On Sunday, Monmouth and Iona punched their respective tickets to the MACC championship game on Monday evening in Albany. Sunday’s doubleheader set up a much anticipated meeting among two teams that each won on the other’s home court in regular season.
Monmouth 76, Fairfield 63
In a 73-possession game, Monmouth imposed a defensive will in holding the Stags to 88 offensive efficiency. Fairfield coughed the ball up at a 21 percent turnover rate. It wasn’t just forcing errors, as King Rice’s club held Fairfield to a 42 percent eFG percentage. Monmouth did use some of those forced turnovers to generate offense with a 21-9 edge in points off turnovers.
Iona 81, Siena 70
On the Saints’ home floor it was the offense of Iona that came on in full throttle. In a 70-possession meeting the Gaels owned a 119-99 offensive efficiency edge. Gaels shot a 61 percent eFG percentage while limiting Siena to 48 percent. Both teams had a better than average turnover rate of 18 percent. All things being equal, and for the most part they were, it came down to the Gaels hitting shots and preventing Siena from doing the same.
A. J. English, Iona – 29 points
Isaiah Williams, Iona – 23
Nico Clareth, Siena – 18
Micah Seaborn, Monmouth – 17
Brett Bisping, Siena – 16
Matija Milin, Fairfield – 16
EF leaders by team: Monmouth – Justin Robinson – 26
Fairfield- Matija Milin – 29
Iona- A. J. English – 41
Siena- Clareth and Bisping – 25
Special note regarding English: The Iona backcourt star logged 38 minutes, giving him a superlative EF per minute of 108.