NEW ROCHELLE, NY - Senior Lamont Jones and junior Sean Armand combined for 56 points to lead the Iona College men's basketball team to a 78-71 victory over Rider at the Hynes Center. Armand scored his 1,000th career point to help the Gaels (15-10, 9-5 MAAC) snap a season-long three-game losing streak.
Jones' game-high 32 points came on 10-of-19 shooting from the field and an 11-for-13 effort from the free throw line. Already leading the nation in free throws made, Jones has now converted 162 on the season. He has tied former teammate Mike Glover for seventh place on Iona's all-time single season list and is 20 away from the school record set by Steve Burtt in 1981-82. Jones also posted six rebounds and three assists.
Armand's last field goal of the contest with 3:34 remaining gave him 1,001 points in his nearly three seasons with the Gaels. He scored 24 points on 8-of-13 shooting while converting 4-of-6 three point attempts. Armand's 92 trifectas made this season are just four shy of Iona's single-season record.
Senior Taaj Ridley and junior Tre Bowman had six points apiece. Sophomore Tavon Sledge had four points and an Iona-best five assists.
Iona held a lead for all but a little over two minutes in the game but could not pull away. The Gaels' largest lead came late in the first half when two Armand free throws made the score 32-24 with 3:15 remaining. The Maroon & Gold led by seven points at the half.
In the second frame, Rider got within one point with 5:35 remaining but a Bowman three pointer followed by Armand's milestone bucket gave the Gaels a six-point cushion. Jones hit 3-of-4 from the charity stripe down the stretch to seal the game.
Rider (13-13, 8-6 MAAC) was led with 26 points by senior Jonathon Thompson. He dished out five assists in the loss. Junior Anthony Miles added 19 points as the only other Bronc in double figures.
Both teams shot 50.0% from he field. After being out rebounded by 14 in the previous meeting, Iona held a 32-27 advantage in tonight's win.
Following the win, head coach Tim Cluess added Ridley and fellow senior Nyandigisi Moikobu as captains to join Jones and Armand as quad-captains of the 2012-13 squad. The quartet represents Iona's four returning players from last year's NCAA at-large squad.
The Gaels are back in action next Friday at Manhattan in a 7:00 pm tipoff on ESPNU.