Siena (2-7) at Niagara (1-7)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, December 6, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Gallagher Center (2,400) -- Lewiston, New York.
Television: TWC Sports. Home Record: Siena 1-1, Niagara 1-0. Away Record:
Siena 1-3, Niagara 0-5. Neutral Record: Siena 0-3, Niagara 0-2. Conference
Record: Siena 0-0, Niagara 0-0. Series Record: Niagara leads, 47-43.
GAME NOTES: Two struggling Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference squads will try
to find their footing in league play, as the Siena Saints visit the Niagara
Purple Eagles at the Gallagher Center.
Last weekend the Saints were tied up in the Old Spice Classic in Orlando. The
trip did not end well for Siena, which lost all four of its bouts in the
event, including a 68-63 setback against Purdue on Sunday. Those four losses
dropped the Saints to 2-7 on the campaign, with the two victories coming by
three points combined. Siena is on the road against Canisius next.
Niagara has seen even less success this season. The Purple Eagles have already
checked eight games off the schedule and have just a single win to show for
it. The most recent disappointment was an 86-61 loss to Arkansas State, which
was the sixth straight setback for Niagara. Next up the Purple Eagles will
host Saint Peter's.
These conference foes battled it out three times last year and Niagara won
each contest, including a 74-62 triumph during the MAAC Tournament. The Purple
Eagles have won six of the last eight meetings overall to take a 47-43 in the
Siena ran out to a 43-30 lead at halftime against Purdue but crumbled in the
second half against the Boilermakers. During the final 20 minutes the Saints
only had six field goals and hit 22.2 percent of their attempts from the
floor. Siena was also outscored, 36-22, in the paint.
Shooting the ball efficiently has not been a strength for the Saints, who are
putting in only 39.9 percent of their field goal tries, while netting 67.4
points per game. Rob Poole (14.2 ppg, 6.2 rpg) is one of a few reliable
scoring options for the team. Poole had a solid game against Purdue before
fouling out, hitting 5-of-6 shots from the floor while scoring 17 points and
collecting eight rebounds. Poole has scored in double figures in seven games
this season and has a pair of 20-point efforts. Evan Hymes (10.6 ppg) is the
only other player scoring in double figures.
Niagara didn't even have the benefit of one solid half against Arkansas State.
The Purple Eagles hit only 31.7 percent of their attempts from the floor,
while being outscored, 22-5, in points off turnovers. Antoine Mason netted 20
points but hit on just 6-of-17 field goal attempts.
For most players, scoring 20 points would be considered a high point on the
campaign. Not for Mason. The 6-foot-3 guard is leading the country in scoring
(30.0 ppg). In fact, the 20 points he scored against Arkansas State were a
season low. Unfortunately for Niagara, Mason's ability to fill it up has not
done anything about its inability to make stops. The Purple Eagles are being
lit up for 90.6 points per game on 51.3 percent shooting. Mason also doesn't
receive much help from the rest of the rotation as Ramone Snowden (10 ppg) and
Marvin Jordan (10 ppg) add limited support.
Returning home should allow Mason to get back into a groove. That hasn't led
to many wins this year, but it should on Friday.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Niagara 81, Siena 75
12/06 10:31:39 ET
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