NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. - Iona senior Sean Armand had a game-high 32 points on the power of nine 3-point field goals and junior Tre Bowman came off the bench to add 24 points and six rebounds as the host Gaels defeated Canisius 97-87 Sunday afternoon in the Hynes Athletic Center. The win was Iona's fifth straight and moved the team to 11-6 overall and 5-1 in MAAC games, while the Golden Griffins slipped to 10-7 overall and 3-3 in league action.
Canisius senior Harold Washington scored a season-high 26 points in the loss for the Griffs, which shot 50 percent from the field, 42.9 percent from 3-point land and 84.6 percent from the free-throw line in the loss. Junior Billy Baron posted his third double-double of the season with 20 points and 11 assists, while fellow junior Jordan Heath scored 13 points to go with four rebounds and two steals. Junior Chris Manhertz, who entered the game ranked second in the MAAC in rebounding average, pulled down a game-high 14 rebounds to go with seven points and two blocked shots.
As a team, Iona made 16 3-point field goals in the victory, led by Armand's game-high nine from long range. The MAAC's leader in 3-pointers made per game, Armand finished the day by going 11-for-18 from the field and 9-for-15 from behind the arc. Bowman was 8-for-13 from the floor, 2-for-4 from 3-point land and 6-for-6 from the free-throw line in 32 minutes. David Laury added 13 points for the Gaels and A.J. English scored 10 points, as Iona shot 53.8 percent from the field, 48.5 percent from 3-point land and 61.1 percent from the foul line.
"Give those guys credit, they made 16 threes today and they all made big-time shots when they needed them," Canisius head coach Jim Baron said. "Iona took us off the dribble and they made shots. That's an athletic team there. We went zone, they hit threes. We went man, they drove to the basket. We have to defend better and we need to rebound with two hands again."
The Griffs led 49-47 at halftime after the Blue and Gold shot 52.9 percent from the field and 46.7 percent from 3-point land in the game's first 20 minutes. In the opening moments of the second half, Armand got hot from long range, as he hit two treys in the first 2:52 to give the Gaels a six-point lead at 55-49. Canisius was able to regain the lead at 58-57 with 15:09 left in the game after Washington hit a pair of free-throws, but Iona answered with back-to-back 3-pointers by English and Armand to take a five-point hold at 63-58 with 14:33 left in the contest. Canisius junior Reggie Groves drilled a 3-pointer from the left wing on the Griffs' next possession to make the score 63-61 with 13:40 left to play, but the Gaels got away for good on the power of an 11-2 run over the next 1:29, capped by a 3-pointer by English from the far corner.
The Blue and Gold made a run at Iona and made it a six-point contest on a 3-point field goal by Washington and a bucket from senior Freddy Asprilla, but two treys by Armand and a dunk by Bowman pushed Iona's hold to 14 at 82-68 with 8:05 left to play. A 3-pointer from Baron with 2:02 left in the game made the score 93-85, but the Gaels closed out the game with two free-throws from senior Lamont Jones and a lay-up by English to seal the victory for the home team.
Jones, who entered the game ranked third in the nation in scoring average, posted seven points and five assists for the Gaels in the win after he got into early four trouble. Canisius senior Isaac Sosa had nine points in the loss for the Blue and Gold, while Groves and sophomore Josiah Heath scored five points each. Asprilla ended the day with four boards for the Griffs, as both teams were credited with 33 rebounds each.
Canisius will return home on Thursday, Jan. 17, when the Griffs host Manhattan. Game time in the Koessler Athletic Center on "Pack the KAC" night is set for 7 p.m.
Game Notes: This was the 59th all-time meeting between these two schools, with Iona leading the series 32-27... The Gaels have now won five of the last six and nine of the last 12 meetings with the Griffs... The two teams entered the game ranked top-10 nationally in 3-point field goals per game, and the Griffs and Gaels combined for 28 3-pointers on the day, with Canisius knocking down 12 against Iona's 16... Canisius is now 8-3 on the year when leading at halftime, but two of those losses have come in the team's last two games... The 87 points are the most for Canisius in a loss this season, and the team has now scored 80-plus points in six games, the most for the team since 2005-06... Washington's 26 points gives him 20 or more points in a game 13 times in his career... Baron is averaging 7.0 assists per game in the team's first six MAAC games of the season... All three of Baron's career double-doubles have come in MAAC games this season... Manhertz, who started the day averaging a MAAC-best 13.2 rebounds per game in five previous MAAC contests this season, had double-digit rebounds for the fourth-straight game... Canisius wore its gold alternate uniforms for the first time this year.