Niagara (5-5, 4-4) vs. Manhattan (3-4, 2-4)
Draddy Gymnasium, Riverdale, New York; Friday, 4 p.m. EST
BOTTOM LINE: Manhattan looks for its sixth straight win in the head-to-head series over Niagara. In its last five wins against the Purple Eagles, Manhattan has won by an average of 9 points. Niagara’s last win in the series came on Jan. 24, 2018, a 72-63 victory.
BIG MEN ON CAMPUS: Manhattan’s Anthony Nelson has averaged 16.3 points while Elijah Buchanan has put up 11 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.3 steals. For the Purple Eagles, Marcus Hammond has averaged 15.1 points and 6.3 rebounds while Kobi Nwandu has put up 12.9 points.
RAMP IT UP A NOTCH: The Purple Eagles have scored 66.9 points per game and allowed 62.6 points per game across eight conference games. Those are both nice improvements over the 57.5 points scored and 70 points given up per game to non-conference opponents.
KEY FACILITATOR: Hammond has had his hand in 43 percent of all Niagara field goals over the last three games. The junior guard has 16 field goals and 15 assists in those games.
PASSING FOR POINTS: The Jaspers have recently used assists to create baskets more often than the Purple Eagles. Manhattan has an assist on 32 of 64 field goals (50 percent) across its past three games while Niagara has assists on 35 of 72 field goals (48.6 percent) during its past three games.
BALL SECURITY: The diligent Niagara offense has turned the ball over on 14.8 percent of its possessions, the 14th-best mark in Division I. 20.9 percent of all Manhattan possessions have resulted in a turnover (the Jaspers are ranked 250th, nationally).
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