NEW ROCHELLE, NY - Seven players scored double-digit point totals for the Iona College men's basketball team in a record-breaking 118-92 rout of visiting Niagara in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference action at the Hynes Center on Saturday afternoon.
The Gaels (6-6, 3-0 MAAC), who snapped a four-game losing streak, had a school-record 34 assists and set a new standard for points in a regulation game.
Iona 118 points were the second-highest single-game point total in school history behind the 123 it scored in an overtime win over Holy Cross at home on Feb. 21, 1989. It broke a 37-year-old school record for points in a non-overtime effort, surpassing the 117 scored vs. LIU Brooklyn at the Hynes Center on Feb. 23, 1977. The 34 assists topped the previous school record of 31 in a 91-86 home loss to La Salle on Feb. 22, 1988. Iona's seven double-digit scorers and 62 first-half points are the most in the last 15 seasons.
Senior Tre Bowman came off the bench to score 23 points on 9-of-12 shooting and 4-of-7 from 3-point range to lead the Gaels.
All five starters at had least six assists. Sophomore A.J. English scored 18 points and had six assists with the help of a 9-for-12 effort from the foul line. Senior Sean Armand added 17 points and eight assists. Junior David Laury had 17 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. Senior Mike Poole added 12 points, six assists and five rebounds. Freshman Ryden Hines came off the bench and had 12 points and six rebounds. Junior Tavon Sledge was the final Gael in double figures with 10 points shooting a perfect 4-of-4 from the field and 2-of-2 from the line. Senior DaShawn Gomez had nine points with six assists.
The Gaels never trailed. Following a 5-5 tie at the 16:45 mark after two Marcus Ware free throws for Niagara (4-11, 1-3 MAAC), Iona rattled off 10 straight points to gain its first double-digit advantage at 15-5 with 13:36 to go on two Hines freebies. Four minutes later the lead was 29-14 on an Armand 3-pointer. Leading 41-22 at 5:06, Iona scored eight straight points to up its lead to 27. The largest lead of the frame was 28 points on the Maroon & Gold's final possession of the frame on Sledge's two free throws. Niagara's Antoine Mason rattled home two free throws of his own with under a second remaining to make the margin 62-36 at the break.
The Gaels reached the century mark with 8:11 remaining in the game when English sank two free throws after Mason - the nation's leading scorer - picked up his second technical foul of the game.
Iona's largest lead was 103-66 on a transition dunk off a feed from English. The school record 32nd assist of the ball game came with 4:49 left as Poole found English for a mid-range jumper to make the score 107-78.
Freshman Ramone Snowden led the Purple Eagles with 23 points and eight rebounds. He was 9-of-15 from the field with four 3-point field goals. Mason scored 22 points before being disqualified adding four assists and three rebounds. Graduate Marcus Ware and sophomore Tahjere McCall each had 10 points in the loss.
The Gaels shot 64.5 percent (40-for-62) from the field while the Purple Eagles shot 45.3 percent. Iona was 24-of-32 (75.0 percent) with 22 of its 34 assists. Niagara's late second-half surge allowed it to take a 39-34 advantage on the boards.
Iona is back in action Monday, Jan. 6 at Quinnipiac in the makeup for Thursday's postponement because of the winter snowstorm. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. and may be seen live on SportsNet New York (SNY).