Gaels Outlast Manhattan
NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. - Gaels' senior Lamont Jones scored 22 of his game-high 30 points in the second half as Manhattan fell 78-70 at Iona (9-6, 3-1) on Sunday. Three Jaspers scored in double-figures with sophomore forward Emmy Andujar leading the way with a season-high 17 points on 7-for-12 shooting. Junior forward Rhamel Brown gave Manhattan (4-10, 2-2) a valiant effort, finishing with 16 points, nine rebounds and a career-high seven blocks in the setback.
Iona shot 62.5% (15-24) in the second half and knocked down 8-of-9 three-point attempts to overcome Manhattan's six point halftime advantage. Jones went 4-for-4 beyond the arc in the final 20 minutes. He anchored the Gaels' 76.9% (20-26) free-throw shooting effort by knocking down all 10 of his attempts in his 38 minutes of action.
The Jaspers shot a season-high 48.2% (27-56) in the contest. Sophomore forward Donovan Kates led the Manhattan bench with 10 points going 4-for-5 from the field. Manhattan was without injured All-MAAC guards George Beamon and Michael Alvarado.
Brown had 10 points by halftime as he energized the Jaspers with four thunderous two-handed dunks. He carried Manhattan into the locker room with a 36-30 advantage. Manhattan's defense contained the most potent offense in the MAAC during the first half as the Gaels shot only 33.3% (9-for-27) from the field and 28.8% (2-7) beyond the arc. Manhattan did not allow them a field goal in the last 3:45 of the stanza.
The lead changed sides five times and there were three ties in the first half. Manhattan rolled out a 12-5 run midway through the stanza to gain an edge it maintained for the rest of the period. Freshman forward Shane Richards sparked the spurt with a runner in the lane followed by a three-pointer 49 seconds later that put Manhattan on top 21-17 with 7:07 left in the half.
A pair of free-throws by Brown gave Manhattan an eight point lead at 1:36 in the first half, which was the Jaspers' largest advantage of the game. Senior guard Mohamed Koita buried his second three-pointer with 28 seconds on the clock to put Manhattan up six at intermission.
Jones found his hot shooting stroke early in the second half and never cooled off. He scored the Gaels' first eight points of the period in 75 seconds. Jones' back-to-back threes put the Gaels in front 38-37 at 18:45, capturing Iona's first lead since the 8:33 mark in the first half.
The solid second half play of Andujar kept the Jaspers within striking distance as he had 13 of his 17 points in the stanza. Andujar tied the ballgame at 48 with a layup at 13:22, before Iona outscored the Jaspers 23-13 over the next nine minutes. The Gaels knocked down all five three point attempts during the stretch. Junior guard Tre Bowman gave Iona its largest lead with 4:30 remaining hitting his second three-pointer to go up 71-61.
Manhattan received a career-high eight points from freshman point guard CJ Jones. Koita and Richards each had seven points. The Jaspers won the rebounding battle 33-26 with Andujar grabbing eight boards and Koita setting a season-high with six.
The Jaspers are back in action Thursday at Draddy Gymnasium when they host Rider. The contest will be nationally televised on ESPN3. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.