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MAAC Recap: First Full Day of MAAC League Play

Iona, Canisius, Manhattan and Siena open the first full day of MAAC conference play with wins.

Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday included a slate of four MAAC basketball games that marked the first full day of conference play. Due to the large, 11-team conference, each MAAC school has already played two variously scheduled league games prior to this Saturday; however, from here-on there will be only MAAC on MAAC match-ups until March. The opening day started with an afternoon matchup in which Iona took down Quinnipiac on the road. The afternoon game was followed up with a trio of evening games That saw Manhattan and Siena knock off Fairfield and Niagara respectively at home and Canisius taking down Marist on the road.

Today's Games:

Iona Gaels 78 - Quinnipiac Bobcats 66

A.J. English scored 14 points in his first game back from a hand injury that caused him to miss the last five games. Jordan Washington paced the Gaels with a double double notching 19 points and pulling down 15 boards. Isaiah Williams also scored in double figures dropping 18 points including four treys. The Gaels trailed by 3 with just over 15 minutes to go before 7 straight English points sparked a 28-6 run that would put the Gaels ahead for good. Abdulai Bundu had a strong performance for the Bobcats, coming up just shy of a double double, with 15 points and 9 rebounds in defeat.

Iona moves to 3-0 in the MAAC (6-6 overall) while Quinnipiac falls to 1-2 in the MAAC (4-8 overall).

Fairfield Stags 66 - Manhattan Jaspers 72

Manhattan's balanced attack proved to be too much for the visiting Stags. The Jaspers picked up their first conference victory of the season utilizing double-digit scoring performances from four difference players. Zane Waterman, Calvin Crawford, and Rich Williams all notched 14, while Shane Richards added an even 10 points in the victory. The game was a back and forth affair with until late in the second half when a Tyler Wilson free-throw put the Jaspers up for good, 69-63. Tyler Nelson would knock down one of his four 3-pointers to pull to within 3 points but that was the last time Fairfield would score. Fairfield missed 4 straight free throws in the final three minutes allowing the Jaspers finish them off. The Jaspers were 17 of 22 from the line while Fairfield shot an abysmal 11 of 21. Nelson had 19 points on the evening while Marcus Gilbert lead the Stags with 23.

The Jaspers are now 1-2 in MAAC Play (4-8 overall) appear to be picking up some momentum winning three of their last four after losing the prior five straight. The Stags fall to 1-2 in conference play (6-6 overall).

Canisius Golden Griffins 92- Marist Red Foxes 83

Five players on Canisius scored in double figures lead by an outstanding performance by sophomore guard, Kassius Robertson who scored 27 points in the fourth straight victory for the Griffs. Chris Atkinson (15), Malcom McMillan (14), Phil Valenti (12) and Jermaine Crumpton (12) also recorded double figure scoring nights. The Griffs would stretch a one point halftime lead to a 21 point margin in the second half before Marist's Khallid Hart went off. Hart, who scored his 1000th career point this evening, would score 13 straight points for the foxes who would pull to within 76-70. The Red Foxes would get to within 5 points in the final two minutes but McMillan would ice it for the Griffs notching 4 points at the FT line in the final 30 seconds. Hart ended with 26 points for the Red foxes while Kristinn Palsson had a career-high 18 points on three 3-pointers.

The Griffs now sit at 2-1 in the MAAC (7-6 overall) while the Red Foxes fall to 1-2 in the MAAC (4-8 overall).

Niagara Purple Eagles 63- Siena Saints 75

Siena trailed the Purple Eagles at the half 34-30 but used strong second half performances from Javion Ogunyemi, Brett Bisping and Lavon Long to pull away from Niagara. Ogunyemi scored two of his game high 23 points with 4:30 left to put the Saints up 9-points. Cameron Fowler would pull Niagara back to within 6 points with a deep 3-pointer with under three minutes to go, but that is as close as it would get. Bisping dropped 20 points for the saints while Long contributed 12 while dishing 6 assists. Emile Blackman had a team-high 19 points for Niagara. Marvin Prochet (16) and Matt Scott (14) also scored in double figures for the Purple Eagles.

The Saints improve to 2-1 in the MAAC (9-5 overall). Niagara fall to 1-2 in the MAAC (3-11 overall).

Upcoming Games:

Monday, Jan. 4
Siena at Manhattan, 7 p.m.

Dartmouth at Fairfield, 7 p.m.

Canisius at Monmouth, 7 p.m.

Niagara at Iona, 7 p.m.

St. Peter's at Marist, 7 p.m.

Rider at Quinnipiac, 7 p.m.