TERRE HAUTE, IN - The Iona College men's basketball dropped a 65-64 decision at Indiana State in a Ramada Worldwide ESPN Bracketbusters matchup at the Hullman Center. Senior Lamont Jones scored a game-high 26 points, but a Dawon Cummings layup with four seconds left proved to be the difference in the loss.
Jones scored 20 points in the second half. He was 8-for-20 from the field and 10-of-11 from the charity stripe and had a career-best five steals. With 184 free throws made on the season, Jones passed Steve Burtt's school record of 182 from 1981-82. The total also leads all NCAA Division I players.
Senior Taaj Ridley added 16 points and seven rebounds. He was 6-for-12 from the field. Sophomore David Laury had nine points and 11 rebounds while junior Tre Bowman posted four points and 11 rebounds in the loss.
Junior Sean Armand struggled in the game with six points and five rebounds and snapped a 39-game three-point field goal streak with an 0-for-4 effort beyond the arc.
The Gaels erased a nine-point deficit from early in the contest. A 10-1 run capped by a DaShawn Gomez three-pointer with 11:06 remaining tied the score at 16-16. Iona faced an eight-point deficit at halftime after the Sycamores held it without a field goal over the final 8:25 of the frame.
Indiana State led 34-24 early in the second half. Iona chipped away and knotted the score at 42-42 on a Jones jumper with 13:25 to play. Neither team could gain more than a four point advantage the rest of the way.
Trailing by one with, the Gaels muscled an offensive rebound with 30 seconds left and called a timeout with the shot clock off. Armand was then fouled with less than 10 seconds to play. He hit both free throws to give the Gaels a one-point league.
On the other end, Cummings was able to get to the rim and draw a foul with four seconds lift. After missing the ensuing free throw, Ridley's half court attempt as time expired fell short.
Four Sycamores scored 10 or more points led by junior R.J. Mahurin's 16 points. He added six rebounds. Cummings scored 13 points while junior Jake Odum had 10 points and seven assists and junior Manny Arop had 10 points and 12 rebounds for the home team.
The Gaels rebounded from their worst shooting half of the season in the first frame to shoot 51.7% in the second. Indiana State outshot Iona 40.3% - 37.3% for the game. The home team also had a 40-39 rebounding advantage.
The Maroon & Gold completes the 2012-13 regular season next weekend with home games vs. Loyola (Mar. 1) and Siena (Mar. 3). The Gaels and Greyhounds tipoff of Friday night at 7:00 pm on ESPN2.