BRONX, NY – The Iona College women’s basketball team began its 2014-15 season with a runaway 72-51 victory over Fordham University Friday morning at the Rose Hill Gym. Senior guard Damika Martinez led the Gaels with 27 points, connecting on 11 field goal attempts, including three from behind the arc. Martinez also finished with seven rebounds, two assists and four steals.
With her 1893 career points, Martinez sits just two away from becoming the all-time leading scorer in program history. Martinez’s 27 points on Friday also pushed into ninth all-time on the MAAC scoring ledger.
Junior forward Joy Adams collected the 44th double-double of her caeer, scoring 23 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. Adams also picked up a game high five steals in the win.
In her Iona debut, sophomore guard Marina Lizarazu scored 11 points and dished out a game high seven assists. Inserted into the starting lineup for the first time in her career, sophomore Aurellia Cammock responded with six points, five rebounds and three steals, all coming in the second half.
The Gaels scored their first points of the contest with 18:43 on the clock, on a three by Adams, and never looked back. Iona took its first double-digit lead, 13-2, with 15:10 left in the frame on a three by Martinez.
Another Martinez trifecta stretched the cushion to 15, 24-9, with 12:32 remaining before a Martinez layup, with 9:13 on the clock, gave the Maroon & Gold its biggest lead of the first half, 31-11. Fordham cut the deficit to 16 with 1:03 left in the period before Martinez’s jumper in the paint with 13 ticks remaining gave the Gaels a 42-24 halftime advantage.
Out of the break, Lizarazu opened the second half with a three-pointer to stretch the lead to 21, 45-24. The Rams countered with a 13-4 run, cutting the Iona lead to 12, 49-37, on a jumper by Asnate Fomina with 13:40 left in the contest.
Following an Iona timeout, the Gaels responded with 10 straight points, including six from Cammock, to take a 59-37 advantage with 9:07 remaining. The Maroon & Gold then extended its lead to a game high 26 points, 66-40, on a free throw by Adams with 6:09 left.
The loss marked just the fifth time Fordham has been defeated on its home court in the last three seasons. Iona forced the reigning Atlantic-10 champions into 19 turnovers, and turned them into 26 points. The Gaels played nine players in the contest, with six recording at least one steal. Iona also held a 16-0 advantage in fast break points.
The Gaels are back in action Sunday, when they host Sacred Heart at 2:00 pm.