Quinnipiac (1-1) vs. Iona (1-0)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, November 16, 9 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: UVI Sports and Fitness Center (3,500) -- St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands. Television: None. Home Record: Quinnipiac 0-1, Iona 1-0. Away Record: Quinnipiac 1-0, Iona 0-0. Neutral Record: Quinnipiac 0-0, Iona 0-0. Conference Record: Quinnipiac 0-0, Iona 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The Quinnipiac Bobcats will face off against the Iona Gaels in the first round of the Paradise Jam in the U.S. Virgin Islands on Friday.
The Bobcats are 1-1 to start the season and are coming off a 61-55 loss at home to American. They allowed American to shoot 52.5 percent from the field in the game, while Quinnipiac shot 43.4 from the floor. Both teams hit six 3- pointers, but the Eagles did so on 11 attempts while the Bobcats took 17.
The Gaels opened their season with a 65-58 win at home over Denver. Coach Tim Cluess hopes to have another successful year at Iona, now in his third season with the program. In his first two years he led the Gaels to a couple of 25- win seasons. The team recently made the announcement that this season will be dedicated to Michael Haynes, a recruit that was murdered in Chicago in July.
This will be the first time these schools meet in regular-season competition. They saw each other in closed scrimmages in the preseason in both the 2010 and 2011.
The winner of this matchup will meet either 23rd-ranked Connecticut or Wake Forest in the next round.
Quinnipiac won its season opener 65-61 over Hartford before falling to American. They have been led in scoring by Ike Azotam, who is averaging 14 ppg. Garvey Young is the only other player in double figures after two games with 11.5 ppg. Azotam is just short of a double-double on the year, grabbing 9.0 rpg. One area of concern is the team's lack of free-throws in the early going. Quinnipiac has only attempted 16 free throws, and has made just eight. The Bobcats were 18-14 a season ago, going 0-2 on neutral floors.
Iona's season-opening win wasn't a pretty one. The Gaels outscored Denver 40-17 in the first half but were then outscored 41-25 after the break. After shooting 5-of-6 from 3-point range over the first 20 minutes, the team went cold in the second half (1-of-6). Lamont Jones played all 40 minutes and led the team with 20 points and seven assists. Sean Armand poured in 19 points and Tre Bowman added 11. The Gaels led the nation in scoring a year ago, averaging 82.9 ppg, but have not shown the same potency early on.
Iona has dangerous shooters that could get hot at any time and certainly has enough at the offensive end to get past the Bobcats.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Iona 64, Quinnipiac 58
11/16 10:35:36 ET