NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- The Iona comeback train fell just short of the station at the nation’s capital Sunday afternoon. The Gaels fell just short of upsetting the George Washington Colonials on their home court, falling by a final score of 70-65.
Sophomore Philecia Gilmore finished with a new career-high 19 points on six of 12 shooting, and tied a season-high with three assists to lead the Maroon & Gold attack. Senior Joy Adams played just 25 minutes due to early foul trouble, but still netted 13 points and pulled down eight rebounds in the loss; she also chipped in two assists, one steal, and one block.
Junior Marina Lizarazu assisted on five Iona field goals, and swiped the Colonials of the ball on eight separate occasions; it’s the third highest total for steals in a game since 2001. Thazina Cook and Lauren DeFalco each recorded ten in a single game at point in their careers.
The Gaels started the game strong in the paint, despite going up against the nation’s leading rebounder, senior Jonquel Jones. The Maroon & Gold used ten points in the paint, and a Gilmore old-fashioned four-point play to carry a 17-15 lead after the opening frame.
Much like the Saint Joseph’s contest last time out, Adams found herself in early foul trouble, and as a result played limits in the opening half.
The Colonials came into the game off of a seven-day academic break, and they seemed to get their offensive-groove back in the second quarter. GW outscored Iona 23-10 in the second quarter, highlighted by Jones scored eight of her team-high 21 points. The Gaels failed to hit a three-point shot in the frame, and went into the locker room trailing 38-27.
The third quarter belonged to senior Aaliyah Robinson; she scored nine points in the frame, hitting two triples and an and-one reverse lap-up. Iona entered the final frame trailing 52-42.
The Maroon & Gold momentum train reached accelerated at the start of the fourth quarter. Behind a pair of successful long-range hurls from Gilmore, the Gaels took off on a 13 to two run, taking a 55-54 lead with 5:59 to go.
Trailing by two at 4:11, Lizarazu drew her fifth personal foul, forcing her to leave the contest. From that point on, Iona would not be able to get over the hump. The Colonials stretched their lead to at 2:29 with a corner jumper for Jones, and then matched it at ten seconds to ice the game.
Adams also fouled out of the contest at the 22 second mark.
Iona shot 34.9% from the floor, and 25.0% from beyond the arc. The Gaels did force a season-high 26 turnovers and scored 19 points of such opportunities.
George Washington shot 37.3% for the game, hitting on one of their five three-point field goal attempts. The Colonials reached their season average, corralling 51 rebounds, 20 of which were offensive.
The Maroon & Gold are on holiday break until Dec. 29. East Tennessee State will be visiting the Hynes Center for the final game of the 2015 calendar year.