1) Iona (6-5) –69-59 L @ St. John’s (12/17); 82-68 W @ Holy Cross (12/19)
The Gaels retain the top spot in this week’s rankings despite a split of the week. Tim Cluess’ squad played St. John’s tight in the first half, entering the break knotted at 25, but a 19-4 run out of intermission propelled the Johnnies to victory in the teams’ first meeting since 1995. Continue reading →
Outlook: After finishing a game over .500 last season, 2017-18 is a pivotal season for the Stags. They bring back just one player who scored over 10 ppg on a team that finished in the bottom 100 in Division I in offensive scoring efficiency. Continue reading →
Iona has still yet to lose a regular season series in the Tim Cluess era. The Gaels led throughout and held off conference foe Fairfield 96-89 Friday night, earning revenge for a 93-87 loss earlier in the month in Bridgeport. Continue reading →
But what we think can be fluid, can’t it? Iona entered the season ahead of Fairfield in the MAAC preseason poll, albeit only by a couple of spots (3rd and 5th, respectively). But the Gaels’ reputation as defending champions and perennial MAAC power makes the eyebrows raise when a score like: Fairfield 93, Iona 87 comes across your computer (or phone).
However, especially without Deyshonee Much (more on that below), it might just be that Fairfield, now full of experienced players that tasted a little bit of success, might be a better team right now. Although Iona (9-6, 2-2) made a late run to grab the lead and nearly stole the game late, the Stags led for nearly 37 minutes.
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – Let’s be honest, we all thought the Runnin’ Stags thing was just a clever gimmick for Sydney Johnson and Fairfield, right? Coming off 7-25 and 7-24 campaigns, Fairfield again started 0-3 and then struggled to beat then fellow-struggler Sacred Heart in overtime.
That game went 82 possessions, but it was seen more as Sacred Heart’s doing than Fairfield’s, but the 89-possession pummeling of Maryland-Eastern Shore that followed was an eye opener, and the Runnin’ Stags dragged 75 trips out of a pretty good Columbia team and beat them in doing it. The real turning point from ha-ha to hmmm came right after Christmas when Fairfield ran current Patriot League leader Bucknell out of Sojka Pavilion 101-91 in 86 (?!?) possessions.
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – Fairfield’s two leading scorers (and only two averaging double digits) – Marcus Gilbert and Tyler Nelson – combined for just two points (both Nelson’s), the Stags committed 13 turnovers, and … had a 16-point lead at the half over Manhattan Sunday afternoon?
Manhattan battled back from there, but was never quite able to get over the proverbial hump, falling for the 10th straight trip to Webster Bank Arena, 80-70.
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – There are lies, damned lies, and statistics as Mr. Twain once told us, of course, and, yes, there are times where the numbers (even advanced ones) only give an obstructed view of what is really transpiring.
Last season, the Broncs were picked seventh in the preseason MAAC poll, and finished alone in second at 15-5. With a break (or one less injury to senior center Matt Lopez), Rider might have been even better and perhaps wouldn’t have been upset by Saint Peter’s in the MAAC quarterfinals.