BUFFALO, NY - The Iona College men's basketball team fell to Canisius 78-74 in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference play at the Koessler Center. The Gaels snapped a five-game win streak in a hard fought defeat on the road. Senior David Laury had 29 points and junior A.J. English was just two assists shy of a triple-double with 19 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists in the loss.
The Golden Griffins led by as many as 12 points late in the first half. The lead was erased midway through the second frame following junior Kelvin Amayo's strip of Adam Weir and ensuing breakaway dunk that made the score 59-59 with 10:55 to play. With Canisius leading 76-70 with just under three minutes to play, the Gaels scored four in a row on a layup by Laury and two English free throws with 48 seconds on the clock. After a defensive stop, English made a move to get to the rim but was called for an offensive foul as the referee ruled he pushed off his defender resulting in a turnover. Canisius' Phil Valenti hit two free throws after the Gaels' fouled to create the four-point separation in the final score.
Laury shot 12-of-19 from the field with two three-pointers and was 3-of-4 from the line to account for his 29 points. He added six rebounds, four assists and three blocks in 38 minutes. English fell two assists shy of becoming just the third Gael in history to record a triple double. Amayo recorded 16 points on 5-of-6 shooting with four assists, three rebounds and two steals. Rookie Schadrac Casimir chipped in eight points and four rebounds. Graduate Kristian Duravcevic made an impact in his five minutes, grabbing three offensive rebounds and recording two blocked shots.
Canisius was led by sophomore Zach Lewis' 24 points with the assist of five three-point daggers. Sophomore Phil Valenti added 19 points and six rebounds, while his classmate Jeremiah Williams had 10 points and four assists in the win.
The Gaels out shot (48.2%-43.9%) and out rebounded (37-35) Canisius and had one more assist. It was a 6-for-24 effort from beyond the arc and a 14-7 deficit on second chance points that served as the downfall.
Iona played without junior Isaiah Williams, whose foot injury kept him out of a second straight contest.
With the loss and a Rider win, the Gaels and Broncs head into Thursday night's (Jan. 22) contest tied for first place in the MAAC standings. Monmouth is in action vs. Fairfield at press time and a win would create a three-way tie at the top of the table. The Gaels and Broncs square off in Lawrenceville at 7:00 pm Thursday.