NEW ROCHELLE, NY — The Iona College men’s basketball team earned its ninth straight win overall and fifth straight on the road including a perfect 4-0 mark on its season-long trip away from home with a 72-68 win at Marist in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference play at McCann Arena. Iona’s magic number is down to one to clinch the No. 1 seed and at least a share of the MAAC regular season championship for the second straight season.
Marist used a 12-0 run in the first half to erase a seven point deficit. The home team led by as many as nine points with 6:32 to play but Iona chipped away and trailed 35-34 at halftime.
The Red Foxes’ advantage was extinguished for good when sophomore Ryden Hynes’ three pointer from the wing gave Iona a 39-37 advantage. Hines’ field goal sparked a 7-0 Iona run. Freshman Schadrac Casimir hit a trifecta with 8:06 left to give the Maroon & Gold its largest lead 61-46. Still up 15 with 6:05 left, Marist closed the gap with a 12-2 run and it was a two possession game with less a minute to play. The Red Foxes got within two points with less than three seconds remaining before two A.J. English free throws sealed the win.
Senior David Laury led the Maroon & Gold with 21 points and a career-high 18 rebounds. He shot 8-for-12 from the field and 5-of-8 from the free throw line. Sixteen of his 18 rebounds were on the defensive glass. Casimir and English added 19 points apiece. English had six rebounds, two assists and two steals and was 11-of-14 from the charity stripe. Casimir shot 5-of-10 from the field and had four more three pointers to run his total to 24 over the last five contests. Junior Kelvin Amayo had six points, 11 rebounds and a team-high three assists. Junior Ibn Muhammad had four points while Hines added three.
Marist senior Chavaughn Lewis scored a game-high 25 points and became Marist’s second-ever 2,000+ point scorer for his career. Senior T.J. Curry had 17 points, connecting on five three-pointers in the loss.
The Gaels out shot Marist 45.8%-33.8% and narrowly edged their opponent on the boards 41-40. Both teams had nine assists.
A couple of rarities happened in the game. Head coach Tim Cluess was whistled for just his second technical foul in 165 games at Iona with the first coming 160 games ago on Nov. 30, 2010 at Norfolk State. Casimir converted 44 straight free throws before missing the first of two technical free throws in the second half. He had not missed a free throw in MAAC play this season or since the turn of the calendar to 2015.