NEW ROCHELLE, NY — Senior David Laury scored 27 points, freshman Schadrac Casimir posted 22, and junior Kelvin Amayo added 17 to lead the Iona College men’s basketball team to an 87-83 victory over Siena in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference action at the Hynes Center. Playing without two of its top three scorers, the Gaels held on to maintain a two-game lead in the loss column in the MAAC standing and improved to a perfect 10-0 this season in New Rochelle.
Siena scored the first nine points of the contest, but the advantage was quickly vanquished as Iona scored 10 of the next 12 points to cut the deficit to one point just under four and a half minutes into the contest. Down three at 12:08, Iona scored nine straight points in a 1:29 span to take a 31-25 advantage. The Gaels led by as many as 12 points after four straight free throws by Casimir and Amayo with 4:43 to play in the first frame. Siena cut the deficit to four at the break with a 7-2 to end the half.
Iona’s largest advantage of the second half was 13 points on two occasions. With 9:49 remaining, Amayo drained two more free throws to put the margin at 69-56. Down 12 with 8:53 to play, Siena got within three points just three minutes later with its 11-2 run. The Gaels again went up by 10 points with 4:14 remaining on an Amayo layup. Marquis Wright’s layup with 1:55 remaining made the score 82-79 with 1:55 remaining. It was as close as the Saints would get in the Gaels four point win.
Laury’s 27 points came on an 8-for-16 shooting performance from the field with three three-point field goals and an 8-for-11 effort from the charity stripe. The MAAC’s leading scorer added six rebounds and three assists without a turnover while playing all 40 minutes of the contest. Casimir extended his free throw shooting streak to 28 straight with a 12-of-12 mark from the line while also posting four rebounds and three assists in an iron man 40-minute effort. Amayo did most of his damage from the free throw line as well, converting all nine free throw attempts, a remarkable performance from the junior who came into the contest averaging just over 50.0% from the charity stripe. Amayo had a team-high eight rebounds in 28 minutes. Junior Ibn Muhammad posted nine points, three rebounds and a team-best four assists while sophomore Ryden Hines and six points and seven rebounds and rookie Vangelis Bebis had six points to round out the Gaels scoring totals.
Junior Isaiah Williams missed his sixth straight contest with a foot injury and junior A.J. English did not play due to his involvement in the initiation of an unsportsmanlike incident following the Gaels contest vs. Saint Peter’s last Saturday.
Siena had four double-digit scorers led by Wright’s 19 points and six assists. Sophomore Lavon Long had 17 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals. Senior Rob Poole posted 13 points and seven rebounds, while rookie Jimmy Page added 10 points and nine boards in the loss.
The Gaels outshot the Saints 42.1% – 41.7% but were outrebounded 44-37 and had a 17-15 assist deficit.
Iona is back in action Sunday at the Hynes Center against Marist, who like the Gaels come into the contest winners of four straight in MAAC play.