OTTAWA, ON - In a tight contest, reminiscent of close MAAC games it will see during the upcoming season, the Iona College women's basketball team pulled out a 71-64 victory over Carleton University Wednesday evening at Norm Fenn Gymnasium. Sophomore Damika Martinez had 20 points to lead the Gaels, while sophomore guard Aleesha Powell had 16 points, including 11 in the fourth quarter.
Iona found itself in a deep hole early on, as the Ravens raced out to a 10-1 lead with just under seven minutes remaining in the first quarter, after connecting on two early three-pointers. The Gaels would battle back though, as they score they would end the quarter on a 17-8 run to knot the score at 18, with the freshmen quartet of Kadesia Johnson, Joy Adams, Aaliyah Robinson and Jordan Henry combining for 12 points and junior guard Shonice Hawkins knocking down a last second three-pointer from the top of the key to tie the game.
In the second, on the shoulders of eight points from Lindsay Shotbolt, Carleton would jump out to a 36-28 lead with just over 30 seconds remaining in the half before a layup by Martinez and two free throws from Adams cut the Gaels' halftime deficit to four at 36-32.
The Gaels took control of the game early in the third, when they opened up the second half on a 14-5 run, taking their first lead of the contest on a two-pointer by Robinson with 3:38 remaining in the quarter. Robinson would widen the margin with a three-pointer to 46-41 before Carelton scored eight of the period's next 11 points to knot the game at 49. A free throw by Johnson in the quarter's final seconds put Iona ahead 50-49 entering the final 10 minutes of play.
With Iona clinging to a 58-55 after a field goal by Carleton's Alyson Bush, Powell took control of the Iona offense during the final minutes of play. Following Bush's two-pointer, Powell drove to the lane for two with a foul, and completed the three point play to put Iona ahead by six. But the Ravens would not quit, scoring seven straight points to cut the Iona lead to one at 63-62 with 2:44 remaining. The Iona defense would hold strong, limiting the opposing offense to just two points after that as Martinez hit a jumper and scored the team's final six points to clinch the second win for the Gaels on their Canadian exhibition tour.
The bench came through for both teams, as the Gaels' reserves scored 34 points, including 10 from Robinson and eight from Johnson and Adams. Shotbolt led all scorers with 21 points off the bench for Carleton. Iona is back in action Thursday, when they take on the University of Ottawa at 6:00 pm.