Cubbage, Marist visit Niagara

Marist (4-14, 3-6) vs. Niagara (6-13, 4-4)

Gallagher Center, Niagara, New York; Friday, 7 p.m. EST

BOTTOM LINE: Two guards will be on display as Michael Cubbage and Marist will face Marcus Hammond and Niagara. The senior Cubbage is averaging 9.6 points over the last five games. Hammond, a sophomore, has scored 20 percent of the team’s points this season and is averaging 15.4 over his last five games.

LEADING THE WAY: Niagara’s Hammond has averaged 13.3 points while James Towns has put up 11.7 points. For the Red Foxes, Cubbage has averaged 9.8 points and 5.7 rebounds while Matt Herasme has put up 8.6 points and 4.9 rebounds.

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DEFENSIVE IMPROVEMENTS: The Purple Eagles have given up just 68.5 points per game across eight conference games, an improvement from the 79.5 per game they allowed to non-conference opponents.MIGHTY MICHAEL: Cubbage has connected on 18.4 percent of the 38 3-pointers he’s attempted and has made 2 of 5 over the last three games. He’s also converted 57.1 percent of his free throws this season.

WINLESS WHEN: Niagara is 0-8 this year when it scores 64 points or fewer and 6-5 when it scores at least 65.

ACCOUNTING FOR ASSISTS: The Purple Eagles have recently created baskets via assists more often than the Red Foxes. Niagara has an assist on 32 of 70 field goals (45.7 percent) across its previous three games while Marist has assists on 30 of 66 field goals (45.5 percent) during its past three games.

CAREFUL PURPLE EAGLES: The diligent Niagara offense has turned the ball over on just 15.9 percent of its possessions, the 15th-lowest mark in all of Division I. 20.7 percent of all Marist possessions have resulted in a turnover.

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