NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- The Iona College men's basketball team dropped an 83-58 decision at Valparaiso in its season opener and its opening contest in the two-game Hardwood Showcase. Senior A.J. English and sophomore Deyshonee Much scored 12 points each to lead the Gaels.
Valpo never trailed in the contest after senior Keith Carter hit a three-pointer on the game's first possession. After scoring the first eight points of the game the Crusaders stormed out to an 18-2 advantage. Senior Kelvin Amayo's three-pointer with 6:41 remaining got Iona within 11 points, the closest they would get in the contest.
English shot 2-of-7 from the field and 8-for-10 from the charity stripe. He added five assists and three rebounds in the loss. Much was 3-for-11 with two three-point field goals and had five rebounds, three steals and two assists. Senior Isaiah Williams and junior Jordan Washington each had eight points. Washington added five rebounds. Junior Taylor Bessick had a team-high six boards off the bench.
Valpo had five scorers in double-digits led by 17 points from sophomore Tevonn Walker. Junior Shane Hammink added 16 points and seven rebounds off the bench. Carter and sophomore Max Joseph had five assists a piece while senior Vashil Fernandez recorded seven blocks.
The Gaels shot just 29.0% from the field in the contest with the Crusaders connecting on 42.6% of their attempts. The home team also held a 42-38 advantage on the boards.
The Maroon & Gold heads to Corvallis, OR for its final Hardwood Showcase contest at Oregon State for a 10:00 pm ET tip-off on the Pac 12 Network.