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Iona Gaels vs. Manhattan Jaspers Pick-Odds-Prediction 1/31/14

Manhattan Jaspers (14-5) at Iona Gaels (11-8)

College Basketball: Friday, January 31, 2014 at 9:00 pm (Hynes Athletics Center)

The Line: Iona Gaels -3.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds


Storyline: Iona eyes sole possession of first place in the MAAC when they welcome Manhattan to Hynes Athletics Center Friday.

The Breakdown: The Gaels improved to 8-2 and moved into a tie with Canisisus for first place in the conference with their third straight victory 71-63 over St. Peter’s Sunday. Iona connected on 25 of 53 from the floor and 8 of 20 from outside the arc to the Peacocks’ 40.3 percent from the field and 7 of 25 from distance. The Gaels also finished with a 36-35 edge on the boards and converted 13 of 18 from the free throw line. Sophomore G A.J. English scored a game-high 18 points, including 4 of 8 from downtown, senior F Mike Poole had 14 points and 9 rebounds and junior F David Laury added 14 points and 5 rebounds off the bench. On the season, Iona is averaging 83.1 ppg on 48.1 percent shooting. Senior G Sean Armand leads the team with 18.3 ppg, followed by English at 17.8 ppg.

Iona Gaels vs. Manhattan Jaspers Pick-Odds-Prediction 1/31/14

Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Manhattan, meanwhile, dropped to 7-3 in the conference and sits in a tie for third place following its 90-86 overtime loss to Quinnipiac Sunday. The Jaspers were edged from the field, shooting 42.3 percent to the Bobcats’ 43.8 percent and from outside the arc 35.7 percent to 26.3 percent. Manhattan was also dominated on the boards 51-38 and converted just 21 of 32 from the free throw line. Senior F Rhamel Brown and senior G Michael Alvarado each scored a team-high 15 points and senior George Beaon added 12 points and 12 rebounds. Through 19 games, the Jaspers are averaging 78.2 ppg on 42.9 percent shooting. Beamon leads the team with 19.6 ppg, followed by Alvarado at 14.0 ppg.

Rick’s Pick: The line in this matchup is currently set at -3.5 for Iona. These two haven’t hooked up yet this season but this a battle for the top of the MAAC as both are within striking distance of first place Canisius. The Gaels rank pretty highly  in every statistical category, including 15th in the nation with 83.1 ppg, 3rd at 17.9 apg and 27th in shooting percentage at 48.1 percent. Look for Iona to cover.

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Iona -3.5

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