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.
JERSEY CITY, NJ - The Iona College women's basketball team earned its fifth Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference win of the season Friday evening with a 71-54 victory over Saint Peter's at the Yanitelli Center.
Both teams come out strong early, as Iona needed a three pointer from freshman guard Damika Martinez to tie the game at 10 with 14:20 remaining in the first half. From there, the Gaels went on a 12-3 run with five different Iona players contributing to the scoring to give the Maroon and Gold a nine point lead with eight minutes remaining in the half.
Although Iona failed to score in the final four minutes of the half, their defensive intensity kept their lead safe, with the Gaels taking a 31-20 advantage to the locker room at halftime.
As the Peahens tried to cut into the Iona lead, senior forward Kristina Ford, in her first game in a month, hit two key shots to keep the Gaels' lead in the double digits.
"I was very pleased with Kris played tonight," said head coach Anthony Bozzella. "Her 21 minutes of play tonight is huge for our team going foward."
A three pointer by sophomore guard Jackie Marshall with 7:50 remaining gave the Gaels a 14 point lead and the momentum to close out the game out in the remaining minutes.
Martinez led all scorers with 16 points and six rebounds, while senior forward Tomica Bacic recorded yet another double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Freshman guard Aleesha Powell had 14 points, including a game high five from the charity stripe, while senior guard Suzi Fregosi had a game high seven assists. The Gaels also turned the Saint Peter's miscues into points, as Iona scored 23 points off turnovers.
"I loved how intense we were on both ends of the floor tonight," said Bozzella. "We played well tonight, and now we need to focus on Canisius on Sunday."
The Gaels look to continue their strong play on Sunday, when they host the Golden Griffins at the Hynes Center at 2:00 pm.