W2W4: Rutgers vs. Iona

December, 8, 2012
12/08/12
2:52
PM ET
Here are three things to watch for when Rutgers (4-2) faces Iona (3-3, 1-1 MAAC) on Saturday at Madison Square Garden.

Tipoff is at approximately 9:30 p.m., and you can watch the game locally on MSG+.

HOLIDAY CHEER: This is the second game of the annual MSG Holiday Festival, following St. John's versus Fordham. The Red Storm should make easy work of the Rams, but this game will be very competitive -- well worth sticking around the Garden for, or tuning in on TV. You'll see excellent guard play, in particular (see below).

THE SCARLET KNIGHTS: Rutgers, picked to finish 11th in the Big East, is coming off an 80-67 loss at Mississippi last Saturday -- the Scarlet Knights led by four at halftime, but folded down the stretch. They'd won four straight before that, following an opening night upset at the hands of St. Peter's.

A pair of sophomores are leading the way for Rutgers -- 6-foot-2 Eli Carter (16.7 ppg) and 5-foot-9 Myles Mack (14.8 ppg). They're the only two players averaging in double figures.

The Scarlet Knights are shooting the ball very well, ranked 54th in Division I in field goal percentage (46.7). They're also No. 49 in rebound margin. But they are No. 301 in turnover margin.

THE GAELS: Iona, picked to finish third in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, has alternated wins and losses over its first six games. The Gaels lost at St. Peter's, 64-62, three days ago.

Coach Tim Cluess has a pair of 20-point scorers, in 6-foot senior Lamont "Momo" Jones (21.0 ppg) and 6-foot-4 junior Sean Armand (20.3 ppg). Armand is shooting a remarkable 53.7 percent from beyond the arc, burying 22 of his 41 3-point attempts.

The Gaels like to go up and down -- they're ranked 25th in the nation in scoring, at 79.5 points per game. They're also No. 14 in free throw percentage, at 77.1 percent. But they're No. 321 in scoring defense and No. 308 in field goal percentage defense.
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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