ST. THOMAS, USVI - The Iona College men's basketball team cruised to a 94-68 win over Wake Forest at the 2012 Ezybonds Global Payments USVI Paradise Jam. The Gaels (2-1) never trailed and used a ridiculous 41-5 run to open the contest. The 26-point win matched Iona's largest margin of victory over a "Super-6" school in program history.
Junior Sean Armand scored 20 of his 28 points in the first half and drained seven three point field goals in the win. The total matched the third highest single-game effort in school history. Armand holds the school record after hitting 10 trifectas vs. Siena last January. Against Wake Forest, he was 10-for-14 from the field and 7-for-10 from beyond the arc. The junior co-captain also dished out a career-best six assists and grabbed five rebounds in the all-around effort.
Fresh off his second career 40-point performance less than 24 hours earlier, senior Lamont Jones continued to shine with 21 points, six assists, four rebounds and two steals. Jones was 7-for-15 from the field and 3-of-6 from downtown.
Junior Tre Bowman posted his third straight double-digit point effort, 15 points for the second straight night. Bowman also got into the assist act with a season best three dimes.
Sophomore Tavon Sledge continued to put up crooked numbers in all stat categories. He posted nine points, five assists, and two steals. The 5-9 point guard led the Gaels with seven rebounds, the second time in three games he has accomplished the feat.
Iona's inside presence of senior Taaj Ridley and junior Shawn Jackson combined for 10 points and 11 boards in 36 minutes as the duo both battled foul trouble. Senior Curtis Dennis posted a season-best six points but his value came in statistics that do not show up in the box score as he was draw three charge calls and was credited with several defensive deflections.
Iona scored the first eight points of the contest before Wake Forest got on the board from the free throw line. With a 10-3 lead at the 16:46 mark, the Gaels scored the game’s next 20 straight points to earn a 30-3 advantage less than six minutes later. After a Demon Deacon field goal, the Maroon & Gold continued to pour it on scoring 11 more in a row to earn a 41-5 advantage with 7:50 to play in the first half. Iona led by as many as 37 points in the half and went into the break with a 54-24 advantage.
Wake Forest would never get closer than 25 points in the second half as the Gaels earned their second straight rout of an ACC opponent. Last season at the Puerto Rico Tipoff, Iona earned an 89-63 win over Maryland on Nov. 20, 2011 to set a standard against a team from the top six conferences in the country. Iona improved to 38-115 all-time against teams from the ACC, Big 10, Big 12, Big East, Pac-12 and SEC and is now 2-2 under head coach Tim Cluess.
The Demon Deacons had three performers score 10 or more points led by Travis McKie's 13 point effort. He matched a team best with seven rebounds.
It was a vintage Iona stat line from a season ago. The Gaels shot 52.2% from the field and recorded 23 assists to just 13 turnovers. Wake Forest was held to 37.9% from the field and had 10 helpers and 19 giveaways. Iona also out rebounded its opponent 35-34.
The Gaels complete action at the Paradise Jam on Monday after a day off to explore the St. Thomas. Iona takes on Illinois-Chicago at 5:00 pm ET. Listen to the Iona call on IonaInsider.com or watch live on ParadiseJam.com.