Niagara (7-8) at Saint Peter's (6-8)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, January 11, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Yanitelli Center (2,800) -- Jersey City, New Jersey. Television: None. Home Record: NU 6-1, SPC 3-4. Away Record: NU 1-6, SPC 3-3. Neutral Record: NU 0-1, SPC 0-1. Conference Record: NU 3-1, SPC 1-3. Series Record: Niagara leads, 44-28.
GAME NOTES: The Niagara Purple Eagles return to Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference action as they storm into the Yanitelli Center to tangle with the Saint Peter's Peacocks.
The Purple Eagles blew a 19-point lead and suffered a 75-74 overtime loss to Brown on Tuesday in its brief trip out of MAAC play. The loss dropped Niagara to a 7-8 overall record, but it is still tied for first with its 3-1 league record. The Purple Eagles are one of the more capable teams on the offensive end in the conference with 74.3 points per contest on 42.6 percent shooting from the floor, but they are second to last on the other end with an allowed mark of 75.3 ppg.
Saint Peter's opened up its conference season with a surprising 64-62 decision over Iona on Dec. 5, but it lost its third MAAC game in a row since then on Sunday as it was upended by 16 points at Loyola-Maryland. The setback was also the second in a row overall for the Peacocks, who enter two games below the .500 mark. Although SPC is third in the league in scoring defense with just 64.4 points allowed per outing, it is just eighth in scoring offense at 61.4 ppg.
The Purple Eagles swept last season series with Saint Peter's and have won eight of the last 12 meetings, including season sweeps in 2006-07, 2007-08 and 2008-09. The recent domination by Niagara has helped it extend its all-time series lead to 44-28.
In the loss to the Bears, Juan'ya Green (17.0 ppg, 4.5 apg) continued to thrive on the offensive end as he tallied 17 points and five assists. The 6-3 guard has scored in double figures in all but one games this year and set a career-high with 31 points versus Fairfield in his last league contest. The Purple Eagles are fortunate enough to have another, even more capable scorer in Antoine Mason (18.3 ppg), who ranks third in the MAAC. The sophomore guard has been the picture of consistency as he has scored in double figures in 22 consecutive games dating back to last season. Ameen Tanksley (10.7 ppg) is another scoring guard in the Eagles' deep backcourt, but the frontcourt is very weak as Tanksley is also the leader on the glass with 6.1 rpg.
The Peacocks had a cold start to their matchup with the Greyhounds, as they hit only 25 percent of their field goals tries including a 1-of-6 clip from 3- point range before entering halftime down by 13 points. SPC could not narrow the margin as it went 6-of-14 at the charity stripe after the break. Yvon Raymond paced the Peacocks with 16 points. Darius Conley chipped in 11 points and Chris Burke grabbed nine rebound. Desi Washington, who leads the team in scoring (15.6), went 3-of-11 from the floor for nine points to make it two consecutive games he was held under 30 percent shooting.
The Peacocks need Washington to snap out of his slump as keeping up with Niagara will not be easy to do. The Purple Eagles' three guard attack should be enough to propel them to their fourth MAAC victory of the year.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Niagara 74, Saint Peter's 67
01/11 10:35:12 ET