Rider (13-12) at Iona (14-10)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 9, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Hynes Athletic Center (2,611) -- New Rochelle, New York. Television: ESPN3.com. Home Record: Rider 6-5, Iona 8-1. Away Record: Rider 5-7, Iona 5-6. Neutral Record: Rider 2-0, Iona 1-3. Conference Record: Rider 8-5, Iona 8-5. Series Record: Iona leads, 27-23.
GAME NOTES: The Iona Gaels will try to put an end to their recent slide tonight when they welcome the Rider Broncs to the Hynes Center for a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference clash.
Iona has lost three straight one-possession games to drop into a tie for third place in the MAAC standings. Most recently, the Gaels lost a double-overtime heartbreaker to Marist on Thursday night, 105-104. That setback was the first at home this season for the Gaels, who are 8-1 at the Hynes Center.
Rider enters tonight's matchup in search of a third consecutive victory. The Broncs were also in action Thursday night, as they posted a 72-69 win over conference-leading Niagara. Following this tilt, they'll return home for three straight games.
Rider claimed a 67-62 win over Iona on Jan. 20. The Gaels had won six of the previous seven meetings and they still lead the all-time series, 27-23.
The Broncs held first-place Niagara to 37.1-percent shooting from the floor on Thursday night, although they nearly coughed up a 10-point lead in the final minute and a half of regulation. Anthony Myles starred in the victory, as he shot 8-of-13 from the floor and 4-of-7 from 3-point range to finish with 23 points and seven rebounds. Jonathon Thompson chipped in with 18 points, while Daniel Stewart recorded a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds. On the season, Myles paces the squad with 12.3 points per game. He is shooting at a 36.4-percent clip from beyond the arc (40-of-110) while also averaging 4.8 rebounds. Thompson (11.8 ppg) is a 40.2-percent shooter from the perimeter (33-of-82), while Stewart (11.4 ppg, 6.8 rpg) takes care of business in the paint.
Iona senior guard Lamont Jones leads the MAAC and ranks third nationally with 22.5 ppg. Although Jones has carried the scoring load for the Gaels throughout the season, he is certainly not the team's only option on the offensive end of the floor. Second-leading scorer Sean Armand (17.8 ppg) is among the nation's most potent outside shooters, having knocked down 88 threes (.425). Down low, David Laury is shooting 53 percent from the floor while averaging a double- double (13.7 ppg, 11.3 rpg). But against Marist earlier this week, the Gaels watched their 12-point second-half lead evaporate. The Red Foxes forced double-overtime with a 65-foot buzzer beater at the end of the first extra session, and they eventually won when Jones' would-be game-tying 3-pointer with 3.2 seconds left was later ruled a long two-pointer. Jones finished with 37 points in the loss, while Armand tallied 19 points and 12 boards, and Taaj Ridley also recorded a double-double with 12 points and 11 caroms.
Iona has fallen off track of late, while Rider is playing some of its best basketball of the season. However, don't count on the Gaels dropping back-to- back home games, particularly after such a tough loss.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Iona 81, Rider 76
02/09 10:31:50 ET