NEW ROCHELLE, NY — Despite a career high 24 points from junior Marina Lizarazu, the Iona College women’s basketball team fell in their season opener to the Stony Brook Seawolves, 53-58. The Gaels struggled to gather offensive momentum throughout the game, shooting 38% from the floor, and only 5% from three-point land.
The Maroon & Gold showed early jitters in the first quarter, committing six turnovers and shooting 35.7% in the opening ten minutes. Freshmen Treyanna Clay, Alexis Lewis, and Iida Ahvenainen each committed two fouls in the opening frame. At the end of the maiden frame, Iona trailed Stony Brook 12-10, with every point from the competing teams coming from within the paint.
Midway through the second quarter, the Gaels tied the game at 16 on sophomore’s Ashley Murray’s second bucket of the game. From that moment on, the Seawolves went on a 13-7 run to enter halftime with a 29-23 leads. Lizarazu was the sole offensive option during the tough second quarter stretch, scoring all of Iona’s seven points in the final 6:06 before the break.
The point guards carried the offense for both Iona and Stony Brook for the first portion of the game. Lizarazu finished the first half with 13 points on six of nine shooting, and Stony Brook’s Kori Bayne-Walker had ten points on four of five shooting. Senior Joy Adams was kept quiet, scoring two points and corralling only one rebound while committing four turnovers.
At the beginning of the second half, the MAAC Preseason Player of the Year awoke from her slumber and invigorated the Maroon & Gold. Adams scored eight points in the opening three minutes of the third quarter, at one point giving the Gaels a 32-31 lead.
Stony Brook was able to quell the run, and regain control of the contest with two timely threes from Christa Scognamiglio in the closing two minutes of the quarter. A 16-9 run to close out the period pushed the Iona deficit to seven, 40-47.
The need for urgency seemed to take hold as the Gaels opened up the final quarter with a thirteen-to-two run take the lead 53-49 with 3:03 to go. Lizarazu got the Gaels energy amped up with a quick old-fashioned three point play, followed closely by momentum gathering buckets from Lewis and junior Aurellia Cammock. The Iona defense was stifling, continuously chasing the Seawolves as they committed two turnovers and missed 12 field goals during the stretch.
Stony Brook head coach Carolina McCombs called a timeout that successfully turned the tide just as it seemed to be slipping out of grasp for her team. The break in play proved painful, as Iona would not score during the final three minutes of the game. The Gaels missed five field goals, and committed three turnovers during the brutal, loss-clinching section.
Lizarazu finished with a career high 24 points, Adams dropped 13 on six of 14 shooting, and Lewis tallied eight on four of 14 shooting, failing to hit from beyond the arc on six chances. Senior Karynda DuPree had a team-high eight rebounds in limited minutes.
The women’s basketball team take on VCU on Tuesday, Nov. 17 at the Hynes Athletics Center. Tipoff is set for 7 PM.