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Welcome back to the Trentonian's Full-Court Press blog. Yes, we're still alive, and with the 2015-16 season rapidly approaching, it's time to fire up the old blog for another season. Check back here throughout the year for updates on all things Rider and Princeton, including coverage of both the MAAC and Ivy League. Feel free to drop me a line on twitter @kj_franko ( or email

Monday, February 6, 2012

MAAC Monday (Feb. 6)

-- Hope everybody enjoyed the Super Bowl. But now that the big game is over and done with, it's time to focus on the college basketball stretch drive. The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference still looks like a three-team race -- Iona, Loyola and Manhattan are all within a game of each other -- for the regular-season title, although, Fairfield still lurks just behind in fourth. Time to go around the league:


1. Iona (19-5, 11-2): Last week -- def. Canisius, 105-86; def. Manhattan, 85-73. This week -- Feb. 10 at Loyola; Feb. 12 vs. Marist. *Iona has head-to-head win over Loyola

1. Loyola (18-5, 11-2): Last week -- def. Rider, 63-46; def. St. Peter's, 66-55. This week -- Feb. 10 vs. Iona; Feb. 12 vs. Fairfield.

3. Manhattan (17-8, 10-3): Last week -- def. Marist, 73-51; lost to Iona, 85-73. This week -- Feb. 9 at Fairfield; Feb. 11 at St. Peter's.

4. Fairfield (13-10, 8-4): Last week -- def. Niagara, 77-69; def. Siena, 64-56. This week -- Feb. 9 vs. Manhattan; Feb. 12 at Loyola.

5. Rider (10-15, 7-6): Last week -- lost to Loyola, 63-46; def. Niagara, 74-73. This week -- Feb. 9 at Canisius; Feb. 11 at Niagara.

6. Siena (10-13, 5-8): Last week -- lost to St. Peter's, 63-58; lost to Fairfield, 64-56. This week -- Feb. 9 at Niagara; Feb. 10 at Canisius.

7. Niagara (9-16, 4-9): Last week -- lost to Fairfield, 77-69; lost to Rider, 74-73. This week -- Feb. 9 vs. Siena; Feb. 11 vs. Rider. *Niagara has head-to-head win over St. Peter's

7. St. Peter's (5-19, 4-9): Last week -- def. Siena, 63-58; lost to Loyola, 66-55. This week -- Feb. 9 vs. Marist; Feb. 11 vs. Manhattan.

9. Marist (8-15, 3-9): Last week -- lost to Manhattan, 73-51; def. Canisius, 80-69. This week -- Feb. 9 at St. Peter's; Feb. 12 at Iona.

10. Canisius (4-19, 1-12): Last week -- lost to Iona, 105-86; lost to Marist, 80-69. This week -- Feb. 9 vs. Rider; Feb. 11 vs. Siena.

News and Notes:
  • Can't wait for Friday's Iona-Loyola matchup in Baltimore. The Gaels won the first meeting, 74-63, behind 20 points and 15 rebounds from Mike Glover and 25 points from Lamont Jones. With all due respect to Manhattan, who has had a great season and is still in the title picture, these are the two best teams in the league. Jimmy Patsos' club has run off six straight since that loss and will have a sold-out Reitz Arena behind it Friday. 
  • Still amazed by Lamont Jones' 43-point performance in Iona's win over lowly Canisius. Jones made 16 of his 23 field goal attempts, including seven 3-pointers. Scott Machado had the next highest point total for the Gaels with 14. Cause for caution, though, Iona allowed the Griffs to hang around awhile and if there has been a knock on Tim Cluess' squad it's that the defense is suspect at times.
  • Credit to John Dunne for getting his guys to continue to play hard. SPC swept Siena with a nice win in Albany to begin its weekend.
  • Two losses to Saint Peter's could come back to haunt Siena if it ends having to play on the conference tournament's opening night.
  • Really think Niagara could be a force in the league in the near future. Joe Mihalich has some good young talent -- Juan'ya Green (Fr.), Antoine Mason (R-Fr.), Marivn Jordan (So.) -- now if he can only find a big- nasty- tough-guy to protect the rim.
  • Fairfield's seeding in league tournament is going to be key. Still think the Stags can, and will, catch Manhattan for third. While Sydney Johnson's team has underachieved this season, it will be hard to imagine it not having some say as to who wins the MAAC's automatic berth. If Fairfield finishes third, that's a big advantage to the regular-season champ (Iona or Loyola), who wouldn't have to face the Stags in the semifinal.
  • Big shot by Brandon Penn for Rider on Sunday. That was the difference between three games above the bottom four and one game.

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