NEW ROCHELLE, NY - Junior Jermel Jenkins posted a career-high 23 points off the bench and set a Hynes Athletics Center record with seven three-point field goals in leading the Iona College men's basketball team to a 78-63 win over Buffalo in a CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament quarterfinal win. The Gaels (24-11) advanced to the CIT semifinal at East Tennessee State on Saturday (Mar. 26) afternoon.
Jenkins shot 7-for-11 from beyond the arc, matching his career-high long distance effort set in November at Albany. Freshman Sean Armand got Iona off to a good start in the contest scoring all 11 points in the first half. Armand and Jenkins made a combined 10 three-pointers in the game to help make up for the absence of leading deep-threat Kyle Smyth who missed his second game with an injury suffered during the MAAC Championship.
Senior Rashon Dwight posted his fourth-straight double-digit point effort with 10 points in the victory. Junior Scott Machado had nine points and nine assists. The Gaels long ball game was opened up by double-teams on leading scorer Mike Glover who posted eight points. After picking up his second foul with 11 minutes to play in the first half, Glover did not return until the second frame.
After a quick 6-0 start, the Bulls (20-14) rallied with an 10-2 run to gain its first lead of the contest with 16:28 to play. Trailing 21-17 less than five minutes later, Iona scored the game's next nine points on three straight three-pointers by Armand and Jenkins. A 10-1 Buffalo run put the visitors back up by four points with 4:27 left in the half. The Maroon & Gold rallied to take a lead with 1:23 to play. After Buffalo knotted the score at 36-36 on the next possession, the Gaels scored five straight points to end the half including junior Randy Dezouvre's first three-pointer of the year as time expired in the frame.
Iona never trailed in the second half. Buffalo got to within three points with 14:50 to play, but an 11-7 run capped by a Jenkins' three ball with 8:11 remaining gave the Gaels its first double-digit lead of the contest at 59-49. Iona surrendered the double-digit margin on just two occasions and led by as many as 17 in the final minute of play.
Iona shot 47.4% from the field and 47.8% on three-point attempts. Buffalo held the advantage on the boards (33-30) but committed 20 turnovers in the loss. The Gaels posted their 14th 20+ assist effort with 21 in the contest.
Buffalo freshman and Mid-American Conference rookie of the year Javon McCrea posted a double-double with a game-high 29 points and 10 rebounds. Senior Byron Mulkey hit four three-pointers and had 12 points and five assists while playing all but the final six seconds of the contest.
The Gaels head to Johnson City, TN for the CIT Semifinals on Saturday (Mar. 26) Tip-off for the game is scheduled for 2:00 pm ET.
Score by Periods 1st 2nd Total Buffalo....................... 36 27 - 63 Iona College.................. 41 37 - 78