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.


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.


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, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

POSTERIZED: Wyoming’s Josh Adams takes flight

Josh Adams
Associated Press
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Not only is Wyoming senior guard Josh Adams the lone returning starter from a team that won the Mountain West tournament last season, but he’s also one of college basketball’s best dunkers. And if anyone may have forgotten about his jumping ability, Adams put it on display Saturday during the Cowboys’ win over Montana State.

After splitting two Montana State players at the top of the key Adams attacked the basket, dunking with two hands over a late-arriving help-side defender. If you’re going to rotate over, have to do it quicker than that.

Video credit: Wyoming Athletics

Defensive progress will determine No. 4 Iowa State’s ceiling

Monte Morris
Associated Press
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Even with the coaching change from Fred Hoiberg to Steve Prohm, No. 4 Iowa State remains one of the nation’s best offensive teams. Given their skills on that end of the floor many teams find it tough to go score for score with the Cyclones, and that’s what happened to Illinois in Iowa State’s 84-73 win in the Emerald Coast Classic title game.

Georges Niang scored 23 points and grabbed eight rebounds, with Monté Morris adding 20, nine rebounds and six assists and Abdel Nader 18 points as the Cyclones moved to 5-0 on the season. The three-pointers weren’t falling in the second half, as Iowa State shot 0-f0r-12, but they shot 19-for-24 inside of the arc to pull away from a team that lost big man Mike Thorne Jr. late in the first half to a left knee injury.

Illinois’ loss of size in the paint opened things up offensively for Iowa State, and the Cyclones took advantage. But where this group grabbed control of the game was on the defensive end of the floor, and that will be the key for a team with Big 12 and national title aspirations.

Nader took on the responsibility of defending Illinois’ Malcolm Hill (20 points) in the second half and did a solid job of keeping the junior wing in check, with that serving as the spark to a 12-2 run that put the game away. There’s no denying that the Cyclones can put points on the board; most of the talent from last season is back and the productivity on that end of the floor hasn’t changed as a result. Niang’s one of the nation’s best forwards, and both Morris (who now ranks among the country’s best point guards) and Nader have taken significant strides in their respective games.

Iowa State will add Deonte Burton in December, giving them another option to call upon. Front court depth is a bit of a concern, as Iowa State can ill afford to lose a Niang or Jameel McKay, but there’s enough on the roster to compensate for that and force mismatches in other areas.

But the biggest question for this group is how effective they can become at stringing together stops. Illinois certainly had its moments in both halves Saturday night, but Iowa State also showed during the game’s decisive stretch that they can step up defensively. The key now is to do so consistently, and if that occurs the Cyclones can be a threat both within the Big 12 and nationally.