ALBANY, NY -- The Iona College men's basketball team resumed MAAC play in unfriendly territory and came away with an 86-72 win over Siena at the Times Union Center. Senior David Laury led four Gaels in double-figures with a 24-point, 10-rebound double-double. The Maroon & Gold improved to 2-1 in MAAC play with its ninth overall win over the season.
Laury shot 8-for-14 from the field and 7-for-9 from the free throw line adding three assists and three steals in 35 minutes. It was his seventh double-double in his last nine appearances. 15 of his 24 points came in the second half. Junior A.J. English scored 15 of his 17 points in the first to help build Iona's 10-point halftime advantage. English picked up his fourth personal foul with 14:54 remaining in the second half and was forced to the bench for a 11:45 stretch. He posted three rebounds and three assists. Junior Isaiah Williams and rookie Schadrac Casimir each had 14 points. Williams had a team-high four three-pointers and had five rebounds. Casimir posted three steals.
Iona built an 11-point advantage just under a minute into the second half. Siena got within four points less than three minutes later following a 10-3 run, but the Gaels scored six of the next eight points to make the score 57-49 following a Laury three ball at 15:37. The Saints took advantage of English and junior Kelvin Amayo forced to the bench during a 9-0 run to give the home team a 58-57 advantage. During the stretch, Iona had four straight turnovers without a field goal attempt.
Siena senior Rob Poole hit a second chance three-pointer from the top of the Key to cap the run and give Siena the lead. On the next possession, Williams answered with a huge three from the wing, snapping a 3:05 scoreless streak for the Gaels and sparking an 8-0 run over the next 66 seconds. Laury followed an empty turn for the Saints with a mid-range jumper and after a second defensive stop, he converted a conventional three-point play and the Maroon & Gold led by seven with 11:26 to play.
It was Siena's turn to go cold from the field. A Poole layup with 9:16 ended a near four-minute field goal drought for the Saints. It would be the only field goal the home team would have over a 7:09 stretch. From the three pointer by the Siena senior that gave his team the lead with 13:01 to play until less than six minutes remaining, the Saints shot 1-for-7 with three turnovers, allowing Iona to go on a prolonged 16-3 run and regain its double-digit advantage. An English runner with the shot clock winding down on the Gaels final possession gave Iona its largest lead of the contest at 86-70.
Poole scored 21 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead Siena including 15 in the second half. Sophomore Lavon Long had 16 points and six boards. Sophomore Marquis Wright had 14 points and four assists while sophomore Javion Ogunyemi posted 11 points and eight rebounds in the loss.
The Maroon & Gold out shot Siena 53.7%-47.3% with the help of a 63.6% effort in the second half. Siena held a 34-26 advantage on the boards but had a 17-12 deficit on turnovers.
The Gaels begin a three-game home stand Tuesday (Jan. 6) against Quinnipiac. Iona then hosts Canisius Saturday (Jan. 10) and Fairfield next Tuesday (Jan. 13).