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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 4, 2 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Hynes Center (2,611) -- New Rochelle, New York. Television: None. Home Record: Niagara 3-2, Iona 3-1. Away Record: Niagara 0-6, Iona 2-5. Neutral Record: Niagara 1-2, Iona 0-0. Conference Record: Niagara 1-2, Iona 2-0. Series Record: Iona leads, 39-34.
GAME NOTES: The Niagara Purple Eagles and the nation's leading scorer Antoine Mason will try to get back in the win column today, as they travel to face the Iona Gaels in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference action at the Hynes Center.
The Purple Eagles lost to conference foe Rider on Thursday, 85-83, to fall for the second time in the last three outings.
Niagara nearly erased a 10-point deficit with three minutes remaining against the Broncs, but fell just short in the end to drop to 0-6 on the road this season.
Mason scored 31 points to increase his season average to 29.2 ppg. It was his ninth 30-plus scoring effort of the season.
Niagara's Joe Thomas notched his first career double-double with a season-high 13 points and career-best 11 rebounds, to go along with a game-high three blocks. Marvin Jordan finished with 12 points, including three 3-pointers, and he handed out five assists.
Jordan is the only other Niagara player to average in double figures, scoring 10.3 ppg.
The re-start to the Gaels' conference schedule was postponed on Thursday when their game against Quinnipiac was re-scheduled for this coming Monday due to the winter storm that hit the northeast. As a result, today's game will be the team's first conference tilt since playing a pair of MAAC games in December.
The Gaels enter today's fray as losers of four straight following a 90-78 setback at Northern Iowa last Saturday. In his first collegiate start, Ryden Hines poured in 19 points to lead four double-digit scorers for Iona. Hines scored 15 of his 19 points in the first half, shooting 7-of-9 from the field for the game and 3-of-5 from beyond the arc. Senior Sean Armand added 18 points, while teammates DaShawn Gomez and Mike Poole added 14 and 11 points, respectively. The 14 points marked a career-best for Gomez, while Poole's 11 was his highest output in 11 games in maroon and gold.
Armand leads the Gaels and is ranked 15th nationally in scoring with 21.6 ppg. AJ English is the second-leading scorer with 15.6 ppg, and David Laury adds 12.5 ppg and a team-best 7.9 rpg to the mix. Tre Bowman nets 11.1 ppg to round out the double-digit scorers for Iona, which shoots a blistering 47.5 percent from the field in averaging 79.9 ppg.
Iona allows 79.4 ppg, while Niagara yields 83 ppg, which means that today's game will likely be a high-scoring affair. Even though Mason is the best player on the court, he doesn't have much support and Niagara struggles on the road.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Iona 85, Niagara 80
01/04 10:47:52 ET
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