W2W4: Iona vs. Fairfield

February, 24, 2012
2/24/12
1:08
PM ET
Here are three things to watch for when Iona (22-6, 13-3 MAAC) takes on Fairfield (17-11, 12-4 MAAC) on Friday night at the Hynes Center in New Rochelle, N.Y.

Tip-off is at 9 p.m., and you can watch the game on ESPNU, or via ESPN3.

BIG STAKES: Iona can clinch a share of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference regular season championship with a win Friday night. The Gaels have a one-game lead over both Fairfield and Loyola (MD).

All three teams wrap up the regular season with a game on Sunday. The MAAC tournament, which will be held this year in Springfield, Mass., begins on March 2.

HIGH OCTANE: Iona now leads the nation in scoring (83.1 ppg) and assists per game (19.4), and is third in field goal percentage (49.8) -- when the Gaels are on their game, they are tough to beat.

Point guard Scott Machado continues to lead the nation in assists per game (10.1), and is also averaging 13.3 points per game. Forward Mike Glover is averaging 18.5 points and 9.3 rebounds per game, and guard Lamont "Momo" Jones contributes 16.2 points per game.

ON THE OTHER HAND: Fairfield lost its BracketBuster game at Milwaukee last weekend, 67-63, but has won seven straight conference games under first-year coach Sydney Johnson. The Stags' last MAAC loss? To Iona, 71-62 on Jan. 27.

Fairfield is led by 6-foot-5 senior swingman Rakim Sanders, who averages 16.5 points and 8.2 rebounds per game. Derek Needham, a 5-foot-11 junior guard, averages 12 points and 3.5 assists.

The Stags are very solid defensively -- 36th in Division I in scoring defense (60.9 ppg) and 34th in steals per game (8.3). But they turn the ball over a lot -- 14.8 times per game, ranking them 254th. And they shoot just 65.6 percent from the foul line, which ranks them 276th.
Kieran Darcy is an ESPNNewYork.com staff writer. He joined ESPN in August 2000 after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, where he played four years of JV basketball.
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