Feb. 23—Another positive COVID-19 test forced the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference to again shuffle its basketball schedules Monday.
Niagara's final regular season series against Canisius was moved up a week, from March 4-5 to this Friday and Saturday at the Gallagher Center. Start times have not yet been announced, though the NU women are scheduled to host Quinnipiac at 4 p.m. both days.
The move followed Iona announcing its fourth COVID pause of the season. The Gaels have played only nine conference games this season, and the new pause will sideline them until the MAAC tournament, which is scheduled for March 8-13 in Atlantic City, N.J.
Iona (8-5, 6-3 MAAC) swept a pair of games against Monmouth over the weekend, and the Hawks also elected to embark on a "quarantine period" Monday "out of an abundance of caution," per a statement released on Twitter. Monmouth currently sits first in the MAAC at 10-6.
Moving the Battle of the Bridge up a week will allow Canisius (6-4, 6-4) to end its regular season against Siena (9-3, 9-3) on March 4-5. The Golden Griffins were scheduled to play Manhattan (6-9, 5-9) this weekend, but the Jaspers will take on Siena instead. The Saints had been scheduled to play Iona this week.
Niagara (8-10, 7-9) currently sits fifth in the conference, which is using overall conference wins as the first tiebreaker in the standings this season as opposed to win percentage due to the varied number of games played by each team during the pandemic. A sweep of Canisius would give the Purple Eagles a shot at a top-four seed and a first-round bye in the conference tourney.
Iona is the lone team Niagara has not faced this season, and with the Gaels sidelined, NU is looking at a week off before heading to New Jersey.