Photo courtesy of Geraldo Rodriguez/Iona College.
By David Cordova
The Iona Gaels are one of the strongest and most athletic teams throughout the tri-state areas. Coming off a season in which they won the MAAC championship and made an appearance in the NCAA Tournament, they have started off this season with a bang, winning their first six games of the season prior to tonight’s matchup with NJIT. Tonight’s game showed that the Gael train hasn’t stopped rolling.
Iona 94, NJIT 80
The game started out competitive for Iona as freshman forward EJ Crawford drained two three-pointers for the Gaels as they ended up with an 8-5 lead with 16:48 to go in the first half. Senior forward Jordan Washington was their go-to player in the first half as he was able to go inside and draw fouls.
Then later on in the game, the Gaels were dangerous from three-point land as graduate student and guard Jon Severe hit two consecutive triples and helped bring them up 33-17, with 8:13 to go.
Although NJIT was led by senior guard Damon Lynn, the Highlanders struggled to score for most of the first half. At one stretch, they shot 40% from the field and 37% from three-point land. They then picked up the pace as they trailed by eight, 37-29, with more than two minutes to go in the half. But the Gaels had the upper hand, as they went into the half leading by ten, 42-32.
The second hand half started off the same as the first, with the Gaels taking over the momentum of the game, leading 52-38, with 14:52 left in the game.
As the game continued, the momentum stayed with the Gaels, as they gained a 20-point lead, 82-62, with more than five minutes left. They would hold on for the victory, which would be their seventh of the season.
Washington led the Gaels with 27 points and seven rebounds & Severe added 21 points in a balanced effort. For the Highlanders, Lynn added 28 points and six assists, senior forward Tim Coleman added 14 points, 15 rebounds & 5 assists and junior guard Chris Jenkins added 13 points in the loss.