MAAC Friday Preview
The three games played last night went as expected, with favorites Siena and Niagara taking care of business while Fairfield fell at Marist. Similar to the first meeting Marist jumped out to a sizeable lead. But this time the Red Foxes maintained control of the contest, never trailing in the 75-66 victory. Led by Dejuan Goodwin and Ryan Schneider (17 points apiece), Marist snapped their eight-game losing skid. Siena celebrated Senior Night with a 93-69 pasting of Manhattan, which also marked the third consecutive 20-win season for Fran McCaffrey's program. Honored were Kenny Hasbrouck (23 points), Josh Duell (scored three points in returning from a knee injury that sidelined him for a month), Erik Harris (two points) and manager Matt DeFazio.
But on a night in which the seniors were the center of attention, a few others had big nights for the Saints. Clarence Jackson scored twenty-one, Edwin Ubiles twenty, and Ronald Moore racked up nine assists. And you can't forget Ryan Rossiter, who put together a stat line of eight points, eight rebounds and eight blocks. Manhattan was led by Darryl Crawford, who finished with twenty-two.
As for the rivalry game between Niagara and Canisius the Purple Eagles played extremely well on the defensive end, holding the Griffs to 24.5% from the field and forcing fifteen turnovers. Tyrone Lewis led the way with fourteen points, but the scoring won't get the headlines in this win. Canisius was led in scoring by Greg Logins, who finished with twenty.
Two games to be played on Friday night, with the matchup being shown on ESPNU looming large in the seeding race for next month's MAAC Tournament. Iona (11-14, 6-8) heads south to take on Loyola (11-15, 6-8) in a 9 PM start with the winner getting out of the seventh spot (and thus avoiding Friday night's doubleheader) for the time being. These two are meeting for the first time this season, with the Gaels looking to snap out of their offensive funk. Thirty-nine points and 18.6% from the field got them beat at Manhattan on a night in which the Jaspers weren't too hot from the field either. But in addition to worrying about their own offense, Kevin Willard and company will have to slow down Jamal Barney on the other end of the floor. It'll be a close game at Reitz, but look for the Greyhounds to win.
The night's other game is an 8 PM tip with St. Peter's (7-17, 4-10) visiting Rider (14-9, 9-4). Twenty-five points from Ryan Thompson led the Broncs to victory in the first meeting, and a point guard who's a tough matchup for anyone in the MAAC is deadly when it comes to the Peacocks. Novar Gadson came off the bench to score sixteen, helping counteract the twenty from St. Peter's guard Wesley Jenkins. Rider shot well from the field (51.8%) and finished with a +10 rebound margin, and if they can duplicate that they'll win. But keep an eye on Ryan Bacon, who scored the game-winner at Canisius on Sunday and has been playing some good ball of late. But it won't be enough to knock off the Broncs in Lawrenceville.