A pair of teams from the MAAC take to the college hardwood up in Western New York. The Monmouth Hawks make the trip west as they travel to face the Canisius Golden Griffins Friday night. Monmouth comes in off an 81-69 home loss to Saint Peter’s in their previous contest Sunday afternoon. Canisius was edged 69-66 on the road by Niagara in their previous game Wednesday night. The Hawks own a 9-6 edge in the all-time series between the teams and won the last two matchups, including an 84-65 home win in the first meeting this season on January 20.
Monmouth Hawks Try to Get Back in Win ColumnMonmouth has had an up and down campaign for coach King Rice and they hope to get back in the win column this season. The Hawks enter this game 13-10 overall and 7-5 in the MAAC this season. Monmouth won their opener and then lost four straight games, including a 112-57 dismantling at the hands of Kansas on the road. The Hawks bounced back with 10 wins in their next 13 games with a pair of four-game win streaks in that stretch. Their best victories came at home over Radford and at Princeton. Monmouth hit the slide lately, dropping three of their last four, including a three-point road loss to Saint Peter’s and a two-point road defeat to Fairfield in that stretch.
The Hawks are a below average offensive unit as they are ranked 217th in scoring offense with 70 points per game. Monmouth is collecting 34 boards a game and 239th in assists with 12.9 per night. The Hawks are below average on the defensive end of the floor as they allow 70.9 points a game, leaving them 219th in the nation in scoring defense. Deion Hammond leads the team with 16.6 points per contest this season. Ray Salnave (14.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3.2 assists) is the only other player averaging in double figures. George Papas, Mustapha Traore, Marcus McClary, Samuel Chaput, Melik Martin and Louie Pillari each average at least 3.9 points a night this season. Monmouth shoots 40.3 percent from the floor as a team on the year. The Hawks average 7.4 three pointers per night while shooting 34.6 percent from beyond the arc. Monmouth is good at the charity stripe as the team hits 73.9 percent of their attempts this season.
On the season, KenPom shows us that Monmouth is sputtering offensively while being slightly above average on the defensive end of the floor. The Hawks are 263rd in offensive efficiency and 153rd in defensive efficiency this season. Monmouth is 301st in effective field goal percentage (46.5 percent), 342nd in two-point field goal percentage defense (43.5 percent) and 268th in offensive rebounding percentage (25.2 percent) this season. While Monmouth is 38th in turnover percentage (22.1 percent) defensively and 47th in steal percentage (11.1 percent) this season, they are foul prone. The Hawks are 328th in free throw attempts per field goal attempt allowed (.417) this season. Monmouth plays at a fast pace as they are 27th in tempo with 72.6 possessions per game.
Canisius Golden Griffins Try to Bounce BackCanisius has had a rough season this year as their key personnel from last year left the program, creating a void that has proven tough to fill. The Golden Griffins come into this game 9-15 overall and 4-9 in the MAAC on the season. Canisius started the year with two straight losses before bouncing back with four straight wins. The Golden Griffins then dropped eight of their next nine to fall to 5-10 on the year before winning three straight games. Since that point, Canisius comes in losers of five of their previous six games. Close games have been an issue as the Golden Griffins have six losses by four points or less this season.
The Golden Griffins come into this game 245th in the nation in scoring offense with 69.1 points per game on the year. Canisius collects 33.3 rebounds per game and hands out an average of 13.9 assists a night. The Golden Griffins are below average on the defensive end of the floor as they stand 223rd in that category by allowing 70.9 points per game. Majesty Brandon is second on Canisius with 13 points plus 4.1 boards a night. Malik Johnson (13.1 points, 6.1 rebounds, 5.9 assists, 2.1 steals) and Scott Hitchon (9.5 points) are each solid options on the offensive end of the floor. Jalanni White, Jacco Fritz, Armon Harried and Jordan Henderson each put up at least 6.9 points a night for the team. The Golden Griffins shoot 44.4 percent from the field as a team on the year. Canisius hits an average of 5.9 three-pointers a night while shooting 29.6 percent from beyond the arc. The Golden Griffins are a mediocre team at the charity stripe as they convert only 69.4 percent of their attempts on the year.
The numbers from KenPom shows that Canisius has had issues on both ends of the floor. On the season, Canisius comes in 257th in offensive efficiency and 212th in defensive efficiency this year. The Golden Griffins are 307th in turnover percentage (21.5 percent) and 325th in three-point shooting this season. Defensively, while Canisius is 33rd in turnover percentage (22.3 percent), they are 245th in effective field goal percentage defense (51.1 percent), 301st in offensive rebounding percentage allowed (31.2 percent) and 255th in free throw attempts (.357) per field goal attempt this year. Canisius plays at a fast pace this season as the team is 86th in tempo with 70.1 possessions a night.
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