Rider Broncs vs. Iona Gaels Pick-Odds-Prediction 2/21/14
Iona Gaels (17-8) at Rider Broncs (13-12)
College Basketball: Friday, February 21, 2014 at 8:00 pm (Alumni Gymnasium)
The Line: Rider Broncs +4 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
TV: ESPN U
Storyline: The Iona Gaels look to widen their lead in the MAAC with a 10th straight victory when they visit the Rider Broncs Friday.
The Breakdown: Iona sits atop the conference with a 1.5 game lead over Manhattan, improving to 14-2 after an 89-70 trouncing of Monmouth last Friday. The Gaels connected on 28 of 60 from the floor and 14 of 38 from outside the arc to the Hawks’ 31 of 61 from the field and 5 of 15 from distance. Iona conceded a 44-25 advantage on the boards, but converted 19 of 27 from the free throw line and forced 21 turnovers. Senior G Tre Bowman scored a game-high 23 points and grabbed 5 rebounds, sophomore G A.J. English had 21 points and a game-high 13 assists, and senior G Sean Armand added 13 points. On the season, the Gaels are averaging 83.8 ppg on 48.0 percent shooting. English and Armand lead the team in scoring with 17.6 ppg.
John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports
Meanwhile, Rider improved to 9-7 for 5th place in the conference after a 71-62 victory at Fairfield Saturday. Senior F Daniel Stewart had a team-high 20 points and 7 rebounds, freshman G Jimmie Taylor scored 19 points, including 3 of 3 from downtown, and freshman F Khalil Thomas added 12 points. The Broncs outshot Fairfield from the floor 43.6 percent to 39.3 percent and from outside the arc 43.8 percent to 26.3 percent. Rider conceded a narrow 37-34 rebounding advantage, but forced 15 turnovers and converted 16 of 24 from the free throw line. Through 25 games, the Broncs are averaging 74.6 ppg on 44.2 percent shooting. Senior G Anthony Myles leads the team with 16.7 ppg, followed Stewart at 15.4 ppg.
Rick’s Pick: The line in this one is currently set at -4 for Iona. These two haven’t faced off yet and in fact play each other twice in a little over a week, but the Gaels are the best team in the MAAC this season, especially lately. In their nine-game winning streak, only two have been by single-digits. Look for Iona to cover.