NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- The Iona women’s basketball team moved back into first place in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference standings with a 64-49 win over the Monmouth Hawks Sunday evening.
Senior Joy Adams matched her all-time career-average against the Monmouth Hawks with a game-high 20 points and 15 rebounds. Junior Marina Lizarazu came just shy of a double-double, scoring 13 and recording nine assists.
The Hawks came into the game as the leading rebounding team in the MAAC, averaging nearly 40 a contest. The Gaels were able to quell that advantage through the 40 minutes, eventually out-boarding Monmouth 40-33; Iona also held them to just seven offensive rebounds, and the Hawks entered the game averaging 17 per game.
Both teams took a while to gather their offensive footing; Iona and Monmouth both shot below 30% in the first quarter. The Gaels took a 10-8 lead into the second frame, and almost instantaneously both teams remembered how to put the ball in the basket.
The Hawks hit nine of their 12 shots in the second, and the Maroon & Gold managed to match by hitting on 50% of their field goal attempts. At the end of two quarters, Lizarazu had 10 points to lead Iona as it entered the locker room with a 34-29 advantage.
The Gaels started the second half on a seven-nothing run, forcing an early Monmouth timeout. The quick burst would carry Iona and allow them a cushion for the remainder of the game. Iona’s largest lead was 18, and that came at the 3:40 mark in the third.
Monmouth committed 22 turnovers during the course of the game, allowing Iona to score 26 points off those given opportunities. Each team scored 20 points in the paint, however Iona had a 12-to-five advantage in second chance points.
Sophomore Philecia Gilmore attempted a career-high 11 three-point field goals, connecting on four of them, finishing with 13 total points. Senior Aaliyah Robinson scored nine points, all coming in the second half.
Freshman Alexis Lewis followed up her 21-point effort against Niagara by scoring seven in 23 minutes of play.
Senior Jasmine McCall led Monmouth with nine points off of the bench, and senior Jamiyah Bethune dished out a team-high five assists while battling foul trouble.
With the win, Iona improves to 12-9 on the season, and 8-2 in MAAC play.
The Maroon & Gold continue their road swing at Niagara University next Saturday, Jan. 30. Tip-off scheduled for 3:00 PM.