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MAAC: Monmouth and Iona coast into semi-finals

The Monmouth Hawks and The Iona Gaels both posted decisive victories in their opening games of the MAAC Tournament.

Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Monmouth Hawks 59 - Rider Broncs 48

The number one seeded Monmouth Hawks were able to take care of the eighth seeded Rider Broncs on Friday night in the first quarter final of the MAAC Championships in Albany. Rider would take an early 6-2 lead in the first half before Monmouth turned the tables ultimately doubling up Rider 32-16 at the break.

The Hawks shot an uncharacteristically low 32% from the field with MAAC player of the year, Justin Robinson, only contributing nine points. Luckily for the Hawks, Rider was not much better going only 35% from the field on 16 for 46 shooting.

Xavier Lundy would cary the Broncs back into the game scoring 14 points including 4 three-pointers that helped the Broncs go on a 10-0 run at the midway point of the second half. Monmouth, however;  was able to weather the storm and pulled away in the end. Monmouth made 18-21 foul shots including several down the stretch to ice it.

The Hawks were lead by MAAC Rookie of the year Micah Seaborn who dropped 14 points and Junior Chris Brady who added 12. Robinson, while not having a great scoring night, did set a MAAC tournament record with 8 steals. Monmouth converted 24 of their points off of 21 Rider Turnovers.

Monmouth will advance to the semi-finals to face the winner today's quarter final matchup between the 4-seeded St. Peter's Peacocks and the 5-seeded Fairfield stags who square off at 9:30 on ESPN3. The semi-final will take place on Sunday March 6th on ESPN3.

Iona Gaels 73 - Canisius Golden Griffins 55

The second seeded Iona College Gaels made easy work of the seventh seeded Canisius College Golden Griffs on Friday evening in the second quarter final of the MAAC Tournament. The Gaels were lead by All-MAAC First Team, senior A.J. English who finished just three rebounds shy of a triple-double. English ended the night with 20 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds. English's partner in crime Isaiah Williams also added 18 points for the Gaels.

The Gaels took a decisive 43-28 point lead into the locker room at halftime thanks to 53% shooting from downtown led by English and Williams who both had 3 in the half.

The Griffs who looked gassed after coming off a triple overtime thriller in their opening round game on Thursday against the Niagara Purple Eagles, were led by Phil Valenti with 14 points. The Griffs however would never pull back to within single digits the rest of the game.

The Gaels advance to the semi finals in which they will face the winner of tonight's quarter final (7:00pm ESPN3) between the six-seed Manhattan Jaspers and the three-seed Siena Saints. This is a tough draw for the Gaels who will either face Siena on Siena's home court, or the Jaspers who have knocked off the Gaels in the finals of the MAAC tournament each of the past two seasons. The semi-final is scheduled for Sunday March 6th at 7:00pm on ESPN3.

Today's Matchups:

(3) Siena vs. (6) Manhattan - 7:00pm, (ESPN3)

(4) St. Peter's vs. (5) Fairfield - 9:30pm, (ESPN3)