By David Cordova
In past seasons, the MAAC would start their conference games traditionally in January, but this year, one of the most prestigious conferences in the Northeast is starting some of their games early. One of the most intriguing games in the conference just happened to be Iona and St. Peter’s. Both programs entered the game with identical records (3-2) and would be prepared for battle inside the Yanitelli Center in Jersey City.
Iona, St. Peter’s
From the start, Iona was firing on all cylinders, with baskets by junior Jordan Washington and freshman E.J. Crawford, which brought the Gaels to an early 14-10 lead, with 15:49 left in the first half. But St. Peter’s would continue to stay close as they continued to hammer at the Gaels defense and cut the deficit to one, 21-20, with 9:48 to go.
The Peacocks then captured the lead, 26-25, on a basket by junior Nick Griffin with less than eight minutes left in the first half. The Gaels then stepped up their momentum and brought their lead back up seven, 38-31, with 2:07 left, and they would end up leading by four, 40-36, at halftime.
In the beginning of the second half, the Peacocks scored a couple of early baskets to tie the score at 40-40. But as in the first half, the Gaels would continue to assert their toughness in the paint, capturing the lead moments later, 47-41.
But for every basket Iona made, St. Peter’s would answer, as they kept the game close. But Iona would eventually raise the lead up to nine, 64-55, with 8:20 left after a three-point play. Then the Peacocks would go on a 4-0 run to cut the deficit to within five, 64-59, with 6:03 remaining.
Later on in the game, the Gaels would raise the lead to eleven, 74-63, with 1:51 left in the game and would continue to hold on to the lead until the final buzzer, as they earned their fourth win of the season.
Sophomore Rickey McGill led Iona with 19 points and senior Jon Severe also added 19 points of his own, while Crawford added 13 points. For St. Peter’s, Griffin added 17 points and senior Quadir Welton added 13 points and 14 rebounds in the loss.