Niagara (7-7) at Brown (4-8)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, January 8, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Pizzitola Sports Center (2,800) -- Providence, Rhode Island. Television: None. Home Record: Niagara 6-1, Brown 2-2. Away Record: Niagara 1-5, Brown 2-6. Neutral Record: Niagara 0-1, Brown 0-0. Conference Record: Niagara 3-1, Brown 0-0. Series Record: Series is tied, 1-1.
GAMES NOTES: The Niagara Purple Eagles will take a quick break from conference play as they visit the Brown Bears at the Pizzitola Sports Center on Tuesday night.
The wins have been piling up of late for Niagara which has claimed victories in four of its last five games, including a pair against Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference foes. All four of those wins came on the road though for Niagara which is 7-7 overall but just 1-5 in away contests. This is the first of a three-game homestand for Niagara which faces Saint Peter's next.
Meanwhile Brown has lost five of its last six games after a 59-47 loss to instate rival Rhode Island on Friday. The loss dropped the Bears to 4-8 this season. That record has included a split of four home contests for Brown which will play a final non-conference game against Division III foe Daniel Webster before opening up Ivy League play.
This is just the third meeting all-time between these squads and the first since a 56-54 win by Brown during the 1995-96 season. That evened the all-time series at 1-1.
Despite shooting just 40.4 percent from the field against Fairfield last time out, Niagara was able to earn a victory by getting to the foul line consistently. The Purple Eagles had a 27-6 edge in points from the free-throw line and also scored 17 points off of 21 Fairfield turnovers.
In the win Juan'ya Green (17.0 ppg, 4.5 apg) showed just how explosive he can be offensively as he dropped in 31 points, a season-high for the 6-foot-3 guard. The Purple Eagles are fortunate enough to have another prolific scorer in Antoine Mason (18.3 ppg), who ranks second in the MAAC. The sophomore guard has been the picture of consistency as he has scored in double figures in every game this season. Ameen Tanksley (10.1 ppg) is another scoring guard for the backcourt reliant Purple Eagles. Led by the trio of scorers, Niagara has been scoring well this season (74.4 ppg) but has had issues with slowing opposing teams down, as foes are shooting 47.2 percent and netting 75.3 points per game.
Although Brown held Rhode Island to 32.7 percent shooting, the Bears were unable to take advantage as they managed to connect on just 30.2 percent of their field goal attempts. Brown was also on the short end of a 19-11 discrepancy on points from the free-throw line.
The Bears do not boast the same kind of offensive success that Niagara has had this season. Brown is scoring only 59.7 points per game and connecting on 39.0 percent of its shots from the field. The 47 points the Bears scored against Rhode Island marked the fourth time this season the Bears have scored 50 or fewer points. On the defensive end Brown is allowing 66.4 points per game on 43.9 percent shooting from the field. Depth is the big reason for Brown's offensive woes. Four starters are scoring in double figures this season led by Matt Sullivan (14.3 ppg) and Sean McGonagill (13.8 ppg, 4.2 apg). However, no other players on the roster are scoring more than six points per game.
Green and Mason have pushed Niagara at a relentless offensive pace this season. The rate at which Niagara can fill it up will be too much for the undermanned Bears.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Niagara 77, Brown 65
01/08 10:32:45 ET