LAWRENCEVILLE, NJ -- The Iona College women's basketball team opened its Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference slate Friday evening with a 71-51 victory over Rider at Alumni Gymnasium.
Junior guard Damika Martinez led the Gaels with 23 points to go along with seven rebounds and four assists. Sophomore guard Marina Lizarazu scored a collegiate career high 21 points, and dished out a game-high seven assists.
Junior forward Joy Adams scored eight points and grabbed nine rebounds, while junior guard Aaliyah Robinson corralled eight rebounds. Freshman guard Philecia Gilmore sparked the Iona bench with a career-high nine points.
The Maroon & Gold did not trail in the contest, scoring the first eight points of the contest and never looking back. The Gaels stretched their lead to 21, 23-2, with 8:50 remaining on a layup by freshman guard Kristin Mahoney. Rider tallied the game's next four points before Iona ended the first period on a 13-6 run, and took a 36-12 lead into the half.
In the second half, the Broncs outscored the Gaels 39-35, aided by 16 second chance points and 16 offensive rebounds. The Maroon & Gold led by as many as 28 points in the period, and never led by less than 20. Martinez scored 13 of her points in the second, while Lizarazu accounted for 12 points in the half.
Overall, Iona held Rider to an 18-for-72 output from the field. It marked the fewest field goals surrendered by the Maroon & Gold since holding Canisius to 16 on the Griffs' home court in Jan. 2013.
The Gaels, 3-4 overall on the year, take on Monmouth Sunday afternoon at 2:00 pm before resuming non-conference action Dec. 14 at home against Central Florida.