Iona (9-6) at Marist (4-11)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, January 10, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: McCann Arena (3,200) -- Poughkeepsie, New York. Television: None. Home Record: Iona 5-0, Marist 2-3. Away Record: Iona 3-3, Marist 1-6. Neutral Record: Iona 1-3, Marist 1-2. Conference Record: Iona 3-1, Marist 1-3. Series Record:Iona leads, 37-15.
GAME NOTES: The Iona Gaels will try to keep up in the early Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference race as they visit McCann Arena for a league bout against the Marist Red Foxes.
Iona took down Niagara by 11 points in its MAAC opener before suffering a 64-62 loss to Saint Peter's in its second league outing on Dec. 5. It then went 3-3 to close out its non-conference slate as it defeated both Georgia and St. Bonaventure on the road during that span. The Gaels extended their winning streak to three games on Sunday with a 78-70 decision over Manhattan that was fueled by Lamont Jones and his 30 points.
The Red Foxes lost their fifth game in a row on Saturday as they fell, 73-64, to Canisius. Marist escaped its conference opener with a 62-58 win over Manhattan, but it was defeated by Niagara and the Golden Griffins twice since to plummet to a 1-3 MAAC mark. The Red Foxes' troubles come from mediocrity on both ends of the floor, as they rank seventh in the league in both scoring (62.6) and scoring defense (71.1).
This will be the 53rd matchup between Marist and Iona. The Red Foxes trail 37-15 all-time. Iona defeated Marist three times last season, including the conference tourney to extend its win streak over the Red Foxes to seven games.
The Gaels not only have the MAAC's leading scorer in Jones (22.7 ppg), but they also have the current runner up in Sean Armand, who is netting 18.1 ppg. The dynamic duo is a big part of the reason Iona paces the conference and ranks eighth in the nation with 81.3 points per game. The dangerous attack was exhibited in the triumph over the Jaspers. In addition to Jones' eruption, Taaj Ridley added 14 points and seven rebounds, while Tavon Sledge dealt out eight assists. After a slow first half, Iona heated up to knock down a red-hot 62.5 percent of its shots from the floor, including a near perfect 8-of-9 from beyond the arc after the break to overcome a six-point halftime deficit.
Sophomore Chavaughn Lewis did his best to push the Red Foxes to a victory over Canisius on Saturday with a game-high 24 points on 9-18 shooting from the field. He also added a team-high eight rebounds in 40 minutes of action, but the Golden Griffins outshot the Red Foxes from the field 42.9 (24-56) to 41.1 (23-56) and from long distance 43.5 (10-23) to 26.3 (5-19). Senior Devin Price contributed 16 points. Lewis and Price have both scored 211 points (14.1 ppg) in 15 games to tie for the team's scoring lead. Adam Kemp is the best force for Marist on the boards with 7.1 rpg.
The Red Foxes would love nothing more than to avenge their 2011-12 season- ending loss to Iona, but they will find it very difficult to both stop and keep up with the Gaels' one-two punch of Jones and Armand. Marist will most likely have to wait before it begins its climb back towards the .500 mark.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Iona 83, Marist 70
01/10 10:34:08 ET