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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 16, 2 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Hynes Center (2,611) -- New Rochelle, New York. Television: None. Home Record: Wofford 1-0, Iona 0-0. Away Record: Wofford 0-1, Iona 0-1. Neutral Record: Wofford 0-0, Iona 0-0. Conference Record: Wofford 0-0, Iona 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: Iona will play host to the Wofford Terriers in the home opener for the Gaels on Saturday afternoon at the Hynes Center.
Tim Cluess' Gaels opened the season on the road and let one slip away in a tough 73-69 setback at Cleveland State. A strong team in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, Iona has posted four straight 20-win seasons, earning their 20th victory last year in the MAAC Tournament title game to extend the streak.
The Terriers are coming off a tough 2012-13 campaign where the team went just 13-19 overall, including a 7-11 mark in the Southern Conference. Mike Young's squad has opened this year to mixed reviews, getting blown out on the road at Georgia (72-52), followed by an 83-58 pasting of Emory & Henry three days later.
This marks the first-ever meeting between these two teams on the hardwood.
Wofford is shooting a decent .450 from the floor this season, but it has led to just 67.5 ppg. Spencer Collins and is the team's top offensive threat after two games at 13.5 ppg. Karl Cochran (10.5 ppg) has been a solid contributor off the bench. Rebounding has proven to be a weakness early on, with Wofford saddled with a -8.5 rebounding margin thus far.
After struggling against Georgia on the road, Wofford really turned things around against Emory & Henry, thanks in large part to a 14-0 run to open the second half. Collins led three Terriers in double figures with 16 points. Jaylen Allen added 13 points in just 14 minutes off the bench, while Cochran finished with 12.
Offensive production has been the mantra for Cluess since his arrival in New Rochelle, as Iona has been the highest scoring team in the nation in the last two years. The Gaels were an impressive 11-1 at the Hynes Center a year ago and 45-8 there over the last four seasons. The season-opener paints a little different picture, as Iona struggled with its shot, converting just 36.9 percent from the floor, a number dragged down by an ugly 6-of-22 effort from behind the arc (.273). The Gaels held a 15-point lead at the break, but Cleveland State opened the second stanza on an 11-0 run to get back in it and eventually win. Junior forward David Laury picked up right where he left off a year ago. An All-MAAC selection, Laury led the way for the Gaels in the frontcourt with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Senior guards Sean Armand and Tre Bowman added 17 and 14 points, respectively. However, the rest of the roster managed to add a mere 19 total points in the loss.
The Gaels should get back to their normal offensive-minded selves against the Terriers. Iona is a tough team to be at home and Wofford will struggle with the inside/out balance that the Gaels possess.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Iona 77, Wofford 66
11/16 10:43:07 ET
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