SHU’s Lopez, Haines picked all-NEC preseason

October 26, 2017 GMT

The Sacred Heart men’s basketball team has been selected to finish fifth in the Northeast Conference as the league released its preseason poll and its Preseason All-NEC team at the league’s social media day Wednesday at the Barclays Center in New York.

SHU senior forward Joseph Lopez was named to the preseason all-league team. A third-team selection, Lopez finished fourth in the NEC in blocks at 1.23 per game, fifth in rebounding at 8.5 per game, and sixth in field goal percentage at .565. He had 11 double-doubles last season, eight in conference play, and averaged 13.2 points per game.

The Pioneers return six of its top eight scorers from a year ago.

Saint Francis (Pa.) was picked to finish first, followed by Fairleigh Dickinson, Wagner, Mount St. Mary’s, SHU, LIU Brooklyn, Robert Morris, Bryant, Central Connecticut and St. Francis (N.Y.).

SHU opens its season Nov. 10 against Holy Cross at the Pitt Center in Fairfield.

On the women’s side, SHU’s Katherine Haines was selected to the all-league preseason team and the Pioneers were projected to finish fourth, the league office announced.

Haines, a redshirt junior forward, was a member of the All-NEC second team and selected the league’s Most Improved Player last season after leading the Pioneers to a 13-5 league record.

Starting in all 31 games she appeared in, Haines averaged 12.9 points and a team-high 8.7 rebounds. She was credited with a team-best 46 blocks and finished with 10 double-doubles.

SHU begins its season Nov. 10 at Monmouth.