Momo Jones

Late Night Snacks: Mid-major matchups dominate Friday night

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Game of the Day: Florida Gulf Coast 96, Stetson 65

FGCU made a statement on Friday night, beating Stetson by 31 points and pulling within a half game of the lead in the Atlantic Sun. The Eagles forced 19 Stetson turnovers, which helped all five starters reach double figures. Remember, this is a Florida Gulf Coast team that beat now-surging Miami early in the season.

Important Outcomes 

1. Iona 90, St. Peter’s 71

The high-scoring Iona attack struck again on Friday night. Lamont “Momo” Jones led the way with 24 points, but all five starters scored in double figures in this dominating offensive performance.

2. Loyola (Md.) 51, Manhattan 41

The win keeps the defensive-minded Greyhounds in stride with Iona and right in the race with Niagara at the top of the MAAC standings. Loyola gets the win while only shooting 39 percent from the floor.

3. Niagara 78, Siena 69

Keeping with the MAAC theme, Niagara stays at the top of the league standings with a win over Siena. Juan’ya Green tallied a double-double of 19 points and 11 assists. Three players scored in double figures for Niagara.

Starred

1. Evan Hymes, Siena (30 points, 6 assists)

Despite the loss, Hymes had a big outing. Not only did he shoot 7-of-11 from the field, but he got to the free throw line and converted, as well. His 12-of-13 mark from the line rounded out his efficient 30-point night.

2. Lamont Jones, Iona (24 points, 4 assists)

The Arizona transfer was once again at the center of the high-powered Iona scoring attack. His 24 points paced the Gaels in a win over St. Peter’s.

3. Jordan Heath, Canisius (17 points, 13 rebounds) 

Canisius first jumped onto the national radar when it beat Temple earlier in the year. Tonight, in a win over Rider, Heath’s double-double led the way.

Struggled 

1. Nurideen Lindsey, Rider (4 points, fouled out)

Returning from a concussion, Lindsey was unable to find his stride Friday. He is strongest when he attacks the basket, but had just four points in a loss to Canisius.

2. Stetson handling the ball (19 turnovers)

In the night’s most one-sided game, Stetson fell to Florida Gulf Coast, 96-65. Part of the reason was Stetson’s inability to hold onto the basketball, turning it over 19 times.

3. Austin Arians, Milwaukee (0 points, 0-of-6 FG)

The struggling Panthers lost by 20 points to Green Bay and Arians struggled off the bench. He was 0-of-6 from the floor Friday.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

Nigel Hayes’ comment on basketball brands hits on greater point

Wisconsin's Nigel Hayes (10) drives on Ohio State's Jae'Sean Tate (1) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016, in Madison, Wis. Hayes had a team-high 21 points in Wisconsin's 79-68 win. (AP Photo/Andy Manis)
AP Photo/Andy Manis
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Much is made about the ball when it comes to how the sport of basketball is played and rightfully so, as the ball is the most important piece of equipment. Different brands have different characteristics, and with college basketball programs being able to pick the ball they use for home games there are adjustments to be made during the season.

Wisconsin will play at No. 2 Maryland Saturday, meaning that in the days leading up to the game the Badgers needed to get used to the Under Armour basketball. The brand became a conversation point in the aftermath of Maryland’s win over No. 4 Iowa last month, with the Hawkeyes (while not blaming the ball for their loss) made note of the differences between the Under Armour ball and the Nike ball they use for their home games.

Thursday Wisconsin forward Nigel Hayes offered up his observations on the basketball while also pointing out (albeit sarcastically) the goal of intercollegiate athletics.

“It’s definitely different,” Hayes said. “Personally, we don’t like it too much. I don’t like the Under Armour ball whatsoever. But that’s the way this amateur sports league is set up. We’re supposed to be having fun, but all the money is in these basketballs that colleges play with. But it’s an amateur sport, we’re just here for fun. It’s not really that serious. So I guess any ball should be OK.

“Maybe we should have a universal ball like the NBA. You don’t go to the Clippers’ stadium and play with a Nike and then go to Golden State and play with a Rawlings. But in this amateur sport of college, where money isn’t the goal — it’s the student education and experience that you get — we play with a million different basketballs.”

Hayes makes a good point here, and in regards to the NBA all hell would break loose under similar circumstances (remember the leather vs. microfiber composite controversy in 2006?). If these games are solely about fun and the college experience, wouldn’t having one ball used by all schools better fit that mission? This isn’t the biggest of deals when it comes to “amateur” athletics, as different basketball brands have been used for years.

But Hayes was able to take this situation and work it into the discussion of the goals of intercollegiate athletics. Is it about the experience? Or does the ability to profit, be it through a minor move such as using a particular ball or the more impactful step of moving from one conference to another, take precedence? Given the shifts that have occurred in college sports in recent years, it’s quite apparent that the search for additional revenue streams has won out.

Hayes did note that neither he nor his teammates would make excuses, saying that the team would simple “have to get used to” the unfamiliar basketball according to the Wisconsin State Journal. In the end, this was a good use of sarcasm by Hayes to make a greater point about the collegiate athletics machine he and his teammates are but minor parts of.

Marquette fan sends Providence money for missed free throw

Providence's Kris Dunn reacts to his shot during the first half of an NCAA basketball game against Villanova, Sunday, Jan. 24, 2016, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)
AP Photo/Chris Szagola
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It goes without saying that sports can inspire some interesting promises, from players and coaches guaranteeing victory to fans making statements that hinge on the outcome of a particular game or play (see: tattoos celebrating a team’s triumphs before they’ve even won the game in question). For one Marquette fan, the need for Providence’s Kris Dunn to miss a free throw during Wednesday night’s game (which Marquette won in overtime) inspired him to make a promise that he intended to keep.

Jamey Schilling took the approach of yelling that he’d pay Dunn $10 if he missed the free throw. Sure enough Dunn missed the shot, and Schilling made good on his promise. But with players themselves unable to receive such funds due to NCAA rules, Schilling sent the check to the Providence athletic department.

Schilling’s gesture did not go unnoticed by Marquette either, as the school sent him a gift card to use in the Marquette Spirit Shop.

H/T For The Win