NEW ROCHELLE, NY — Despite a furious late-game comeback, Iona dropped its first Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference game of the season Friday evening. The Marist Red Foxes survived a buzzer-beater layup attempt from junior Marina Lizarazu to upend the Gaels, 62-61.
After a layup by freshman Alexis Lewis with 2:03 to-go, Iona trailed Marist 62-60. Senior Joy Adams went to the free throw line with 52 seconds to go with a chance to tie, but made just one-of-two. The Gaels missed eight of their last 10 shots, including three in the final 30 seconds; senior Aaliyah Robinson had an open look from the left corner, but was unable to knock it down with 22 seconds to go.
The opening quarter belonged to the Maroon & Gold; Adams scored 16 points in the opening frame on six-of-nine shooting, and Iona carried a 23-17 edge after the opening 10 minutes.
Lizarazu picked up two early fouls in the first half, not allowing her to play the entire second quarter. Despite not having their point guard on the floor, the Gaels managed to expand upon their lead slightly, taking a 44 to 35 lead at halftime.
Sophomore Philecia Gilmore and Adams had double-figures at the break as Iona assisted on 10 of their first 19 field goals.
The Maroon & Gold’s smooth offensive ball-movement hit a major road bump in the third quarter. Marist outscored Iona 20-5 in the third, hitting on five of their 11 shots, while the Gaels struck on just two of their 12. The Red Foxes forced 10 turnovers in the quarter, leading to 13 points for the home squad.
Trailing by as many as nine in the fourth quarter, the Gaels were able to cut into the deficit by applying a heavy press and scoring eight points of seven Marist turnovers in the final frame.
The game came down to the final possession; Lizarazu got an inbound pass with roughly eight second to go, and dribbled around the perimeter until she drove the left baseline. She had to maneuver her way around sixth-year senior Tori Jarosz; the MAAC leading shot-blocker forced Lizarazu to a left-handed reverse layup attempt that fell just short of dropping in.
Jarosz led all scorers with 24 points to go along with 13 rebounds and two blocks. Kendall Baap came off the bench and supplied 10 points for the Red Foxes.
The leader for Iona was Adams; she finished the game with 21 points and 10 rebounds for her eleventh double-double of the season. Gilmore had 13 points of six-for-nine shooting, but she did turn the ball over eight times. Robinson scored eight points and had four steals.
With the loss, Iona’s season-best five-game winning streak comes to an end; the Gaels now stand 10-8 on the season, and 6-1 in the MAAC.
The Maroon & Gold have a shot turnaround. This upcoming Monday it’s a mid-afternoon showdown with the rival Manhattan Jaspers.