NEW ROCHELLE, NY — No. 2 seeded Iona College men’s basketball team downed No. 7 Canisius 73-55 in quarterfinal round action at the 2016 MAAC Championship at the Times Union Center. Senior A.J. English had a 20-point, 10-assist double-double and flirted with a triple-double by adding seven boards in the win. The 55 points surrendered in the contest was the second-lowest of the season for the Maroon & Gold.
English was supported by 18 points from senior Isaiah Williams and a career-high 14 from rookie Rickey McGill of the bench in the win. Williams also posted seven boards while McGill posted five. Freshman Jahaad Proctor recorded nine second half points for the Gaels.
Canisius junior Phil Valenti led his team with 13 points and seven rebounds. Sophomore Kassius Robertson was held to 11 points after a 24-point outburst on Sunday vs. the Gaels in the regular season finale. Senior Kevin Bleeker had 10 points in the loss.
Iona opened a double-digit advantage midway through the second half on graduate Aaron Rountree’s alley up layup on a feed from senior Ibn Muhammad at 8:59. After two Bleeker free throws made it 33-24 with 5:08 left, an English layup sparked a 9-0 run and the Gaels led by 18 just three minutes later. The Maroon & Gold led by as many as 24 points in the second half.
Iona out shot (46.6% – 42.0%), out rebounded (39-31) and had a 19-10 assist advantage over Canisius. The Gaels committed just seven turnovers in the win.
The Gaels improved to 20-10 on the season, extending its program record stretch to seven straight seasons with 20 or more wins. Iona also advances to the MAAC’s final four for the sixth straight year.
Iona awaits its semifinal opponent either No. 3 Siena vs. No. 6 Manhattan who battle Saturday at 7:00 pm in their quarterfinal round matchup. Iona’s semifinal contest takes place at 7:00 pm Sunday on ESPN3.