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Pregame Prep: Surging St. Peter's visits Niagara

PREGAME PREP

St. Peter’s at Niagara

7 p.m. Friday at the Gallagher Center

Radio 550 AM.

Records: St. Peter’s (16-12, 12-6). Niagara (9-20, 6-12).

The Set-Up: St. Peter’s comes to Western New York likely needing just a weekend split to earn a No. 2 seed in the MAAC. Niagara is likely locked into the No. 9 seed. St. Peter’s has won four straight since a home loss to Canisius. Niagara has lost three straight to top-five MAAC teams since upsetting Canisius.

The Matchup: St. Peter’s plays the third slowest tempo in the nation, according to the Pomeroy analytics. St. Peters is 349th out of 351 with an average of 61.6 possessions per game. The Peacocks make you play defense for much of the shot clock. So the Purple Eagles better have those quads in shape. The Peacocks are 38th in the nation in three-point percentage (.385). Top Peacocks: 6-8, 250-pound senior Quadir Welton (11.9 ppg), and 6-1 senior guard Trevis Wyche (10.9 ppg). Niagara averages 70.1 possessions per game. The Purple Eagles are shooting well, but they need to find more ways to get to the rim off the dribble and get more points inside.

First meeting: Niagara won, 57-55, on Jan. 21. The Purple Eagles made only eight turnovers, hit 10 three-pointers and got two big scores from guard Chris Barton in the final two minutes.

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