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Friday night's college basketball card features a MAAC battle between the Manhattan Jaspers and the Iona Gaels. The Jaspers won when these two met earlier this season although Iona has won eight of the last ten in the series. Manhattan beat Quinnipiac while the Gaels took down Fairfield last time these teams took the court. Tip is set for approximately 7:00 PM ET from the Hynes Athletics Center on the campus of Iona for this showdown.
Jaspers Appear To Have Turned A CornerManhattan took down their third opponent in a row when they were victorious against Quinnipiac 65-53 in their last piece of action. The Jaspers currently sit only a half of a game out of first in the wide-open MAAC with a 7-5 record in conference play so far. They have yet to add either a quad-1 or a quad-2 win to their resume this season. Two of Manhattan's ten defeats came as quad-3 losses while six more fell as quad-4 losses.
Pauly Paulicap leads the Jaspers' offense with 10 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. Tykei Greene scores 9.9 points and Samir Stewart averages 9.2 points with 3.1 assists an outing as well. Manhattan grabs 35.5 boards per contest and they shoot 39.8% from the floor with 31.9% from deep. They commit 14 turnovers a night and knock down 62.6% of their free-throw attempts. Kenpom lists the Jaspers as the 224th best team in the nation while their RPI ranking is 210th and their NET ranking is 224th as well.
Gaels Blow Past Stags With EaseIona has kicked things up a notch as they cruised to their second straight victory in a 78-54 showing over Fairfield. The Gaels haven't had the best of seasons, but they are still only two and a half games from first in their conference with a 5-7 record in MAAC action. Iona hasn't picked up any quad-1 or quad-2 wins to add to their resume. Four of their 12 defeats came as quad-3 losses while six more were listed as quad-4 losses.
#ICMBB Game Notes vs. @JaspersMBBhttps://t.co/6KyZNmQw32— Iona Men's Hoops (@IonaGaelsMBB) February 14, 2020
Friday 2/14/20 | 7 p.m.
Watch: #ESPN3 and Streaming live on the @ESPN APP
Announcers: @dpresnick and Barry Rohrssen#maAChoops20 @MAACHoops #GaelNation #DriveForFive pic.twitter.com/GlOB9MxRMk
E.J. Crawford leads the Gaels' attack with 17.6 points per game. Tajuan Agee averages 13.6 points with 7.6 rebounds and Isaiah Washington contributes 10.4 points with 3.4 assists as outing as well. Iona snags 32.8 rebounds per contest and they shoot 42.7% from the floor with 33.2% from three. They commit 14.7 turnovers a night and convert on 74% of their free-throw attempts. Kenpom lists the Gaels as the 256th best team in the country while their NET ranking is 264th and their RPI ranking is 270th.
- Gaels are 1-7-1 ATS in their last 9 home games
- Gaels are 0-3-1 ATS in their last 4 games as a favorite
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
There isn't anything coming from either side in this contest that gets me overly excited to back them, but Manhattan won by 23 when these two met earlier this season so I will ride them to complete the season sweep. Defense has been what has cost Iona all campaign as they allow teams to shoot an eye-popping 43.8% from the field with 38.9% from deep. The Jaspers defense isn't much better although they hold teams to only 39.7% from the court and 35.5% from beyond the arc. It is not a fluke when you beat a team by 23 points, so I believe that Manhattan can at the very least keep this game within one possession.
Prediction: Manhattan Jaspers +3.5
Full-Game Total Pick
This is a tricky total set for this Friday night contest. Neither of these teams will get in a hurry offensively as Iona comes in ranking 193rd in the NCAA with an average of 70.9 possessions per game. Manhattan prefers a slightly slower pace as they rank 220th in the nation with an average of 70.5 possessions an outing. Despite the preferred slow tempo of either team, I am still siding with the over as both of these teams have been absolutely horrendous on the defensive end of the court this season. These two have both found their offensive stroke in recent games as well and I believe that these struggling offenses can keep it going against the porous defense of their opponent.
Prediction: Over 134