DATE & TIME: Sunday, January 29th, 4:30 p.m. (et).
FACTS & STATS: Site: Yanitelli Center (3,200) -- Jersey City, New Jersey. Television: None. Home Record: Iona 5-1, St. Peter's 3-4. Away Record: Iona 8-3, St. Peter's 1-11. Neutral Record: Iona 3-1, St. Peter's 0-2. Conference Record: Iona 5-1, St. Peter's 3-7. Series Record: Saint Peter's leads, 47-45.
GAME NOTES: Tied with both Manhattan and Loyola-Maryland for first place in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference standings, the Iona Gaels try to get a leg up on the competition this afternoon as they clash with the Peacocks of Saint Peter's at the Yanitelli Center in Jersey City.
The Gaels were last in action on Friday night versus Fairfield in Connecticut and used the meeting to record a 71-62 victory over the Stags in order to advance to 8-2 in MAAC play. On the road for all but six games so far this season, Iona has won three of the last four battles in order to keep pace with the elite programs in the league.
As for the Peacocks, another team that has spent considerable time away from home this season, they were handed a lopsided 90-55 setback by Rider on the road three nights ago, marking the team's third straight loss and the fifth in six tries. Overall, Saint Peter's has won just four games, one against Binghamton which is one of the weakest squads in the nation, and the other three in conference.
The Peacocks won the most recent meeting last season during the MAAC Tournament, a 62-57 final to snap a three-game slide versus Iona. Overall, Saint Peter's is clinging to a slim 47-45 edge in the all-time series. These two squads are slated to close out the regular season against each other at Iona near the end of next month.
Lamont Jones dropped in 20 points and cleared six rebounds as he played a major role in getting the Gaels into the win column against Fairfield a few days back. Also have a strong outing was Mike Glover who registered a double- double with 13 points and 11 assists, while Scott Machado kicked in another 18 points and seven boards of his own, but the nation's leading assist man was held to just five dishes in the contest. Through 21 games Machado has a staggering 209 assists, but what makes that number even more impressive is the fact that he has just 71 turnovers. One of three players on the roster scoring in double figures, Machado is responsible for 13.3 ppg, trailing only Glover and Jones who are putting up 18.8 and 15.5 ppg, respectively, as the Gaels continue to be one of the higher-scoring teams in the country with 83.0 ppg.
The Peacocks had issues from all over the floor on Thursday night as they shot just 34.4 percent from the field overall, 4-of-19 behind the three-point line and 7-of-12 at the charity stripe where they were outscored by Rider by a 19- point margin. Yvon Raymond came off the bench to put up a team-high 13 points before fouling out, while starters Chris Prescott and Chris Burke both dropped in 11 points, although the former shot an awful 3-of-17 from the floor, including 3-of-13 out on the perimeter. On a team that is one of the lowest scoring in the country with only 60.4 ppg, Prescott leads the way with his 12.2 ppg, but over the course of 21 games he is shooting a mere 35.7 percent from the field. Darius Conley (11.0 ppg) tries to balance the scales with 43.8 percent accuracy, but even though he is first on the unit with 7.8 rpg, his mere 12 assists in 18 games leaves a lot to be desired.
Perhaps playing at home might give the Peacocks some incentive to try harder, but keeping up with the Gaels is tough to do for any program this season.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Iona 88, Saint Peter's 63
01/29 10:45:12 ET
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