SPRINGFIELD, MA - The top seeded Iona College women's basketball team fell to fourth seeded Quinnipiac 79-68 in the semifinals of the 2014 MAAC Championship. Knotted at 24 at the half, the Bobcats opened the second half with a 17-7 run that gave them the lead for good.
Junior guard Damika Martinez led the Gaels with a game high 32 points, to go along with three assists and three steals. Sophomore forward Joy Adams registered her 26th double-double of the with 20 points and 17 rebounds. Junior guard Aleesha Powell was the third Gael in double figures wih 10 points.
In a first half that involved three ties and three lead changes, the Maroon & Gold took a seven point lead, 13-6, on a pair of Martinez free throws with 9:56 remaining. With the Gaels ahead 24-18 with 3:07 left on a layup by Adams, the Bobcats ended the half on a 6-0 run, tying the contest on a free throw by Nikoline Ostergaard with four seconds left.
Quinnipiac opened the second half with the first five points and held the lead for the remainder of the contest. A jumper by Brittany McQuain with 13:21 left gave the Bobcats their first double digit lead of the game, 41-31, before an Ostergaard layup gave Quinnipiac its biggest lead of the contest, 60-48, with 6:03 remaining.
The Gaels trimmed the deficit back to single digits before a Martinez pulled Iona within six, 71-65, with 59 seconds remaining. With Iona forced to foul, the Bobcats knocked down eight free throws in the final minute to take the 11 point victory.
McQuain and Jasmine Martin led the Bobcats with 17 points each, while Ostergaard scored 13. At 26-5, the Gaels have qualified for the postseason for the second straight season and have an automatic bid into the Women's NIT as the number one seed in the championship.