Army vs Niagara Preview

Army vs Niagara

The Army West Point men’s basketball team kicks off an eight-game road swing Monday at Niagara. The Black Knights are coming off an 88-78 victory over Columbia in their last outing on Tuesday. The win marked Army’s third straight and the Cadets have won those contests by an average of 27 points. Junior Jordan Fox is leading the Black Knights in scoring with 20.5 points per outing. That mark has him currently second in the Patriot League. Sophomore Matt Wilson and senior Luke Morrison are chipping in 13.5 and 10.5 points per contest, respectively, as well to close out the Cadets averaging double figures. Sophomore Tommy Funk is tops in the league and 14th in the nation after averaging 7.0 assists per game.

Three Black Knights are averaging double figures – Jordan Fox (20.5 ppg), Matt Wilson (13.5 ppg) and Luke Morrison (10.5 ppg).

Army leads the Patriot League in 11 categories, including scoring offense, scoring defense, scoring margin, rebounding margin and assists per game.

After starting the season with four straight road games, Niagara (2-4) opened its home schedule with a resounding 96-74 win versus Alabama A&M on Nov. 24 in the first game of the Barclays Center Classic Campus Round schedule. The 22-point win is the largest margin of victory since defeating Siena, 87-64, on Jan. 17, 2013. The Purple Eagles were edged in the championship game by UT Arlington, 95-90, in their quest for their first in-season tournament since 2008 (Philly Hoop Classic).

In a series that began in the 1970-71 season, Niagara and Army will meet for the first time since the 1989-90 season.

Matt Scott, who is THIRD in the nation in scoring, led all scorers with a career-high and MAAC-best 36 points at BYU. The 36 points are the most points by a Purple Eagle since Antoine Mason‘s 38 points against Marist on March 6, 2014.

Kahlil Dukes leads the MAAC and is 15th in the nation with 3.67 three-pointers per game. He is also a dead-eye at the charity stripe ranking second in the NCAA (.916) among active career leaders and is second in the conference in free throw percentage this season (.935).

Matt Scott (25.2) and Kahlil Dukes (22.2) are the top scoring pair in the nation. Scott and Dukes are first and second, respectively, in scoring in the MAAC through six games. The duo is accounting for 56 percent of Niagara’s scoring.

Prediction

If the Black Knights can’t slow down Scott and Dukes they could be in for a long night. Niagara has played elite teams tough to start the season–teams like Minnesota, BYU and beating St. Bonaventure who knocked off Maryland over the weekend.

Niagara 82 Army 71

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