Mike Ritz is currently a junior journalism major at Iona College. He is from Yorktown, New York and is a sports writer for the school newspaper, The Ionian. Mike has been the manager for the Iona women's basketball team since his freshman year. A lover of sports, he played four years of basketball in high school as well as four years of golf. Mike comes from an Iona family, both of his parents, Ron and Michelle, graduated from Iona as well as his sister, Jen, who played basketball for the Gaels for four years and graduated in 2008. Mike loves to be a part of the Iona family and aspires to be a successful sports writer when he graduates.
Rider came out and started the game on a 9-2 run, led by sophomore MyNeshia McKenzie. Three point shooting by senior Alyssa Parsons stretched the Broncs' lead to 26-12 with 10:49 left in the first, but the Gaels would respond with a 14-4 run, with nine points from freshman guard Damika Martinez, to cut Iona's deficit to just four at the 4:18 mark. Consistent play by both teams at the end of the half gave Rider a 40-35 halftime lead. Parsons sparked the Broncs in the half, shooting 5-7 from behind the three point line.
A three pointer by guard Emily Fazzini to start the second half gave Rider its biggest lead of the second half at 43-35. But behind Martinez's 10 points in a five minute span, Iona cut the lead to just one, 54-53 with 14:58 left in the game. From there, Iona went on a 13-4 run to take a 66-61 lead with 10:07 remaining. A layup by junior guard Haley D'Angelo with 6:57 left gave Iona its biggest lead of the game at nine, 72-63.
Rider responded with a 14-1 run over the next six minutes of play, including a pair of huge second chance layups by junior Carliegh Brown to give the Broncs a 77-73 lead with 48 seconds remaining.
A three pointer by senior forward Kristina Ford cut the lead to just one with 31 seconds to go, but free throws by Parsons and McKenzie sealed the game following a missed three point attempt by freshman guard Aleesha Powell.
Martinez led all scorers with 34 points, topping the freshman record she previously set with a 29 point effort at Niagara. Ford had 12 points and eight rebounds while Parsons led the Broncs with a career high 22 points.
The Gaels are back in action Sunday afternoon when they host Loyola at the Hynes Center at 2:00 pm.