Iona College (5-5; RPI: 171) at Northern Iowa (5-6; RPI: 99)
Cedar Falls, IA - McLeod Center
Saturday, December 28, 2013 - 8:00 pm ET
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12/22: Nevada 80, Iona College 72 (Reno, NY)
12/21: Virginia 57, Northern Iowa 43 (Charlottesville, VA)
Iona lost three straight following a four-game winning streak; Northern Iowa lost its last game
The Iona College men’s basketball team (5-5) looks to snap a season-long three-game losing streak when they face Northern Iowa (5-6) at the McLeod Center this evening. The Gaels and Panthers square off on ESPN3.
IONA VS. NORTHERN IOWA - SERIES HISTORY
Tonight’s contest is the first ever meeting between the two squads.
IONA VERSUS THE MISSOURI VALLEY CONFERENCE
• The Gaels are 2-8 all-time versus current Missouri Valley Conference members.
• Wichita State has been Iona’s most frequent opponent with the Shockers holding a 3-1 advantage.
• The Maroon & Gold last faced a MVC squad last season in a ESPN Bracketbuster loss at Indiana State.
LAST TIME OUT: NEVADA 80, IONA 72 (DEC. 22, 2013)
• Iona dropped an 80-72 decision at Nevada’s Lawlor Events Center last Sunday.
• Sophomore A.J. English recorded his second-straight 20+ point effort and fourth in a row with more than 18 points in a 22-point, five assist performance.
• Senior Sean Armand snapped a six-game 20+ point streak with 15 to go along with five rebounds and four assists.
• The Gaels connected on more than 10 three point field goals for the third straight contest, fifth in the last six games and sixth time this season.
FOR STARTERS - POTPOURRI CATEGORY
• The Gaels complete their “mid-major gauntlet” non-conference schedule at Northern Iowa this evening. Iona looks to even their record at 3-3 in the six-game stretch. After slaying George Mason and Florida Gulf Coast, the Gaels fell to St. Bonaventure, Dayton, and Nevada.
• Tonight’s game completes Iona’s non-conference schedule.
• The Maroon & Gold look to avoid just the second four-game losing streak in three-plus seasons under head coach Tim Cluess. The Gaels ripped off five straight wins to capture the 2013 MAAC Championship following their last three-game skid last February/March.
• Sophomore A.J. English continues to thrive in his new role as primary point guard averaging 22.3 ppg, 4.3 apg and 2.3 apg over the last four games. He had a career-high 30 points at Dayton two games ago.
• In the 30-point effort, English’s eight 3FG tied the third-highest output in school history, matching Kyle Smyth’s eight at Albany on Nov. 23, 2010 and behind teammate Sean Armand’s 10 vs. Siena on Jan. 3, 2012 and nine vs. Canisius on Jan. 13, 2013.
• Seniors Sean Armand and Tre Bowman were named back-to-back-to-back MAAC Players of the Week from Nov. 25 - Dec. 9. It was the third time in history the Gaels’ earned three straight MAAC Players of the Week and first time since Kyle Smyth (once) and Mike Glover (3x) accomplished the feat from Nov. 29 - Dec. 20, 2011. Tariq Kirksay, John McDonald and Kashif Hameed also tripled up in January 1998.
• Armand’s four three pointers vs. George Mason allowed him to surpass Steve Burtt Jr.’s career record of 263, sealing his status as Iona’s “Three-Point King”. Armand also holds the single-season (112, 2012-13) and single-game (10, vs. Siena, 1/3/12).
• Iona allowed more than 100 points in a regulation contest for the first time since a 107-72 defeat at No. 1 North Carolina on Nov. 18, 2007. The 203-game stretch was nearly double the previous shot-clock era school record.
• The Gaels are 2-0 in MAAC play for the third time in the four seasons under head coach Tim Cluess and seventh time in the 17 seasons the league has played its first two contests in December.
• In the opening MAAC weekend, Armand averaged 27 points, five assists and 4.5 rebounds and earned ECAC Metro/Upstate and MAAC Player of the Week honors as well as CollegeSportsMadness.com MAAC and national Mid-Major Player of the Week accolades.
• Senior Sean Armand has recorded double-digits in all 10 games including seven 20+ point efforts and two 30-point performances. He snapped a career-best six games streak with 20 or more points at Nevada and currently ranks No. 15 in the nation in scoring.
• Sophomore A.J. English has scored at least 10 points in eight straight games including a career-high 30 at Dayton. After starting the season 4-for-18 (22.2) from the field (1-for-10 3FG) in the first two contests, he has connected on 47-of-his-last-99 attempts (47.5%) and 29-of-56 (51.8%) from distance.
• Junior David Laury snapped an eight-game double-digit scoring streak at Dayton. He leads the squad with two double-doubles, both 19-point, 10-rebound efforts at Cleveland State and Fairfield.
• Senior Tre Bowman has posted double-digit points in six of his last seven appearances, averaging 14.3 ppg.
• Iona has also shot better than 50.0% from the field in five of the last seven games, averaging 84.3 points and shooting 50.4%.
MOVIN’ ON UP
• Senior Sean Armand passed former Gael great Warren Isaac for No. 21 on Iona’s all-time scoring list after scoring 15 points at Nevada.
• He is 14 points behind Mikkel Larsen, who starred for the Gaels from 1992-96, and 38 behind Naismith Hall of Famer Richie Guerin ‘54 on the list.
KING OF THE HILL, TOP OF THE LIST
• No team among the 14 NYC Metropolitan Area Division I basketball programs within 30 miles of the center of NY College basketball, Madison Square Garden has won more games than Iona College in the last 19 seasons (329; Hofstra #2, 313)
• In 2012-13, the Gaels tied for the most wins and second best win percentage its the Metro Area compatriots, the second straight season Iona accomplished the feat.
• Since 2009-10, Iona’s 96 wins and .662 win pct. are the highest in both categories.
• Since 1995-96, Iona holds the lead in wins (329, 16 more than Hofstra and 29 more than No. 3 St. John’s and the top win percentage (.573).
• Iona has dropped nine of its last 11 road games dating back to Jan. 31, 2103. Following a seven-game losing stream the Gaels won two straight at FGCU and Fairfield before falling at Dayton and Nevada last week.
• The stretch includes one point defeats at Manhattan and Indiana State, a two point loss at Fairfield, and back-to-back three-point defeats at Niagara and Canisius.
• Following an 11-4 mark on the road in 2011-12, Iona was just 5-9 last season, despite out scoring its opponents overall.
• Iona is 2-5 on the road in 2013-14, its scoring margin just 2.5 points.
• The Gaels are 38-8 in games decided by 10 or more points since head coach Tim Cluess took the reins in 2010-11.
• The seven losses include Kansas, St. Bonaventure and Dayton in 2013-14, Ohio State and La Salle in 2012-13, Marshall and Fairfield in 2011-12 and Cleveland State in 2010-11.
• The Kansas defeat was just the fifth loss by 15 points or more for Cluess as an NCAA head coach.
• In his six-plus seasons, Cluess has mentored his team to a 110-15 mark in 10+ point contests.
MAROON & GOLD ON FACEBOOK AND TWITTER
Follow Iona on Facebook and Twitter by logging on to facebook.com/ICGaels or twitter.com/ICGaels and receive immediate updates on the Gaels. A number of members of the Iona coaching staff are also on Twitter. Follow assistant coaches Jared Grasso (@JGras11) and Brock Erickson (@GaelCoachE) and Director of Basketball Operations Garee Bryant (@GB_22).
ON TAP FOR THE GAELS
The Gaels complete their longest road trip of the season (four games) at Quinnipiac following the New Year’s holiday on Thursday (Jan. 2). The Gaels and Bobcats meet for the first time as members of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.
FOR COMPLETE IONA NOTES - http://icgne.ws/MBB-UNI-1228
PRINTABLE STATS - http://www.icgaels.com/fls/14900/stats/mbasketball/2013-14/teamcume.pdf