Saint Peter's (6-12) at Iona (12-7)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, January 25, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Hynes Athletic Center (2,611) -- New Rochelle, New York. Television: None. Home Record: SPC 3-7, Iona 7-0. Away Record: SPC 3-5, Iona 4-4. Neutral Record: SPC 0-0, Iona 1-3. Conference Record: SPC 1-7, Iona 6-2. Series Record: Saint Peter's leads, 48-47.
GAME NOTES: Two teams heading in opposite directions in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference square off at Hynes Athletic Center in New Rochelle, New York on Friday night when the Iona Gaels play host to the Saint Peter's Peacocks.
Saint Peter's season has not been a strong one, as it has lost twice as many games as it has won (6-12), but things have been especially bad in recent weeks. The Peacocks are in the midst of a six-game losing streak, most recently falling at Marist last Saturday, 59-48, to fall to 1-7 in MAAC play.
Iona has experienced nearly the exact opposite fate as Saint Peter's by going 12-7 overall and 6-2 in conference. The Gaels had been winners of a season- high six straight games heading into their matchup with Rider last Sunday, but that streak came to an end with a 67-62 road defeat.
Saint Peter's actually got the better of Iona in the first meeting this season, winning at home on Dec. 5, 64-62. The win broke a tie in the all-time series, as the Peacocks now lead by a 48-47 margin.
In a season full of disappointing performances, Saint Peter's offensive output in its last game against Marist was its worst yet, as it shot just 14-of-54 from the field (.259), and its 48-point showing could have been much worse if it weren't for an 18-of-27 showing at the foul line. Despite the awful game by his team, Darius Conley managed to shoot 6-of-14 from the floor for 16 points while grabbing a team-high nine rebounds. Yvon Raymond added 10 points and came away with five steals. The Peacocks average meager 59.6 ppg, which ranks only above Manhattan and Siena in the MAAC. Desi Washington's field goal percentage could definitely use improvement (.373), but he is still the team's leading scorer at 14.3 ppg. Raymond brings stability to the frontcourt, tallying 10.6 ppg on nearly 45 percent shooting while posting team-highs in rebounds (5.2 rpg), block shots (0.9 bpg) and steals (1.8 spg).
Iona is the MAAC's top scoring team by a fairly wide margin, as it ranks fifth nationally in putting up 81.5 ppg, but it is fresh off one of its worst performances of the year in the five-point loss to Rider. The team shot just 33.9 percent from the floor, which included a dismal 5-of-24 effort from 3- point range. Lamont Jones missed on all five of his 3-point attempts but still finished with a game-high 20 points. Sean Armand netted 15 points, Tavon Sledge scored 14 points off the bench, and David Laury finished with a line of 10 points, 17 rebounds, three blocks and two steals in the setback. Jones is an elite scorer, draining 45.4 percent of his field goal attempts for 22.2 ppg, which ranks fourth nationally. He also dishes out a team-high 4.2 apg and has been nearly automatic from the foul line (111-of-124, .895). Armand (18.8 ppg) is deadly from long range, ranking fourth in the country with 75 treys, making them at a 43.6 percent clip. Rounding out one of the best scoring trios in Division I is Laury, who is a threat for a double-double every night with his 13.9 ppg and 10.1 rpg.
Saint Peter's may have bested Iona earlier this season, but with the Gaels sporting an undefeated record at the Hynes Athletic Center and the Peacocks trending downward in a hurry, expect this matchup to be a one-sided affair in favor of the home team.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Iona 84, Saint Peter's 68
01/25 10:30:32 ET