Courtesy of ICGaels.com
NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The Iona College men’s basketball team opened the Islands of the Bahamas Showcase with an 80-72 victory against Weber State this evening at the Kendal Isaacs National Gymnasium. With the victory, the Gaels (1-2) move on in the winner’s bracket to face Northern Kentucky at 8 pm on Saturday.
The Maroon & Gold placed five players in double-figures led by 20 points and 13 rebounds from TK Edogi, who also added two steals and one block in 34 minutes of action. Iona notched 13 steals in the victory, the most in a game since achieving the same number against Manhattan last season on February 24. McGill led the effort with four steals to go along with eight points and six assists. Zach Lewis added 13 points, six assists and two steals while Deyshonee Much put forth 12 points, four assists and two steals. E.J. Crawford and Schadrac Casimir came off the bench to chip in 12 and 11 points respectively.
Jerrick Harding and Ryan Richardson combined for 58 of the Wildcats’ (2-1) 72 points in the contest with Harding recording a game-high 31 points. Michal Kozak contributed 10 rebounds in the effort while Harding added five rebounds and four assists to his scoring total. Weber St. shot 8-of-18 from beyond the arc for the contest.
The first run for Iona came following a 7-7 tie early in the first half with a 7-0 run to double the score following a McGill layup less than five minutes into the contest. Despite Weber State cutting into the lead on several occasions, Iona maintained the advantage for the entire first half that included a margin as large as 13 points with 5:02 remaining until halftime as Edogi connected on a dunk off a Much pass. Roland Griffin converted a layup with 53 seconds left in the opening half to create the halftime lead of 40-30.
The Gaels outscored the Wildcats 32-16 in the paint during the opening 20 minutes while Griffin led the Maroon & Gold to a slight 18-17 rebounding advantage with seven boards. Iona also forced 11 Weber St. turnovers with seven steals that turned into 16 points. Lewis scored all 13 of his points in the first period, shooting 6-of-8 from the field.
Weber St. came out of the locker room on a 15-3 run to take a 45-43 lead less than five minutes into the second half after a 3-pointer from Richardson. Casimir quickly gave the Gaels the lead back for good on the next possession with his own trey. The Maroon & Gold pushed the advantage to 17 points at 67-50 following an 18-2 run stretched over five minutes. The advantage grew to as large as 19 points for the Gaels as Much put in a layup with 7:29 remaining, creating a 71-52 score. The Wildcats were able to cut the deficit to single digits, however, with just nine seconds remaining to seal the final score of 80-72.
Edogi led the Gaels in the second half with 12 points and eight rebounds while Richardson led the Wildcats in the final stages with 20 points in the period. Lewis turned his scoring into distributing in the second half with five assists while Casimir scored all nine of his points in the frame from beyond the arc.
Iona returns to Isaacs Gymnasium on Saturday to face Northern Kentucky at 8 pm. Northern Kentucky defeated James Madison 87-78 in the game prior to the Gaels’ victory to move on in the winner’s bracket. Weber State and James Madison will face in the consolation bracket at 2 pm. Vermont and Coastal Carolina are scheduled for a 5 pm tip off in the other winner’s bracket contest.