Women’s basketball finding success early in season


Photo Courtesy of icgaels.com

The Gaels were projected to finish sixth in the conference in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Preseason Coaches Poll.

Giovanni Paolo Tagliafierro, Sports Editor

The Iona women’s basketball team started their season 2-0 with a contested road win against Bryant on Nov. 9 followed by a more lopsided victory against Winthrop in the team’s home opener on Nov. 13.  


Defense led the way for the Gaels against the Bulldogs, as the team maintained their press defense for a majority of the game and were rewarded for their tenacity with 28 points off Bryant turnovers. 


Defensive pressure was an emphasis coming into the season, according to head coach Billi Chambers, and this commitment to harassing defense showed in the team’s 32 forced turnovers.  


This ability to press for long durations of game time is dependent on the team’s depth, something that Chambers is confident in as the season progresses.  


The secondary rotation was a major contributor for Iona as well, as players coming off the pine provided nearly half of the team’s total offense.  


“I was absolutely thrilled with our bench production,” Chambers said in a phone interview. “I think that’s a good sign for the direction that were heading. It’s exciting to see them come together, cheer for the person in front of them and then be ready when their number was called.”  


Chambers followed this by telling Gael fans to expect to see a lot of different players getting minutes throughout the 2021 campaign.  


Junior Juana Camilion led the way for the starters with 15 points on 6-13 shooting from the field. The 5-10 guard from Palma De Mallorca, Spain, will only benefit from Iona’s added depth if the team can keep this level of play up, as Camilion has been one of the Gael’s primary scoring options in recent seasons.  



Freshman Judith Gomez played a team-high 33 minutes in her collegiate debut. She was able to grab two offensive rebounds and swipe three steals. Chambers praised Gomez as a highly collected and skilled player who will develop throughout the season. 


The team headed back to New Rochelle after the victory in Rhode Island where they defeated the Winthrop Eagles 67-45.  


The Gaels started the game on 10-0 run and never looked back. They kept the Eagles off the offensive glass for most of the contest, holding them to zero second-chance points, while the Gaels capitalized on 13 points as a result of 15 offensive rebounds.  



Camilion on shot an effective five-of-eight from the field with juniors Ketsia Athias and Izzy Lipinski each putting up 10 points and a combined 13 rebounds in the front court.  


Athias and Lipinksi are both playing in their first full seasons with Iona. Chambers says that they both offer the team security and consistency down low.  


“Ketsia’s realy worked to become our go-to player inside with Juana being our go-to perimeter player,” Chambers said. “Izzy is also another post player that is going to give us a lot of great minutes. She is not afraid to do the dirty work.”  


The team has six more games of non-conference play before they open their regular season up against Sacred Heart University on Dec. 12.