NEW ROCHELLE, NY - The Iona College women's basketball team extended its winning streak to a program record ten games with a thrilling 94-84 victory over Niagara University Sunday afternoon at the 'Taps' Gallagher Center. The Gaels erased both five-point halftime and seven point second half deficits to move to 4-0 in confence play.
All five starters scored in double figures for the Gaels, led by junior guard Aleesha Powell's season high 25 points. Powell connected on seven field goals, including six from the outside, and went a perfect 5-for-5 from the charity striple.
Sophomore forward Joy Adams has 22 points and grabbed a game high 14 rebounds for her 11th double-double of the season. Junior guard Damika Martinez had 19 points, four rebounds and went 9-for-11 from the free throw line. Martinez connected on two three pointers in the contest, giving her 167 for her career, and tying Lauren DeFalco for the most in program history.
Senior center Sabrina Jeridore had a career high 16 points and pulled down 10 boards for her second career double-double. Jeridore went a perfect 8-for-8 from the free throw line and picked up two blocks in the game, becoming Iona's first ever player with 200 career blocked shots.
Redshirt senior guard Haley D'Angelo returned to the starting lineup and scored a season high 12 points and dished out seven assists.
In a tight first half that saw eight ties and seven lead changes, Niagara connected on 41.7% of its field goal attempts, and gained its biggest lead of the period, 38-33, with nine seconds remaining, on a pair of free throws by Chanel Johnson.
Heading into the locker room without the lead for the fourth consecutive game, the Maroon & Gold once again played the role of "comeback kids." A layup by Adams opened the second period scoring before a three pointer by Powell knotted the game at 38 with 19:01 remaining.
A 7-2 run by the home team gave the Purple Eagles a 45-40 lead, before Iona answered with five straight to tie the game for the tenth time. Niagara would answered with a 6-0 run to go ahead 51-45, before the Gaels gainied a 53-51 lead with the next seven points.
Following a 57-57 slatemate, the Purple Eagles scored seven consecutive points to take its biggest lead of the game, 64-57, with 7:52 left on the clock. With Niagara ahead 68-62 with 6:11 remaining, Iona went on an 7-0 run, taking a 69-68 lead on a layup by Adams.
Niagara again would counter and took a one point lead, 70-69, before a quick 10-3 run by the Gaels gave Iona a six point lead, and the advantage for good.
In the final minute of play, Iona went a near perfect 7-for-8 from the free throw line, including five from Martinez in the final 30 seconds.
Iona shot 55.2% from the field in the final 20 minutes of play, and connected on 12 three pointers and a season 32 free throws in the win.
Niagara had four players in double figures, led by Johnson's 19 points and Gabby Baldasare's 11 points and 11 rebounds. The Gaels have now won 11 straight MAAC regular season games dating back to last season, and next welcome Quinnipiac to the Hynes Center Friday for a 12:00 pm tip.