NEW ROCHELLE, NY - The Iona College men's basketball team dropped a 102-89 decision to St. Bonaventure in non-conference action at the Hynes Center. The Gaels (5-3) fell by more than 10 points at home for the first time in five seasons.
Senior Sean Armand led five Iona performers in double-figures with 30 points. He shot 9-of-16 from the field, 4-of-7 from beyond the arc and 8-of-9 from the free throw line while adding four assists. Sophomore A.J. English had 19 points and six assists. He had a season-high in turnovers though with seven. Junior David Laury had 12 points and six rebounds and senior Tre Bowman added 11 points in the loss. The Gaels got a spark on the boards from rookie Daniel Robinson with six rebounds and a season-best three blocked shots.
Bonaventure never trailed in the game after scoring on its first possession. The Bonnies quickly led by 14 points less than five minutes into the game after Andell Cumberbatch drained a three-pointer from the wing. The Gaels cut the deficit to six points on two Armand free throws with 11:58 to play, but surrendered seven straight points over the next 68 seconds and quickly trailed again 30-17. St. Bonaventure led by as many as 17 points with 2:51 to play after a Jordan Gathers free throw. They held a 54-40 advantage at the break.
Holding a 79-56 lead with 10:57 to play, Iona went on a 14-2 run over the next 2:55 to make the score 81-70 after sophomore Isaiah Williams' three-point field goal. The two teams traded points over the next four minutes. The Gaels got within 10 points on a Robinson free throw with 4:19 to play. Bonaventure answered with five straight points and led 94-79 at 3:28. The final margin of 102-89 came after a Cumberbatch free throw with 48 ticks left.
Five Bonnies had at least 15 points in the win. Cumberbatch led with 25 points adding seven rebounds and five assists and was 11-of-14 from the line. Dion Wright posted 22 points and eight rebounds off the bench. Gathers and Charlon Kloof had 17 points each. Kloof led the visitors with seven assists. Marquise Simmons rounded out the double-digit scorers with a 15-point, 10-rebound double-double.
St. Bonaventure out shot Iona 54.5%-50.0% and held a 44-28 advantage on the boards. Nineteen second chance points and 23 off turnovers for the Bonnies led to the Gaels demise.
Iona's last double-digit loss at home came on Dec. 7, 2009 in a 73-60 defeat to Siena a span of 51 games. It was just the second loss at the Hynes Center for the Gaels in 23 games and snapped a six-game home winning streak. Iona also held an eight-game non-conference home winning streak, its last loss coming to Santa Clara in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament championship game on Mar. 30, 2011.
The Maroon & Gold faces its toughest stretch of the season with four straight games on the road. The Gaels take on Dayton Thursday (Dec. 19) before travelling to Nevada (Dec. 22), Northern Iowa (Dec. 28) and Quinnipiac (Jan. 2).