Gael Gate: Iona celebrates beginning of basketball season


Photo credit - Jocelyn Arroyo-Ariza

Students were required to show vaccination proof or a negative test upon entrance

Jocelyn Arroyo-Ariza, News Editor

Defending their MAAC championship, the men’s basketball team played a historic game last week against Appalachian State. The regular season home opener had the most students and employees in attendance ever.  

Gaels, many of whom were attending their first college basketball game, were eager to see the team play, but first they were looking forward to Gael Gate. The event, a pregame tailgate sponsored by SGA and SAAC, began at 5 p.m. on Mazzella Field.  

At Mazzella Field, students bonded, catching up with friends and making memories. Though Daylight Savings Time made it difficult to see, flashlights glistened across the field. Students roamed the field trying to find friends among the darkness or sat on the bleachers to place their hot food down. Cornhole and other lawn games were set up for students to enjoy. Basketball and football were also played in between waiting in line for foam fingers. A fan favorite was the cotton candy that kept Gaels coming for more.  

At 6:30 p.m. the pipe band led students into the Hynes Athletics Center. The energy was impressive inside the gym, where students, faculty and family cheered on the team. After a fast-paced and exciting game, the Gaels scored a 65-53 win over Appalachian State.  

The second installation of Gael Gate took place on Nov. 13 at 11 a.m. The event featured a brunch with free food and beverages, games, and a cash bar for those 21+. Saturday was a double header with men’s basketball vs. Harvard and women’s basketball against Winthrop.  

School spirit aided the men’s basketball team in securing a win against Harvard in overtime. Women’s basketball was no different with an extraordinary 67-45 victory over Winthrop.   

Admission for Gael Gate was free with a ticket for the game. Proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test result was required. Due to popular demand, the remaining men’s basketball home games this semester will kick off with a pre-game Gael Gate.  

Tickets are free for students and faculty. To ensure access for the upcoming Gael Gates and games, it is advised to claim your tickets in advance to reserve your spot.  

Upcoming men’s and women’s basketball home games include: 

  • Saturday, Nov. 20 at 1 p.m. vs. Stony Brook (women’s) 
  • Tuesday, Nov. 23 at 7 p.m. vs. Bucknell (women’s) 
  • Friday, Dec. 3 at 7 p.m. vs. Rider (men’s) 
  • Saturday, Dec. 4 at 1.00 p.m. vs Wagner (women’s)