall, 5-10 NE10), losers of four in a row and seven of their last eight, and a visit from the surging Owls (13-7, 8-6 NE10) does not make things any easier.

The Setters have had a lot of trouble scoring the basketball this season, and do not have a double digit points-per-game player on their roster, and their 14 losses are the second most in the conference.

The team ranks second to last in points-per-game (54.0), field goal percentage (34.8), offensive efficiency (.801), and only sink 63.4% of their free throw attempts, third worst in the NE10.

The Owls, meanwhile, have won three in a row, and soundly defeated Pace at home back on Nov. 30, 60-33. Dublin-native Katie Williamson was the catalyst in the victory, scoring a game-high 16 points and gobbling up nine rebounds. The Irishwoman’s four double-doubles are tops on the team.

SCSU have a lot to play for, as they are only two games back of the third overall seed in the conference, and will look to inch closer up the standings in hopes of a possible first round bye in the NE10 Championships. The top three overall seeds will automatically move onto the Quarterfinals and await the five first round winners. All 13 teams in the league are guaranteed a playoff berth this year.


The Setters (15-8 overall, 7-8 NE10) ended a five-game losing skid on Wednesday, dismantling nationally ranked Saint Anselm for the second time this season. Bryan Powell was unstoppable, converting nine of his 10 shots for 24 points, to go along with six rebounds, and four assists.

Sothern Connecticut State visits Pleasantville with a 14-8 overall mark and an 8-6 record in conference contests.

The Owls defeated the Setters at home earlier this season, 59-52. Sean James scored a team-high 14 points off the bench in the encounter, while Kazell Stewart and Ulyen Coleman chipped in 13 points apiece in the win.

A ton is on the line in the second clash between the Owls and Setters, as they sit in 7th and 8th respectively in the current conference standings.

Four games are left in the regular season after Saturday, and the Setters are currently four games behind third ranked Southern New Hampshire in the loss column. A first round bye is thus still in play, but Pace has to win out and hope others lose. While a first round bye may not be in the cards for Pace going into the NE10 tournament, the Setters are currently in the last slotted spot to host a first round matchup, so a hiccup against SCSU could derail those hopes, with Assumption just one and half games behind Pace.

The Owls remain in contention for a first round bye, only two games back of third-place Southern New Hampshire University.

Coleman is the team’s leading scorer for average on the season, with 15.1 points per game. He has scored 20+ in four games this season. Defensively, Marty Silvera’s 2.7 steals per game rank second best in the conference, while Cherif Diarra leads the team with 8.5 rebounds per -game.