Iona (17-8) at Rider (13-12)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, February 21, 8 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Alumni Gymnasium (1,950) -- Lawrenceville, New Jersey. Television: ESPN U. Home Record: Iona 10-2, Rider 6-4. Away Record: Iona 7-6, Rider 6-7. Neutral Record: Iona 0-0, Rider 1-1. Conference Record: Iona 14-2, Rider 9-7. Series Record: Iona leads, 28-23.
GAME NOTES: The Iona Gaels will try and extend a nine-game win streak into double digits when they travel to face the Rider Broncs in a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference bout at Alumni Gymnasium.
Iona has won nine games in a row, and 11 of the team's last 12 altogether, including an 89-70 trouncing of Monmouth last Friday. The Gaels own the MAAC's best record at 14-2 in conference play, and haven't lost in over a month.
Rider finally ended a three-game skid with a victory over Fairfield on Saturday, 71-62, on the road. The Broncs have charged to a 9-7 conference record this season, but sit five games behind the Gaels for the MAAC lead.
Iona leads the all-time series between the two programs by five games, 28-23. The two teams will meet again in the season finale for both squads on March 2 at Iona.
Monmouth didn't stand much of a chance last Friday against Iona, as the surging Gaels leapt ahead to grab a 42-26 lead the at half and were able to cruise to a 19-point victory. Tre Bowman led Iona with 23 points in the contest, while A.J. English tallied a double-double with 21 points and 13 assists. Both Isaiah Williams and Sean Armand notched 13 points for the Gaels, and Mike Poole chipped in with 11 points and six rebounds.
Iona has a whole host of proficient scorers on the team this season, led by English and Armand at the top, who each net 17.6 ppg in their 25 games played. English leads the squad in assists with 113 on the year, and Armand comes in at second with 98 assists. David Laury, the team's leading rebounder at 7.3 rpg, is second in scoring with 13.9 ppg. Bowman notches 13 ppg, and Williams tallies 10.6 ppg.
Fairfield took a 31-28 lead at the intermission, but Rider came storming back in the second half to grab the lead from the Stags and hold on for the nine- point win. Daniel Stewart paced the Broncs with 20 points, connecting on 10- of-12 from the free-throw line and adding seven rebounds to his stat line. Jimmie Taylor chipped in with 19 points, and Kahlil Thomas contributed 12 to the victory.
Anthony Myles, who scored nine points in the win over Fairfield, leads the team in scoring this season with 16.7 ppg on 45.1 percent shooting from the floor. Stewart is next with 15.4 ppg, and adds a team-leading 6 rpg average and a second-best 23 steals. Taylor, the freshman guard, averages 11.4 ppg. Zedric Sadler leads the Broncs with 80 assists on the year.
Rider has been up and down this season, and finally put a stop to its three- game skid. But Iona is absolutely on fire in the MAAC, and even on the road should be able to put up the gaudy scoring numbers the team is used to.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Iona 81, Rider 69
02/21 10:30:25 ET