Marist (5-18) at Iona (14-9)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, February 7, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Hynes Athletic Center (2,611) -- New Rochelle, New York. Television: None. Home Record: Marist 3-6, Iona 8-0. Away Record: Marist 1-10, Iona 5-6. Neutral Record: Marist 1-2, Iona 1-3. Conference Record: Marist 2-10, Iona 8-4. Series Record: Iona leads, 38-15.
GAME NOTES: The Marist Red Foxes step into the Hynes Athletic Center to mix it up with the Iona Gaels in a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference matchup.
Marist has dropped four straight and 12 of its last 13 games overall to fall to the bottom of the MAAC standings (2-10). The Red Foxes' latest outing resulted in a 64-58 setback to Rider this past Sunday. They have struggled mightily outside of Poughkeepsie this season with only one victory in 11 true road games.
Meanwhile, Iona is a perfect 8-0 at home. The Gaels just wrapped up a three- game road swing with back-to-back three-point losses at Niagara (93-90, OT) and at Canisius (77-74) last week, as they had won eight of their previous nine contests. The Gaels are back on their home floor for the first time since Jan. 25.
Iona was an 86-82 road winner over Marist on Jan. 10, as the Gaels have won eight straight meetings to take a 38-15 series lead.
The Red Foxes trailed Rider by as many as 10 at the 13:37 mark of the first half, but they weathered the early storm and eventually went into halftime with the score tied, 30-30. However, Rider was able to stretch its lead late in the second half behind an 18-9 rebounding advantage over the final 20 minutes. Marist also struggled at the free-throw line in the second stanza, shooting just 5-of-12. Sophomore Chavaughn Lewis led the way with 24 points and a career-high five assists in a losing effort. It marked the third straight game and seventh time this season Lewis scored at least 20 points. Adam Kemp chipped in with 12 points, seven rebounds and three blocks. On the season, Lewis leads the team with 15.4 points per game to go along with 5.2 rebounds. Devin Price is also averaging double figures with 14.0 ppg, although he is shooting just 33.3 percent from the floor.
Iona boasts some serious offensive firepower as the roster is headlined by senior guard Lamont Jones, the nation's third-leading scorer with 21.9 ppg. While Jones is certainly capable of creating shots on his own, he also has the luxury of leaning on teammates Sean Armand (17.7 ppg) and David Laury (14.1 ppg). Armand is among the national leaders in 3-point shooting (85-of-198, .429), while Laury's 11.2 rebounds per game would rank among the country's best if he was not ineligible for the first nine games. The Gaels entered the week ranked fourth in the country in scoring (81.8 ppg). Last Saturday's road bout with Canisius featured 12 ties and 14 lead changes, although the Golden Griffins ultimately prevailed thanks to a late turnover by Iona. The Gaels held a 49-35 rebounding advantage for the game, but they shot just 7-of-29 from beyond the arc (.241) and were outscored at the foul line, 19-9. Taaj Ridley paced four Gaels in double figures with 18 points, while Laury scored 11 and pulled down 16 boards in the loss.
Iona has had Marist's number of late, and that should continue here. The Gaels look like a real contender in the MAAC with Jones, Laury and Armand providing a variety of scoring options.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Iona 83, Marist 72
02/07 10:34:52 ET