Niagara (11-8) at Siena (4-15)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, January 25, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Times Union Center (17,500) -- Albany, New York.
Television: TWCSN. Home Record: Niagara 8-1. Siena 2-6. Away Record: Niagara
3-6, Siena 1-8. Neutral Record: Niagara 0-1, Siena 1-1. Conference Record:
Niagara 7-1, Siena 2-6. Series Record: Niagara leads, 45-43.
GAMES NOTES: The conference leading Niagara Purple Eagles will invade the
Times Union Center on Friday night for a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference
bout with the struggling Siena Saints.
After a 64-50 win at home over Manhattan, the Purple Eagles have won four
straight contests and six of their last seven. Six of those victories have
come in league play where Niagara is 7-1, giving it sole possession of first
place in the MAAC. Overall Niagara is 11-8 on the season, including just a 3-6
mark on the road. This is the first half of a two-game road trip for the
Purples Eagles that wraps up at cross-town rival Canisius.
After earning consecutive victories for the first time this season, Siena has
fallen back into the loss column in the last two contests after a 76-44
setback to Canisius. The Saints are just 4-15 overall, with that including
just a 2-6 mark against league foes. Siena hasn't exactly been formidable at
home where it has a record of just 2-6. The Saints hit the road next to face
off with Marist.
This is the second game in just a week between these squads as they also faced
off last Thursday. That contest ended in an 87-64 victory for the Purple
Eagles, who now lead the all-time series, 45-43.
Niagara needed a late rally to overcome Manhattan. The Purple Eagles were down
57-52 with a little less than six minutes remaining but managed to rip off an
9-2 run over the next five minutes to grab a three-point lead they would never
Led by a powerful backcourt trio Niagara has been scoring at an exceptional
rate this season. The Purple Eagles are the second-best scoring team in the
conference (74.2 ppg), while shooting at a 43-percent clip. If there is a
weakness for Niagara it is on the defensive end where the Purple Eagles are
letting up 72.4 points per game on 45.7 percent shooting. Antoine Mason (18.4
ppg, 4.5 rpg) is the leading scorer on the squad, while Juan'ya Green (16.2
ppg, 4.6 apg) and Ameen Tanksley (10.6 ppg, 5.7 rpg) have also been consistent
contributors out of the backcourt. Mason ranks third in the conference in
scoring, while Green is among the top 10 in assists, points and steals. The
Purple Eagles don't get much from the frontcourt with starting center Devon
White (6.1 ppg, 5.3 rpg) one of just four frontcourt players on the roster.
It was yet another abysmal offensive showing from Siena in its loss to
Canisius. The Saints shot just 32.7 percent overall with Rich Audu netted 11
points but needed 14 shots to do so. Turnovers were a huge problem in the loss
as the Saints coughed the ball up 20 times, while assisting on just nine field
The offensive end of the floor has proved to be a real puzzle for Siena. The
Saints rank at the bottom of the conference in scoring (57.8), assists (9.8
pg) and field-goal percentage (.386). Each one of those marks is among the 20
worst in the nation. Depth is part of the issue as the Saints have four
starters scoring in double figures but no other players scoring more than five
points a contest. Double-double machine O.D. Anosike (13.0 ppg, 11.6 rpg) has
been the lone bright spot on the roster although he has just one double-double
in the last five games.
Niagara didn't have any problem handling Siena last week. The result this time
around should be similar, as the Purple Eagles have more than enough firepower
to get the job done.
Sports NEtwork Predicted Outcome: Niagara 79, Siena 61
01/25 10:31:28 ET
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