NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- The Iona College men's basketball team earned a 77-64 victory over Rider in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference play at the Hynes Center. Junior guard A.J. English scored 30 points and grabbed a career-high 14 rebounds in the win.
English posted his third career double-double and first of the point-rebound variety. It was his seventh straight 20+ point effort and second straight 30+ point effort. He became the seventh player in Iona history to record back-to-back 30+ point efforts. He added five assists and a steal in the win.
Freshman Schadrac Casimir posted 19 points and three assists while junior Isaiah Williams had 15 points, four rebounds and four assists. Junior Ibn Muhammad posted six points and five rebounds while junior Kelvin Amayo added five.
The Gaels trailed by five points early in the first half following a Jimmie Taylor jumper at the 17:19 mark that made the score 7-2. Down three just over five minutes into the game, Iona scored nine straight points in a 1:46 span to take the lead for good. Williams' three-ball from the wing at 14:23 was the final lead change of the contest. Casimir electrified the crowd with just under six minutes to play with back-to-back three pointers in 11 seconds. The Gael faithful rose to their feet when he fired away at a third attempt 15 seconds later and just came up short. The Gaels led by as many as 16 points following a conventional three-point play by Amayo with 1:41 remaining in the half. Rider cut the deficit to 40-28 at the half.
Iona's largest lead of the contest was 17 early in the second half. English drained a three pointer with 18:39 remaining to put the score at 48-31. The Broncs did not go quietly, slowly chipping away before getting to within six points. Kahlil Alford hit two free throws with 5:09 left and Rider trailed 65-59. English and Williams sparked a 5-0 run to regain the double-digit advantage and Iona held on for the 77-64 win.
Taylor scored 16 points and had six rebounds while Teddy Okereafor had 15 points, six boards and four assists.
English joined a storied cast of Warren Issac (1964), Jeff Ruland (1978), Steve Burtt Sr. (1983, 1984 twice), Sean Green (1991), Steve Burtt Jr. (2006) and Mike Glover (2010) in the Gaels back-to-back 30+ point club. It is the ninth time the event has occurred at Iona.
The Gaels played without the services of senior David Laury who sat out due to a violation of team rules.
Iona continues action at the Hynes Center Saturday when it hosts Indiana State in an ESPN Bracketbusters return game at 2:00 pm.