Iona (5-6) at Quinnipiac (6-5)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, January 2, 7:30 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: TD Bank Sports Center (3,570) -- Hamden, Connecticut. Television: SportsNet New York. Home Record: Iona 3-1, Quinnipiac 3-1. Away Record: Iona 2-5, Quinnipiac 2-4. Neutral Record: Iona 0-0, Quinnipiac 1-0. Conference Record: Iona 2-0, Quinnipiac 1-1. Series Record: Quinnipiac leads, 1-0.
GAME NOTES: A pair of reeling teams get together on Thursday night, as the Quinnipiac Bobcats play host to the Iona Gaels in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference action.
The Gaels enter tonight's game as losers of four straight following a 90-78 setback at Northern Iowa last Saturday. In his first collegiate start, Ryden Hines poured in 19 points to lead four double-digit scorers for Iona. Hines scored 15 of his 19 points in the first half, shooting 7-of-9 from the field for the game and 3-of-5 from beyond the arc. Senior Sean Armand added 18 points, while classmates DaShawn Gomez and Mike Poole added 14 and 11 points, respectively. The 14 points marked a career-best for Gomez, while Poole's 11 was his highest output in 11 games in maroon and gold.
Tonight's game ends a four-game road trip for the Gaels, who are just 2-5 away from home this season.
Armand leads the Gaels and is ranked 15th nationally in scoring with 21.6 ppg. AJ English is the second-leading scorer with 15.6 ppg, and David Laury adds 12.5 ppg and a team-best 7.9 rpg to the mix. Tre Bowman nets 11.1 ppg to round out the double-digit scorers for Iona, which shoots a blistering 47.5 percent from the field in averaging 79.9 ppg.
Quinnipiac hasn't fared much better than the Gaels of late. The Bobcats dropped their second straight game last Sunday, losing to Oregon State, 76-68. Umar Shannon led the team with 18 points, four rebounds and four assists, while Ike Azotam finished with 17 points, five rebounds and two blocks. Ousmane Drame collected his 13th career double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds in the losing effort.
Azotam leads a balanced attack with team-highs of 16.2 ppg and 10.2 rpg. Zaid Hearst is next in both scoring a rebounding with 13.4 ppg and 8.7 rpg, while Drame is third with 12.8 ppg and 8.3 rpg. Shannon (11.7 ppg) and Kasim Chandler (10 ppg) round out the double-digit scorers for Quinnipiac, which scores an average of nearly 76 ppg and dominates it opponents on the glass (46-34 rpg).
This is the first time the Gaels and Bobcats are meeting as members of the MAAC. Quinnipiac is 3-1 at home this season and considering the Gaels' struggles on the road, the Bobcats should come away with the win.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Quinnipiac 70, Iona 62
01/02 10:37:10 ET