Niagara Purple Eagles vs. Fairfield Stags Pick-Odds-Prediction 2/20/14
Fairfield Stags (5-22) at Niagara Purple Eagles (6-21)
College Basketball: Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 7:00 pm (Gallagher Center)
The Line: Niagara Purple Eagles -4.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
Storyline: Niagra hopes to put the brakes on six-game slide when they welcome Fairfield to the Gallagher Center Thursday.
The Breakdown: The Purple Eagles dropped to 3-13 for 11th place in the MAAC after suffering a 90-72 loss at Manhattan Sunday. Niagra connected on 39.6 percent from the floor and 30.0 percent from outside the arc to the Jaspers’ 58.6 percent from the field and 42.9 percent from distance. Niagra converted 27 of 34 from the free throw line, but conceded a 35-29 advantage on the boards and committed 15 turnovers. Senior F Marcus Ware scored a team-high 19 points, junior G Antoine Mason had 17 points on 6 of 13 shooting, and sophomore G Tahjere McCall added 16 points, including 6 of 6 from the stripe. On the season, the Purple Eagles are averaging 76.1 ppg on 42.5 percent shooting. Mason leads the team with 25.6 ppg, followed by senior G Marvin Jordan at 9.6 ppg.
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Meanwhile, Fairfield sits in last place in the conference at 2-14 and come in off a 71-62 defeat against Rider Saturday. Senior F Maurice Barrow scored a game-high 22 points off the bench, sophomore F Marcus Gilbert had 20 points and 8 rebounds, and sophomore C Malcolm Gilbert added 6 points and 6 boards. The Stags were outshot from the floor 43.6 percent to 39.3 percent and from beyond the arc 43.8 percent to 26.3 percent. Fairfield came away with a narrow 37-34 rebounding edge and converted 13 of 18 from the free throw line, but committed 15 turnovers. Through 27 games, the Stags are averaging 62.1 ppg on 39.4 percent shooting. Senior F Maurice Barrow and Marcus Gilbert lead the team with 13.6ppg.
Rick’s Pick: The line in this one is currently set at -4.5 for Niagra. The Purple Eagles scored a 67-63 road victory when these two met up a little over a month ago and the Stags somehow held Antoine Mason, the nation’s second-leading scorer to just 15 points, or about 10 points below his season average. Look for Mason to score much closer to his 25.6 points a game and for Niagra to cover.