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.
NEW ROCHELLE, NY - The Iona College women's basketball team snapped its seven game losing streak Sunday afternoon with a 72-65 victory over Loyola University Maryland at the Hynes Center.
Points were hard to come by to start the game, as a pair of free throws by sophomore guard Shonice Hawkinsgave Iona a 10-9 lead with 7:58 remaining in the first half.
With the Gaels trailing 15-14 with 4:39 remaining, Iona ended the half on a 13-4 run, with senior forward Kristina Ford and freshman guard Aleesha Powellcontributing five points each to give Iona a 27-19 halftime lead. The Gaels held Loyola to just 36% shooting from the field in the half, including 0-6 from the three-point line while Iona shot just 32%, but knocked down two trifectas.
With Iona up 31-24 with 17:43 left, a three-pointer by freshman guard Damika Martinez started a 13-0 run to stretch the Gael lead to 20, 44-24, with 14:51 left in the game. Loyola would respond two minutes later, with a 9-0 run led by five points from guard Katie Sheahin, to cut the Iona lead to just ten at 48-38 with 9:46 remaining.
A three-point field goal by Loyola guard Miriam McKenzie cut the Iona lead to single digits, 55-48, with 6:04 left in the contest. After a jumper by senior center Milica Paligoric gave Iona a 60-49 lead with 3:58, Loyola went cold in a critical moment, going without a single point over the next two minutes of play. A layup by Sheahin with 43 seconds remaining cut the lead to just six, but that was the closest the Greyhounds came, as Iona improves to 7-9 in conference play.
Iona had four players in double figures, with Martinez leading the squad with 17 points, all in the second half. Powell had 16 points, and Ford recorded a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Senior guard Tomica Bacic had 12 points and added seven rebounds.
"This was our best team win of the season," said head coach Anthony Bozzella. "We need to bring this type of energy every game as we move towards the MAAC Championship."
Iona looks to keep the good play going as they square in Poughkeepsie with Marist Thursday evening at 6:00 pm in an ESPN3 telecast.
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