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Marist Red Foxes vs. Iona Gaels Pick-Odds-Prediction 2/23/14

Iona Gaels (18-8) at Marist Red Foxes (11-16)

College Basketball: Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 2:00 pm (McCann Field House)

The Line: Marist Red Foxes +5.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN3

Storyline: Iona eyes 11 straight victories and looks to cement its first place standing in the MAAC when it visits Marist Sunday.

The Breakdown: The Gaels made a narrow 80-77 escape at Rider Friday and improved to 15-2, but still hold just 1.5 game lead over Quinnipiac with three regular season games remaining. Against the Broncs, Iona connected on 46.3 percent from the floor and hit 6 of 23 from outside the arc to Rider’s 44.1 percent from the field and 7 of 26 from distance. The Gaels finished with a 40-37 advantage on the boards and converted 24 of 30 from the free throw line. Sophomore G A.J. English scored 20 points and dished out 3 assists, senior G Sean Armand had 20 points, including 3 of 5 from downtown, and junior F David Laury added 14 points and 12 rebounds off the bench. On the season, Iona is averaging 83.7 ppg on 47.9 percent shooting. English and Armand lead the team with 17.7 ppg.

Marist Red Foxes vs. Iona Gaels Pick-Odds-Prediction 2/23/14

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Meanwhile, Marist dropped to 8-9 for 6th place in the conference after suffering a 58-57 defeat at St. Peter’s Thursday. Freshman G Khallid Hart scored a team-high 15 points, including 3 of 6 from downtown, senior F Jaye Bowie had 12 points and 10 rebounds, and junior G Chavaughn Lewis added 11 points and 5 assists. The Red Foxes were outshot from the floor 44.0 percent to 41.2 percent and fro outside the arc 47.4 percent to 41.2 percent. Marist also conceded a 38-26 rebounding advantage and converted just 8 of 18 from the free throw line. Through 27 games, the Red Foxes are averaging 66.6 ppg on 40.3 percent shooting. Lewis leads the team with 17.1 ppg, followed by Hart at 14,5 ppg.

Rick’s Pick: The line in this one is set at -5.5 for Iona. When these two hooked up in the beginning of December, Iona scored an 83-74 victory and shot a lights-out 55.6 percent. Despite the home floor, Marist just has the misfortune of facing a white-hot Gaels side that seems destined to win the MAAC. Look for Iona to cover.     

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Iona -5.5

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