Niagara Purple Eagles vs. Iona Gaels - 2/7/14
Iona Gaels (13-8) at Niagara Purple Eagles (6-17)
College Basketball: Friday, February 7, 2014 at 7:00 pm (Gallagher Center)
The Line: Niagara Purple Eagles +7 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
For the second time this season, the Iona Gaels and Niagara Purple Eagles will play one another in a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference matchup. Iona won the previous meeting 118-92 and has won seven of the last eight meetings overall.
The Gaels are one of the most explosive offensive teams in the country. They shoot 48.4 percent from the field, average 83.5 points and have attempted 538 three-point shots. It is a constant up-and-down style of play that could run the opponent out of the gym if they aren’t careful. Of course, that quick tempo hurts the defense as well, as the Gaels are allowing 78.2 points per game and have lost three of their eight games despite scoring 80-plus points.
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The Purple Eagles can score but nothing like the Gaels. They shoot an OK 42.4 percent from the field and average 76.2 points per game. And unlike the Gaels, they’re not much of a three-point shooting team at 29.8 percent. What makes this game such a mismatch on paper is the fact Niagara allows teams to shoot an insane 48.7 percent from the field on defense. In the meeting earlier against Iona, the Gaels shot 64.5 percent from the field and knocked down 14 three-point shots.
Niagara is only 4-4 straight up in front of its home fans and 11-11 overall against the spread. Iona is 5-6 SU on the road and 9-10 ATS overall. However, Iona has covered in its last four games, and the favorite is 4-0 in the last four meetings between these two teams.
Until the Purple Eagles start playing some type of defense, you have to like the Gaels putting on a clinic offensively and covering the chalk.