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Niagara (6-15) at Siena (9-12)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Thursday, January 30, 8:30 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Times Union Center (17,500) -- Albany, New York. Television: ESPN3.com. Home Record: Niagara 4-4, Siena 6-2. Away Record: Niagara 1-9, Siena 3-7. Neutral Record: Niagara 1-2, Siena 0-3. Conference Record: Niagara 3-7, Siena 5-5. Series Record: Niagara leads, 46-44.

GAME NOTES: The Siena Saints will try for their first three-game winning streak of the season on Thursday night when they welcome the Niagara Purple Eagles to the Times Union Center for a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference bout.

Niagara is fresh off an 80-74 home victory over Marist last Friday, effectively snapping out of a run of six losses in seven games. The Purple Eagles are still just 6-15 overall this season, including 3-7 in the MAAC, and they've been especially bad away from home (1-9).

Siena is just 9-12 overall, but it has turned things around of late with back- to-back victories, defeating Saint Peter's on Jan. 23 (64-46) before downing Fairfield on the road on Sunday, 64-56. The Saints' winning streak has allowed them to improve to 5-5 in conference action, and they have defended their home floor well at 6-2.

The teams met up on Dec. 6 in the MAAC opener, with Siena coming away with an 84-71 road victory. The Purple Eagles still hold a slight 46-44 advantage in the all-time series.

The Purple Eagles were locked up in a tight battle with Marist their last time out until, with under eight minutes to play and the game tied, they pulled away with a 14-4 run. They shot 48 percent from the field on the evening, including 9-of-17 from 3-point range, and earned a 23-11 scoring advantage at the foul line. Antoine Mason has seen more efficient nights from the floor (6- of-18) but he still finished with 22 points. Marvin Jordan pitched in 18 points and Marcus Ware scored 12.

On the season, Niagara possesses an impressive scoring offense, netting 77.4 ppg, but its downfall comes on the other end of the floor, where its dreadful scoring defense (84.0 ppg) ranks 345th out of 351 qualifying Division I teams. Mason is the nation's leading scorer with 27.4 ppg, as he shoots 45 percent from the field and gets to the free-throw line more than anybody in the country (186-of-251, .741). No one else registers in double figures but five others net between 7.0 and 9.9 ppg.

The Saints grabbed a late lead over Fairfield earlier in the week on a three- point play by Brett Bisping and managed to hold on for the victory thanks in part to shooting 6-of-6 at the free-throw line over the final 30 seconds. They held Fairfield to a mere 37.3 percent from the floor while draining 43.5 percent themselves and finished the contest a stellar 20-of-25 from the stripe. Bisping and Rob Poole both scored 19 points on a combined 15-of-15 at the line, and the duo helped out on defense as well with seven steals.

Despite outshooting its opponents from the field this season, 42.6 percent to 42.4 percent, and owning a +4.2 rebounding margin, Siena still gets outscored by 2.9 ppg because of its poor showing in the takeaway battle (-2.8). It also drains just 4.1 3-pointers per contest. Poole paces the squad in both scoring (15.1 ppg) and rebounding (6.0 rpg), while Evan Hymes (10.1 ppg), Bisping (9.2 ppg, 5.6 rpg) and Lavon Long (9.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg) have also been solid.

Siena had Niagara's number earlier this season on the road, and with the Saints playing well of late, a similar result should be expected on their home floor in this one.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Siena 85, Niagara 76

01/30 10:35:39 ET

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Local
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14
 
1:00pm Today
CAR
SEA
Final
SFG 11
KAN 4
8:07pm Tonight
SFG
KAN
 
Final
WISC 52
MD 7
Final
SMU 10
MEM 48
Final
ILL 28
MINN 24
Final
RICE 41
UNT 21
Final
NEB 42
RUTG 24
Final
KST 23
TEX 0
Final
ARK 45
UAB 17
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
EMICH 17
NILL 28
Final
NAVY 41
SJST 31
Final
BST 35
AKR 21
Final
GASTATE 31
GASO 69
Final
TOL 42
UMASS 35
Final
WMICH 42
OHIO 21
Final
COL 37
UCLA 40
Final
UMO 10
KSU 3
Final
WAKE 17
BC 23
Final
BUF 14
CMICH 20
Final
MARS 35
FATL 16
Final
PITT 28
GT 56
Final
SMISS 20
LATU 31
Final
MSU 35
MICH 11
Final
KENT 31
MSST 45
Final
STAN 38
ORST 14
Final
TCU 82
TTU 27
Final
OKST 10
WVU 34
Final
WKENT 66
ODU 51
Final
UTST 34
UNLV 20
Final
MIZZ 24
VANDY 14
Final
UCF 34
TEMPL 14
Final
WASU 37
ARZ 59
Final
CLEM 16
SYR 6
Final
LAMON 18
TXST 22
Final
TXSANANTO 0
UTEP 34
Final
COLST 45
WYO 31
Final
LSU 10
MISS 7
Final
TENN 20
ALA 34
Final
AUB 42
SCAR 35
Final
PSU 24
OSU 31
 
4th
UTAH 17
USC 21
 
3rd
WASH 7
ARST 10
 
2nd
HAW 10
NEV 0
 
Final
SJS 1
BUF 2
Final
TOR 1
BOS 4
Final
NYI 7
DAL 5
Final
PHI 4
DET 2
Final
OTT 2
NJD 3
Final
MON 3
NYR 1
Final
STL 3
CHI 2
Final
NAS 0
PIT 3
Final
MIN 7
TAM 2
Final
ARI 2
FLA 1
Final
CAL 1
WAS 3
3:00pm Today
WIN
COL
 
4:00pm Today
LOS
CLB
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHI
OTT
 
8:00pm Tonight
ANA
SJS
 
9:30pm Tonight
VAN
WAS
 
9:30am Today
ATL
DET
1:00pm Today
CIN
BAL
1:00pm Today
NYJ
BUF
1:00pm Today
NEP
CHI
1:00pm Today
TEN
HOU
1:00pm Today
JAC
MIA
1:00pm Today
TAM
MIN
1:00pm Today
CAR
SEA
1:00pm Today
KAN
STL
4:05pm Today
ARI
PHI
4:25pm Today
PIT
IND
4:25pm Today
CLE
OAK
8:30pm Tonight
NOS
GBP
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14