NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- Marina Lizarazu scored 22 points, and Joy Adams came off the bench to net 10 tallies for the Maroon & Gold, but it wasn’t enough late Saturday afternoon as the Ion dropped a 64-52 matchup against North Carolina. Following the loss, the Gaels stands at 0-4 thus far in the 2015-16 campaign.
The Tar Heels started off the game hitting lights out from the floor, continuing a trend that they have maintained throughout their first five games of the season. Legendary UNC Head Coach Sylvia Hatchell saw freshman Stephanie Watts score eight points in the opening six minutes, leading them to a 14 to four advantage at the first official timeout.
Following a break of play, Iona was able to gather themselves and protect the ball better. Such improvement in the final minutes allowed the Gaels to climb back into the game and trail only 19-10. UNC scored 12 of their game-total 25 points-off-turnovers in the opening ten minutes of the contest.
After trading baskets back-and-forth throughout the second quarter, Iona entered the halftime break trailing North Carolina 32-21. Three Gaels attributed for all of the teams’ opening half points; Lizarazu had 12, senior Aaliyah Robinson knocked down two triples, and Adams had three on one of four shooting.
The Tar Geels and Gaels battled evenly in the third quarter, each trading baskets without any team making a major run. The closest Head Coach Billi Godsey saw her team get came at the 1:41 mark of the third; Lizarazu hit her second three-pointer of the game to get within seven of the Tar Heels. Iona shot 46.2% from the floor in the third quarter, improving on their 29.6% shooting performance from the first half.
Entering the fourth quarter, Lizarazu led all scorers with 20 points, but the fourth frame belonged solely to North Carolina freshman, Destinee Walker. At the 7:12 mark, the Maroon & Gold trailed UNC by nine and had possession of the ball. After an untimely turnover, Walker nailed two consecutive three point field goals to stretch the lead to 15, and essentially seal the game for the hosting Tar Heels.
Iona made a mini-run in the final minutes of the game with Freshman Iida Ahvenainen scoring her first collegiate basket, and sophomore Philecia Gilmore knocking down two buckets from beyond the arc.
Junior Aurellia Cammock got the start for the Gaels and put up four points and six rebounds in 20 minutes of play. Iona ended the game shooting 35.1% from the floor, and 26.9% from beyond the arc.
Iona will conclude this stretch of three games in three days tomorrow against Fairleigh Dickinson. Tipoff between the Gaels and Knights is scheduled for 1 PM.