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Manhattan MBB Invades Iona On Friday Night

Jermaine Lawrence. Photo by: Stacy Podelski/1495 Sports

Jermaine Lawrence. Photo by: Stacy Podelski/1495 Sports

The Manhattan Men’s Basketball team (15-12; 12-6 MAAC) travels to Iona (23-6; 16-2 MAAC) on Friday, Feb. 27 at 7 p.m. in a game that will be televised on ESPN2.

TOP STORYLINES
# 1 – The Gaels won the teams’ first match-up two weeks ago by a 70-67 count thanks to A.J. English’s late tiebreaking three pointer.

# 2 – The teams have met in the MAAC Championship games in each of the last two seasons while splitting the regular season match-ups the last three years.

# 3 – With a win and a Monmouth loss on Thursday, the Jaspers would clinch the No. 3 seed.

QUICK HITS
* Iona leads the all-time series by a 47-39 count, including going 44-30 since the teams joined the MAAC for the 1981-1982 season.

* The Gaels hold a 22-10 advantage when playing the Jaspers at the Hynes Athletic Center, including winning the last two

* Steve Masiello is 4-5 against Iona as a head coach, including going 4-2 in games decided by five points or less, after posting a 5-5 record as an assistant (2001-2005).

* Senior Emmy Andujar’s game-winning three pointer with time expiring gave Manhattan’s its last victory at the Hynes Athletic Center by a 75-72 score on Jan. 12, 2012.

* Over nine career games against Gaels, Andujar is averaging 14.4 ppg, 6.3 rpg and 3.0 apg while shooting 53.2 percent (50-of-94) from the floor and 81.3 percent (26-of-32) at the line.

* When playing in New Rochelle, Andujar is averaging 15.0 ppg, 7.7 rpg and 2.3 apg while converting on 60.9 percent (14-of-23) from the field and 93.8 percent (15-of-16) at the line.

* Manhattan has now forced at least 20 turnovers nine times this season and are fourth nationally with 16.9 forced turnovers per game while also ranking 51st with a +2.0 turnover margin.

* During its current three-game winning streak, Manhattan is averaging 43.7 ppg in the second half while shooting 57.4 percent from the floor, including 52.0 percent from distance.

* Sophomore Jermaine Lawrence led all players with a career-high 19 points while going 8-for-10 from the floor. He had scored a combined 19 points in his previous six games.

* Senior RaShawn Stores scored eight of his 10 points in the win at Marist after halftime while converting two of Manhattan’s three triples and is now averaging 11.5 ppg in the second half over his last two games.

* Stores, who scored all of his career-high matching 15 points after intermission at Siena, is now shooting a blistering 62.1 (18-of-29) percent from long range in the second half of MAAC games, including 70.0 percent (7-of-10) over the final five minutes.

* Junior Shane Richards enters the Iona game just three triples shy of his own single-season record total of 77 that he shares with Jeff Xavier.

* Richards, who is the school’s all-time three point leader with 216 career makes, has converted at least three triples in 45 of his 92 games, and at least four in 24 games. When the New York City native hits at least four, the Jaspers are 17-7, including 13-4 over the last two seasons.

KEYS TO THE GAME
* Guard The Three-Ball – Manhattan will need to limit the three-pointer against an Iona team that is shooting a MAAC-best 40.5 percent from long range while making good on 10.0 each time out.
* Take Away Options 2,3 & 4 – The Gaels have four players that are averaging 14.2 ppg or greater. Odds are that at least one of the four will put points on the board. However, limiting the production of the other three will be crucial.
* Depth – In the teams’ first match-up, Iona jumped out to big leads but got worn down by the Jaspers’ pressure defense and their ability to delve deep into the bench.

SURGING
The Jaspers are 7-2 over its last nine games thanks to averaging 77.0 ppg while shooting 46.0 percent from the field.

UP NEXT
Manhattan will conclude the 2014-2015 regular season against Quinnipiac at Draddy Gym on Sunday, March 1 with opening tip slated for 2 p.m.

For more information on the Manhattan College Men’s Basketball team fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here:

http://www.gojaspers.com

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