NEW ROCHELLE, NY — Northern Kentucky shot 55.4 percent (31-for-56) from the field on the way to an 85-72 victory against the Iona College men’s basketball team during a winner’s bracket contest at The Islands of Bahamas Showcase this evening at the Kendal Isaacs Gymnasium.
The Norse (4-0) finished with 31 made field goals on the evening led by 20 points on 9-of-11 shooting from Carson Williams, who also added six rebounds and three assists. Jalen Tate added a 5-of-8 performance towards 14 points and three assists while Drew McDonald posted 15 points and four assists.
The Maroon & Gold (1-3) placed four players in double-figures led by 19 points from Zach Lewis. Deyshonee Much connected on five 3-point field goals for all of his 15 points while Rickey McGill added 13 points and four rebounds. E.J. Crawford came off the bench to recorded 10 points and six rebounds in the effort.
Despite three early ties, Iona was never able to gain a lead in the opening 20 minutes as a 10-2 run by Northern Kentucky built a 32-21 advantage with 6:19 until the halftime break on a Williams jumper in the paint. The Norse created three separate 12-point margins in the final three minutes that included the halftime score of 45-33 following a layup from Jordan Garnett with 22 seconds remaining.
Northern Kentucky created a 22-10 points in the paint advantage in the first period as Williams scored 13 of his points in the half. Iona was held to 42.3 percent (11-for-26) shooting while the Norse compiled a 56.3 shooting percentage (18-for-32). Much led the Gaels in scoring with nine points while TK Edogi added five rebounds.
After going down 13 points to open the second half, the Maroon & Gold strung together a run that resulted in a two-point game just seven minutes into the period as Lewis knocked a 3-pointer to bring the game to 54-52. However, the comeback effort was never able to get closer than two points as Northern Kentucky responded to every spurt by the Gaels. In the final four minutes, the Norse closed out the victory with a 15-6 run to secure an 85-72 win to move on to the championship game against Vermont.
Iona moves on to the third place game on Sunday with a matchup against Coastal Carolina. The contest is scheduled for a 5 pm start from the Isaacs Gymnasium.