Iona College Women's Basketball Beats Eight-Time MAAC Champion Marist

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Iona College wins against eight-time champion Marist in the MAAC tournament. Photo Credit: Iona College website

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- The Iona College women's basketball team earned its 12th victory in a row, upending eight-time defending MAAC Champion Marist College Red Foxes in a 73-71 win on Monday, Jan. 13 at the McCann Center. 

The game marked the Red Foxes' first home loss in MAAC play since 2009, and snapped a streak of 36 consecutive conference victories overall. Iona also unseats Marist from first place for the first time since the 2004-05 season.

Junior guard Damika Martinez's 2.9 second foul-line jumper helped the Gaels win against the Red Foxes after a 29-game losing streak, as well as claim first place in MAAC standings.

Martinez and sophomore forward Joy Adams each scored a game high 18 points for Iona. Martinez connected on 14 of her points in the second half. Adams pulled down 14 rebounds for her 13th double-double of the season while also dishing out four assists.

Sophomore guard Aaliyah Robinson sparked the bench, matching a career high with 17 points, connecting on four second half three pointers. Junior guard Aleesha Powell was the fourth Gaels in double figures with 16 points in the win.

In the second half with Marist ahead 56-52, a pair of free throws by Powell and another trifecta by Robinson, the Gaels gained their first lead since the first half. Emma O'Connor then helped the Red Foxes regain the lead, 58-57, with 7:03 remaining.

Powell gave Iona the lead back on the next trip down the court before back-to-back layups by Marist gave the home team a 62-59 advantage with 5:52 on the clock. Adams connected on a free throw to trim the margin to two before another three pointer by Robinson gave Iona a 63-62 cushion with 5:06 left.

Iona extended the lead to five, 69-64, on a pair of Powell free throws. Marist got a three-point play from Blais with 1:50 remaining to cut the lead to two.  A layup by Martinez put Iona ahead four, 71-67, with 1:36 remaining before a pair of O'Connor layups evened the score at 71 with 24 seconds on the clock.

Following an Iona timeout, Martinez got the ball around half court, evaded defensive pressure, and put a runner in for the game winner.  

The Gaels are back in action Saturday, Jan. 18 for an 11 a.m. tip off at Fairfield.

To view game stats for Iona click here and to see post-game interviews, click here

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