Mike Ritz is currently a junior journalism major at Iona College. He is from Yorktown, New York and is a sports writer for the school newspaper, The Ionian. Mike has been the manager for the Iona women's basketball team since his freshman year. A lover of sports, he played four years of basketball in high school as well as four years of golf. Mike comes from an Iona family, both of his parents, Ron and Michelle, graduated from Iona as well as his sister, Jen, who played basketball for the Gaels for four years and graduated in 2008. Mike loves to be a part of the Iona family and aspires to be a successful sports writer when he graduates.
Manhattan started the game on a 12-3 run capped by a three pointer from Monica Roeder. From there, Iona went on a 7-0 run led by freshman guard Damika Martinez to cut the Jasper lead to just two, 12-10 with 10:48 remaining in the half. Led by Lindsie Loutsenhizer, Manhattan would go on a 12-1 run in the next five minutes of play to extend their lead to 24-11 with 5:26 remaining in the half.
A layup by Toni-Ann Lawrence with 38 seconds remaining gave Manhattan a 32-22 lead at halftime. The Gaels shot poorly in the first half, with shooting just 29% from the field in the first 20 minutes of play, including just 2-11 from the three point line.
A three by Alyssa Herrington gave Manhattan its biggest lead of the game at 43-28, with 13:20 remaining. Down 10 with 5:09 remaining, the Gaels picked up their defensive intensity, led by sophomore guard Shonice Hawkins. Two big three pointers by Martinez brought the Gaels closer, as a layup by junior guard Haley D'angelo cut the lead to just four with 1:19 to go. That would however mark the Gaels' final field goal of the contest, as the Gaels fell to 6-8 in conference games this season.
Iona, who shot just 32% from the field, including 25% (8-32) from three-point range, was led by Martinez, who led all scorers with 24 points, and added seven rebounds and five steals. Senior forward Kristina Ford recorded a double-double with 14 points and 14 rebounds. Schyanne Halfkenny led Manhattan with 14 points.
"We need to use the intensity that we showed in the second half tonight as move forward and play a tough Rider team on the road," said head coach Anthony Bozzella.
The Gaels look to end their second six-game losing streak of the season Friday evening, when they face off with Rider at 7:00 pm in Lawrenceville, NJ.