DAYTON, OH - The Iona College men's basketball team's Ohio woes continued in a 96-84 loss at Dayton in non-conference action at UD Arena. The Gaels (5-4) fell to 0-7 in the state in three-plus seasons under head coach Tim Cluess.
Sophomore A.J. English poured in a career-high 30 points on 9-of-15 shooting from the field and 8-of-10 from beyond the arc. He scored Iona's final 15 points of the contest in the last 4:31 of the game. Senior Sean Armand had his seventh straight 20-point effort with an even 20. He was 7-of-17 overall and 3-of-10 from beyond the arc. Armand added a team-high six assists to go along with three rebounds. Senior Tre Bowman scored 12 of his 14 points in the first half. Senior Mike Poole posted seven rebounds to lead the Gaels.
For the second straight game the Maroon & Gold never led. Dayton used an 8-0 run just under six minutes into the game to run out to a 24-12 lead with 11:06 to play. Its largest lead was 15 on two occasions, one coming after a Khari Price three-point field goal with 6:20 to play to make the score 39-24. The Gaels cut it to within six points after two English free throws with 1:18 to play capped a 17-8 run. Dayton answered with back-to-back layups and freshman Ryden Hines free throw on the Gaels last possession made the halftime margin 51-42.
A 17-7 Flyer run to start the second half opened the lead to 68-49 just seven minutes in. Dayton's largest advantage was 23 points with 7:25 to play. Iona ended the contest with a 24-13 flurry. Following a David Laury free throw, Armand scored the team's next eight points, followed by the final 15 from English.
Dayton's Dyshawn Pierre had team-highs of 22 points and 14 rebounds including eight on the offensive end. He also matched the team lead with four assists. Vee Sanford came off the bench and had 17 points and four assists. Price added 16 points and was 4-of-5 from beyond the arc. Scoochie Smith and Jordan Siebert added nine a piece.
Despite shooting 51.7% from the field on the offensive end, the Gaels allowed the Flyers to shoot 55.4%. The crucial advantage for Dayton was a 40-26 lead on the boards. The home team muscled the smaller Gaels inside and held a 52-34 advantage in the paint.
The Gaels continue a four-game road trip Sunday at the Mountain West Conference's Nevada in Reno. Tipoff is 4:05 pm on the East coast.