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The Trentonian's Full-Court Press blog is back and improved. We'll keep you updated on everything you need to know about Rider and Princeton hoops as well as the college basketball landscape.

Monday, February 13, 2012

MAAC Monday (Feb. 13)

-- Three league games to go -- four if you're Fairfield or Marist, who have a makeup game next Monday -- and the MAAC is in the balance. Four teams have a shot at the regular-season championship and the top seed in next month's league tournament in Springfield, Mass. Now that Fairfield has finally found its stride (two important wins over Manhattan and Loyola this week) the final two weeks of the regular season are nicely poised. Time to break it all down:


Standings:

1. Iona (20-6, 12-3): Last week -- lost to Loyola, 87-81; def. Marist, 83-74. This week -- Feb. 15 at Rider; Feb. 18 vs. Nevada.

1. Loyola (19-6, 12-3): Last week -- def. Iona, 87-81; lost to Fairfield, 68-51. This week -- Feb. 15 at Marist; Feb. 19 vs. Boston University. *Iona and Loyola split the season series

3. Manhattan (18-9, 11-4): Last week -- lost to Fairfield, 60-54; def. St. Peter's, 85-63. This week -- Feb. 14 at Siena; Feb. 18 vs. UNC-Wilmington.

4. Fairfield (15-10, 10-4): Last week -- def. Manhattan, 60-54; def. Loyola, 68-51. This week -- Feb. 15 at St. Peter's; Feb. 18 at Milwaukee.

5. Rider (11-16, 8-7): Last week -- def. Canisius, 71-66; lost to Niagara, 84-82. This week -- Feb. 15 vs. Iona; Feb. 18 at Albany.

6. Siena (11-14, 6-9): Last week -- lost to Niagara, 58-54; def. Canisius, 60-50. This week -- Feb. 14 vs. Manhattan; Feb. 18 at Hofstra.

6. Niagara (11-16, 6-9): Last week -- def. Siena, 58-54; def. Rider, 84-82. This week -- Feb. 15 vs. Canisius; Feb. 18 at Vermont. *Niagara and Siena split season series

8. Marist (9-16, 4-10): Last week -- def. St. Peter's, 66-47; lost to Iona, 83-74. This week -- Feb. 15 vs. Loyola; Feb. 18 at Maine.

9. St. Peter's (5-21, 4-11): Last week -- lost to Marist, 66-47; lost to Manhattan, 85-63. This week -- Feb. 15 at Fairfield; Feb. 18 vs. Hartford.

10. Canisius (4-21, 1-14): Last week -- lost to Rider, 71-66; lost to Siena, 60-50. This week -- Feb. 15 at Niagara; Feb. 18 vs. UMBC.

News and Notes:
  • BracketBusters on Saturday, thus just the one MAAC game this week for everybody. The league went 9-1 in BracketBusters last season. Iona has the marquee matchup with Nevada traveling across the country to visit New Rochelle. Fairfield has the toughest task, facing a trip to Milwaukee.
  • Great first-half performance by Loyola Friday night to jump all over Iona and then hold on for the win. Both Dylon Cormier and Erik Etherly (22 points each) were fantastic as Jimmy Patsos' squad took sole possession of first place.
  • But the Greyhounds couldn't hold onto first place very long, falling to Fairfield in their second game of the weekend. With Iona's win over Marist, those two are once again locked at the top of the league.
  • Speaking of the Stags, Sydney Johnson's club has at long last come to life. Fairfield has won five straight and, with a game in hand, has moved within 1 1/2 games of first place. The Stags still have a trip to Iona left.
  • Rider is going to have a say in who wins the regular-season title. Its last three conference games -- all at home -- are against Iona, Loyola and Fairfield.
  • Big home weekend for Niagara getting a pair of victories over Siena and Rider to move into a sixth place tie with the Saints. It looks like Niagara and Siena will battle it out for sixth place, as both tried to avoid playing on the opening night of the league tournament. Although, Rider, with games against Iona, Loyola and Fairfield left on the schedule is not safe from slipping back from its fifth-place position.
  • The Western New York trip can be tricky on teams especially late in the season when players are fatigued and suffering from injury. Both Tommy Dempsey and Mitch Buonaguro will take the split they got last weekend without complaints.
  • This should be a really fun final two weeks. Everything is nicely poised for a dramatic day on Sunday the 26th when all 10 teams conclude their regular seasons.

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