The Iona College men’s basketball team (4-2, 1-0 MAAC) completes play in the MAAC’s December weekend when they travel north on I-95 to Bridgeport to take on Fairfield (1-7, 0-1 MAAC) at Webster Bank Arena. The Gaels look to avenge a two-point loss to the Stags at the arena this past February.
IONA VS. FAIRFIELD – SERIES HISTORY
The Gaels and Stags meet for the 100th time in history making Fairfield the Maroon & Gold’s second most frequent opponent. Iona’s 58 wins against tonight’s foe marks the most over any one opponent. Iona holds a 58-41 series advantage and is 23-23 on Fairfield’s home floor. The Gaels have lost 15 of the last 24 meetings since the 2002-03 season, but are 6-4 in the last 10.
LAST TIME OUT: IONA 83, MARIST 74 (DEC. 4, 2013)
• Senior Sean Armand drained six three-point field goals and led five-double digit scorers with 26 points in a 83-74 win over Marist in the Gaels’ MAAC opener at the Hynes Center Wednesday.
• Iona hit 17 3FG, tied for the third highest single-game total in school history.
• Sophomore A.J. English had his first collegiate double-double with 11 points and 13 assists.
FOR STARTERS – POTPOURRI CATEGORY
• The Gaels continue its “mid-major gauntlet” non-conference schedule following two MAAC contests this week. After slaying George Mason and Florida Gulf Coast in its last two contests, Iona hosts St. Bonaventure (A10) next Saturday before traveling to Dayton (A10), Nevada (MWC) and Northern Iowa (MVC) over winter break from classes.
• Seniors Tre Bowman and Sean Armand were back-to-back MAAC Players of the Week for their performances in Iona’s last three games. It’s just the 10th time in history the Gaels’ earned two straight MAAC Players of the Week and first time since Scott Machado and Mike Glover accomplished the on Nov. 28 and Dec. 5, 2011.
• Sophomore A.J. English has thrived in his new role as starting point guard averaging 14.4 ppg, 4.6 rpg and 5.8 apg over the last five games. He had a career-high 21 points at No. 2 Kansas four games ago.
• Armand’s four three pointers 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).
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 season (328; Hofstra #2, 312)
• 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 95 wins and .674 win pct. are the highest in both categories.
• Since 1995-96, Iona holds the lead in wins (328, 16 more than Hofstra and 30 more than No. 3 St. John’s and the top win percentage (.575).
HIGH SCORING AFFAIRS
• Iona scored 100 points four times in 2011-12, matching a single-season program record. Iona is 7-1 under Cluess and 48-3 all-time when reaching 100.
• The Gaels scored 90 points 25 times in 103 games under Cluess and are 21-5.
• Iona is 48-8 when reaching at least 80 points under Cluess.
• Iona has posted a 48-8 record at the Hynes Center in the last four-plus years.
• They are 3-0 in 2013-14, 11-1 in 2012-13, 10-1 in 2011-12, 12-3 in 2010-11 and 11-3 in 2009-10.
• Iona has won 24 of its last 25 home contests and including eight straight non-conference home games.
• Both defeats during the stretch were due in part to three-pointers that beat the buzzer (vs. MAN, 1/12/12; vs. MAR, 2/7/13).
ROAD WOE-RRIORS NO MORE
• With its decisive 90-72 win at FGCU, Iona snapped a seven-game losing streak in true road games dating back to Jan. 31, 2103.
• Excluding its 20-point defeat at Kansas during the stretch, the average margin of defeat was just 2.3 ppg.
• The stretch included 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.
MAAC PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
• Iona has been honored 21 times in the last three-plus seasons with a MAAC Player of the Week.
• Senior Tre Bowman was most recently named on Dec. 2 after scoring a career-high 29 points at FGCU.
• Senior Sean Armand earned the honor a week prior (Nov. 25) for his performances at Kansas and vs. George Mason. It was his second career award.
• Junior David Laury was one of three Iona players to earn MAAC Player of the Week in 2012-13 with his first career award on Feb. 4.
• Sophomore A.J. English has earned three Rookie of the Week honors.
• Lamont Jones and English earned Player and Rookie honors on Dec. 17, believed to be the first time an Iona player earned both awards in the same week.
• The Gaels are 37-6 in games decided by 10 or more points since head coach Tim Cluess took the reigns in 2010-11.
• The six losses include Kansas in 2013-14, Ohio State and LaSalle 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 109-13 mark in 10+ point contests.
DIAL “3” FOR LONG DISTANCE
• With four three-point field goals vs. George Mason, senior Sean Armand became Iona’s all-time career leader in the statistic, now with 275.
• He and Steve Burtt ‘06 (263) are the only two players in Iona history to reach the 200 trifecta milestone.
• Armand also holds the single-game (10) Iona record, Hynes Center single-game record (9) and single-season record (112).
LET IT RAIN
• Since 2000-01, Iona has recorded 43 games with 10 or more three-point field goals. Five came in the seven seasons under head coach Jeff Ruland and seven came with Kevin Willard at the helm (three years).
• Under Tim Cluess, Iona has posted 32 games (three in 2013-14) with double-digit trifectas including a matching a school record 18 twice (at Albany, Nov. 23, 2010; vs. Liberty, Dec. 18, 2012).
• Iona’s top nine three-point field goal efforts have come with Cluess as head coach.
• Against Liberty, Iona’s 41 three-point attempts set a new standard.
ON TAP FOR THE GAELS
The Gaels resume its December non-conference schedule at home Saturday (Dec. 14) against St. Bonaventure in its final 2013 contest at the Hynes Center.
FOR COMPLETE IONA NOTES: http://icgne.ws/MBB-FFD-1208
PRINTABLE STATS – http://www.icgaels.com/fls/14900/stats/mbasketball/2013-14/teamcume.pdf
Iona College (4-2, 1-0 MAAC; RPI: 135) vs. Fairfield (1-7, 0-1 MAAC; RPI: 294)
Bridgeport, CT – Webster Bank Arena
Sunday, December 8, 2013 – 1:30 pm ET
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12/4: Iona College 83, Marist 74 (New Rochelle, NY)
12/6: Qunnipiac 83, Fairfield 79 (Hamden, CT)
Iona has won three in a row; Fairfield has lost seven straight.