Fairfield (3-12) at Iona (6-7)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, January 10, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Hynes Athletic Center (2,611) -- New Rochelle, New York.
Television: None. Home Record: Fairfield 2-3, Iona 4-1. Away Record: Fairfield
1-6, Iona 2-6. Neutral Record: Fairfield 0-2, Iona 0-0. Conference Record:
Fairfield 0-5, Iona 3-1. Series Record: Iona leads, 59-41.
GAME NOTES: The Fairfield Stags will try to win their first Metro Atlantic
Athletic Conference matchup of the season on Friday night when they travel to
the Hynes Athletic Center to play the Iona Gaels.
Fairfield lost in heartbreaking fashion at home on Wednesday night to Saint
Peter's, 56-55, on a last-second field goal. The Stags have struggled all
season long, winning just three of their 15 contests, with losses in all five
of their MAAC tilts.
Since beginning the season a promising 5-2, Iona has fallen flat in recent
weeks by winning just one of its past six games to dip to 6-7 overall. The
Gaels most recently dropped a 86-74 decision at Quinnipiac on Monday night,
but they are still 3-1 in the MAAC and 4-1 on their home floor.
Iona got the best of Fairfield in the first meeting this season, winning 83-72
in Bridgeport to take a 59-41 lead in the all-time series.
The Stags saw their 17-point second-half lead slip away in the final 11
minutes of their most recent contest before falling victim to a devastating 3-
pointer at the buzzer to remain winless in the MAAC. After shooting 46.2
percent from the field in the first half, they shot just 6-of-24 after
intermission (.250). Justin Jenkins paced the losing effort with 16 points on
6-of-13 from the field, while Marcus Gilbert and Maurice Barrow poured in 10
Fairfield's offense has been sputtering all season long, as it shoots a lowly
37.9 percent from the field for 60.5 ppg, which all but negates its impressive
field goal percentage defense (.398). Unsurprisingly, the squad has also had
issues with turnovers, committing 4.1 more miscues per game than its
opponents. Gilbert is the go-to scoring option with 13.6 ppg while leading the
team with 29 3-pointers. Barrow is the only other player in double figures
with 11.3 ppg.
Iona fell behind Quinnipiac by 15 points less than four minutes into its most
recent contest and never got within single digits of the lead for the rest of
the game. Although its field goal (.410) and free throw (.783) percentages
weren't terrible, it wasn't enough to make up for the fact that it was
outrebounded by a commanding 49-27 margin. A.J. English was outstanding in
spite of the loss, scoring 27 points on 9-of-16 from the field (including 3-
of-6 from 3-point range) and 6-of-8 from the free-throw line. Tre Bowman
turned his 26 reserve minutes into 15 points, while David Laury and Sean
Armand each netted 10.
On the season, the Gaels are fortunate enough to have one of the nation's
highest-scoring offenses (82.4 ppg), but unfortunately their high-flying style
allows for their opponents to put up nearly as many points (80.8 ppg). Their
lack of presence on the boards (-6.2 rebounding margin) has come back to bite
them as well. Armand is the go-to option with 20.4 ppg, while English is right
on his heels with 16.7 ppg. The duo has been active and effective from beyond
the arc, combining for 77 3-pointers at greater than a 43-percent clip. Laury
mans the paint with 12.6 ppg and 7.7 rpg, while Bowman brings 12.3 ppg to the
While Iona's season overall hasn't been great, it has still performed well at
home and in league play, and the Gaels should have more than enough firepower
to blow past the lackluster Stags in this one.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Iona 81, Fairfield 63
01/10 10:15:46 ET
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