NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- The Iona College women's basketball team resumed non-conference action Sunday afternoon with a 75-67 victory over UCF at the Hynes Center. The Gaels were able to withstand a 43-31 rebounding edge for UCF by forcing the Knights into 21 turnovers, and connecting on 11 three point field goals.
Sophomore guard Marina Lizarazu registered her first career double-double, scoring 12 points and dishing out 12 assists.
Senior guard Damika Martinez scored a game-high 31 points, connecting on 13 of 22 attempts from the field, including four from behind the arc. With 263 career 3FGs, Martinez is now third all-time in league history and four shy of tying for the all-time mark (Amanda Cavo, Canisius, 267).
Junior guard Aaliyah Robinson connected her stretch of hot play with 19 points and five steals. Robinson matched a season-high with five three pointers, one shy of a career high.
After UCF scored the game's first four points, Iona went on an 8-4 run to even the contest with 16:37 remaining. A three by Robinson with 14:05 left gave the Maroon & Gold its first lead of the game; an advantage the Gaels would hold for the duration of the contest.
A layup by Martinez with 7:21 left in the period gave Iona its first double digit lead of the contest, 24-14. A three by UCF's Zykira Lewis trimmed the lead to 33-29, before Lizarazu closed the half with four straight points to give the Maroon & Gold a 37-29 cushion at intermission.
Iona put the game away by opening the second half with a 16-6 run, as a three by Martinez with 15:10 remaining gave the Gaels a 53-38 lead. Trailing 64-48, UCF cut the lead to single digits with an 8-0 run. The Maroon & Gold answered with an 11-2 charge, taking a 75-58 lead with 1:35 remaining.
Lewis led the Knights with 26 points, while Brittni Montgomery had 18 points and matched a UCF single-game record with 24 rebounds.
The Iona win evened the all-time series between the two teams to two apiece. The Gaels are back in action Saturday, when they host No. 17/19 Rutgers at 2:00 pm.