NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. - The Canisius women's basketball team trailed by as many as 22 points in the first half and got as close as three points but couldn't come all the way back in an 84-79 loss at Iona College on Saturday afternoon. The Golden Griffins fall to 9-16 overall and 6-8 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.
Senior Ashley Durham matched a career-high with 29 points, going 10-of-17 from the floor and 5-of-7 from behind the arc. Junior Jamie Ruttle had 15 points in 21 minutes while senior Allison Braun matched a season-high with 10 points. Freshman Tiahana Mills had 11 points and nine rebounds while sophomore Kayla Hoohuli had five assists and zero turnovers.
"We continue to put ourselves in tough situations in the first half. Our team knows it, and I know it. We have to figure out a way to change it," Canisius coach Terry Zeh said. "That type of start, especially against an explosive team like Iona, is even tougher.
"I give credit to our team that we didn't fold and really battled in the second half, but that isn't good enough to take away from this game. We can't just play well for 30 minutes but need 40 minutes each and every game."
Canisius jumped out to a quick 8-2 lead behind 3-pointers from Durham, and Ruttle and a layup from Braun. The Gaels then scored 20 of the next 23 points and built a 22-11 lead. The Griffs broke a scoreless drought of more than five and a half minutes with a short jumper from Ruttle that made the score 25-13. Iona went up by as many as 22 points in the first half and made eight of its first 13 3-point shots. Canisius would go on a 12-4 run to make it 41-27 after a jumper from Braun, but Aleesha Powell hit Iona's ninth 3-pointer of the half in the final second to give the Gaels a 17-point halftime lead.
Canisius went on a 12-5 run to open the second half, getting layups from Durham and Mills, to make it a 49-42 game. Canisius was able to get the deficit to seven points on four separate occasions but couldn't get any closer until a 7-1 run, capped by a layup from Mills, made it 63-60 with 6:47 left. Iona came right back with five straight points to push it back to an eight-point lead. Canisius got as close as four points two more times, including with just over a minute left, but couldn't convert on the offensive end as Hoohuli missed a 3-pointer from the wing that would have made it a one-point game. Iona made its last 12 free throws to put the game away.
Powell led Iona (14-11, 9-5 MAAC) with 27 points while Damika Martinez had 18 points. Haley D'Angelo scored 13 points and Joy Adams had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Iona went 12-of-28 on 3-pointers in the game and converted 24 of 28 free throws.
Canisius returns home for its final two games of the season in the Koessler Athletic Center next weekend. The Golden Griffins host Manhattan College on Friday night, with tipoff set for 7 p.m.
Notes: The 44 points scored by the Gaels were the most allowed by the Griffs in the first half of a game this season... The Griffs scored 52 points in the second half, one point away from the most points scored in a half under Zeh (53 vs. Loyola on Feb. 5, 2006)... Canisius scored a season-high 79 points, the most points in a conference loss under Zeh and most since a 95-80 loss at Iona on Feb. 16, 2004... The Griffs had four players in double figures for the third time this season... Redshirt freshman Ashley Gomez played a career-high 12 minutes... Durham also had 29 points against Iona on Jan. 9, 2012. The senior has scored 97 points in her last four games against the Gaels... Canisius had 17 turnovers in the game, but just committed four of those turnovers in the final 23 minutes.