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Niagara (6-25) vs. Marist (12-18)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Thursday, March 6, 9 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: MassMutual Center (7,552) -- Springfield, Massachusetts. Television: None. Home Record: Niagara 5-9, Marist 9-4. Away Record: Niagara 1-14, Marist 3-11. Neutral Record: Niagara 0-2, Marist 0-3. Conference Record: Niagara 3-17, Marist 9-11. Series Record: Niagara leads, 23-16.

GAME NOTES: The Niagara Purple Eagles try to win away from home for just the second time in 2013-14, as they challenge the Marist Red Foxes in the first round of the 33rd annual Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament at the MassMutual Center.

The 11th seed in this year's event, Niagara has just a single win against Fairfield to show for its efforts away from the Gallagher Center this season. The program closed out the regular season on Sunday afternoon with a 71-67 loss to Saint Peter's, running the losing streak to 10 in a row in the process.

As for the Red Foxes, the sixth seed in this year's event, they managed to close out on a positive note with a 103-72 thrashing of Quinnipiac on Sunday, snapping a three-game skid, but still the prospect of competing in this tourney is a daunting one for a Marist squad that has never won the title.

These teams faced each other twice in a span of about a week this season, as Niagara posted an 80-74 home win in late January and then the Red Foxes returned the favor at the start of February with a 78-64 triumph, which means the all-time series now numbers 23-16 in favor of the Purple Eagles.

The winner of this meeting will face the third-seeded Quinnipiac Bobcats in the quarterfinals on Saturday night.

Niagara finished dead last in the conference with a mere three league victories in 20 opportunities, yet the team had not only the top scorer in the MAAC, Antoine Mason, who was also second in the nation coming into this week with his 25.2 ppg. But after Mason, who saw his scoring output dip to 22.8 ppg in league play, the Purple Eagles didn't have a single player in double figures. The squad managed to put up a decent 75.0 ppg on the season overall, but at the same time the defense was one of the weakest in the nation with 82.1 ppg allowed.

The Purple Eagles, who played in the tournament title game as recently as 2009 and won it all two years earlier, often made it easy for opponents to get the upper hand because they ended up averaging 13.6 turnovers per contest, not to mention allowing those foes to shoot 48.6 percent from the floor.

Marist one of two teams that has yet to win this event outside of the two newest additions to the league, closed out the regular season on Sunday on a positive note with a 103-72 thrashing of Quinnipiac at home, snapping a three- game slide as it registered a season high for points. Chavaughn Lewis leads a quartet of double-digit scorers with his 17.3 ppg, letting fly with 15.0 field goal attempts per contest, so it only figures that he would have the advantage in scoring among the Red Foxes. Khallid Hart checks in with 14.6 ppg, as both he and Lewis have picked up the pace in league bouts with averages of 16.3 and 18.0 ppg, respectively.

Adam Kemp (10.0 ppg) leads the way on the glass for Marist with 7.6 rpg, but the fact that he is just 55.9 percent accurate at the free-throw line might be one of the reasons why he is playing less than 28 minutes per contest.

With one of the worst scoring defenses in the country this season and the Red Foxes coming off a huge victory versus the Bobcats just a few days back, Niagara has to be careful not to let this meeting get out of hand too quickly.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Marist 85, Niagara 72

03/06 10:29:53 ET

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Final
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8:30pm Tonight
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BAL 7
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MIN 3
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NYM 4
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SEA 1
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MIA 2
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Final
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CIN 4
Final
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1:05pm Today
NYY
TOR
 
1:10pm Today
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1:35pm Today
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1:35pm Today
PIT
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1:35pm Today
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CWS
 
2:10pm Today
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2:10pm Today
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2:10pm Today
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2:20pm Today
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3:35pm Today
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TEX
 
4:05pm Today
OAK
PHI
 
4:10pm Today
COL
ARI
 
4:10pm Today
SDP
SFG
 
8:05pm Tonight
STL
CIN
 
Final
WISC 68
BGU 17
Final
MSU 73
EMICH 14
Final
VT 24
GT 27
Final
PITT 20
IOWA 24
Final
RICE 42
ODU 45
Final
UGA 66
TROY 0
Final
SYR 20
MD 34
Final
DUKE 47
TULA 13
Final
COL 21
HAW 12
Final
AKR 17
MARS 48
Final
WAKE 24
ARMY 21
Final
KU 24
CMICH 10
Final
ALA 42
UF 21
Final
FIU 3
LOU 34
Final
ECU 70
UNC 41
Final
NAVY 24
RUTG 31
Final
SMU 6
TEXAM 58
Final
MICH 10
UTAH 26
Final
BYU 41
UVA 33
Final
WYO 20
FATL 19
Final
MIZZ 27
IND 31
Final
PSU 48
UMASS 7
Final
MINN 24
SJST 7
Final
ILL 42
TXST 35
Final
WASH 45
GASTATE 14
Final
SMISS 21
APPST 20
Final
TOL 34
BST 23
Final
OHIO 36
IDAHO 24
 
Final
CIN 31
UMO 24
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MEM 36
MTST 17
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LSU 29
MSST 34
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ARK 52
NILL 14
Final
ARKST 21
UTST 14
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SALABAMA 6
GASO 28
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WVU 33
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VANDY 34
SCAR 48
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NEB 41
MIAMI 31
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NMST 35
NMU 38
Final
HOU 47
UNLV 14
Final
FSU 23
CLEM 17
Final
ARZ 49
CAL 45
 
Final
ORST 28
SDST 7
Final
WASU 31
OREG 38
Final
BSU 34
LALAF 9
 
1:30pm Today
CAR
CLB
 
5:00pm Tonight
WAS
BUF
 
6:30pm Tonight
CLB
STL
 
8:00pm Tonight
EDM
CAL
 
8:00pm Tonight
CAL
EDM
 
1:00pm Today
CLE
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1:00pm Today
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1:00pm Today
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4:05pm Today
ARI
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4:25pm Today
SEA
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4:25pm Today
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KAN
8:30pm Tonight
CAR
PIT
Final
TOWSN 31
NCCU 20
 
Final
NCSU 42
PRES 0