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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 1, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: McCann Field House (3,200) -- Poughkeepsie, New York. Television: ESPN3.com. Home Record: Niagara 5-4, Marist 6-3. Away Record: Niagara 1-10, Marist 1-8. Neutral Record: Niagara 0-2, Marist 4-7. Conference Record: Niagara 3-8, Marist 4-7. Series Record: Niagara leads, 23-15.
GAME NOTES: A rematch of last week's Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference contest in Niagara takes place on Saturday night in Poughkeepsie, as the Purple Eagles visit the Marist Red Foxes at McCann Field House.
Last Friday, Antoine Mason scored 22 points and Marvin Jordan netted 18 as Niagara upended Marist in an 80-74 final, thanks in part to a 23-11 advantage in points from the free-throw line.
Niagara followed that win up with a tough 66-62 loss to Siena on Thursday. The Saints' Evan Hymes hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 43 seconds remaining and Marquis Wright converted a huge three-point play after Niagara cut its deficit to one, sending the Purple Eagles to their third loss in four games. Marcus Ware and Antoine Mason each logged 18 points, while Rayvon Harris added 11 points and seven boards in the losing effort.
On the season, Niagara possesses an impressive scoring offense, netting 76.7 ppg, but its downfall comes at the other end of the court where its dreadful scoring defense (83.1 ppg) ranks near the bottom of qualifying Division I teams. Mason is the nation's leading scorer with 27.0 ppg, as he shoots 44.9 percent from the field and gets to the free-throw line more than anybody in the country (195-of-264, .739). No one else registers in double figures for the Eagles, but five others net between 7.5 and 9.8 ppg.
Marist bounced back from last week's loss to Niagara with a 75-73 victory over Monmouth on Thursday. The Red Foxes built a nine-point halftime lead and made enough free throws down the stretch to pull out just their second win in the last seven games. Chavaughn Lewis registered 24 points, seven rebounds and four assists in the win, while Khallid Hart scored 17 points.
Lewis has proven himself to be the team's top scorer, helping the Red Foxes out with 17.4 ppg on 40.6 percent shooting. His 45 assists and 38 steals is the most for Marist this season as well. Hart is second in scoring with 13.8 ppg, while Jay Bowie is third with 10.5 ppg. Kemp leads the team with 7.3 rpg.
Niagara upped its lead in the all-time series against Marist to 23-15 with its win last week, but the Purple Eagles are a decidedly different team on the road. Marist has been much better on its home floor and should pull out a close one.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Marist 65, Niagara 60
02/01 11:49:07 ET
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