SPRINGFIELD, MA - The top seeded Iona College men's basketball team cruised to a 94-71 win over No. 8 Rider in the quarterfinal round of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championship at the MassMutual Center. Senior Tre Bowman led four Gaels in double-digit scoring with a game-high 28 points.
Bowman shot 9-of-13 from the field and connected on 5-of-9 three-point field goal attempts and 5-of-6 free throw attempts. He added six rebounds, two assists and two steals in 35 minutes of play. Senior Sean Armand added 20 points and three assists, connecting on four three-pointers in the win. Junior David Laury recorded 18 points and 11 rebounds, knocking down 8-of-9 shots from the charity stripe. It was Laury's team-leading sixth double-double of the season and third in the last five contests. Sophomore Isaiah Williams was the fourth Gael with 10 or more points, shooting 5-of-6 from the field, 2-of-3 from deep with 12 points and three assists. Sophomore A.J. English contributed six points and a team-best six assists and three steals.
Iona never trailed in their third meeting with the Broncs in the last 16 days. The Gaels quickly took a double-digit advantage just under six minutes in when Laury converted two free throws and made the score 15-4. Rider got within four points at the midway point of the half, but it was as close as they would get. Following a Shawn Valentine layup with 10:19 to play, the Gaels went on a 11-2 run and led 31-18 on Williams layup following a nifty feed from Armand. Iona's 16 point halftime advantage was their largest of the half.
Rider's second half surge got them within 10 points with 14:29 left following a dunk by senior Daniel Stewart. Iona answered with a 13-3 run to go ahead by 20 following Bowman's driving layup at 10:47. The Gaels dipped under a 20 point lead just once the remainder of the way.
Rider's Anthony Myles had 19 points and five assists to lead the Broncs. Rookie Jimmie Taylor posted 14 points while Stewart had 12 points and seven rebounds in the loss.
The Gaels shot 59.6% for the game including an incredible 64.0% in the second half. Rider was 41.5% for the game following a 40.0% first 20 minutes. The Broncs also used a late surge on the boards to take a 32-31 advantage. Iona posted 20 assists to just eight turnovers in the win.
The Maroon & Gold takes on No. 4 Canisius Sunday in the MAAC semifinal. The tipoff for the matchup is at 4:30 pm and can be seen live on ESPN3. Buy your Iona tickets on www.IonaConnection.com.
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