Gaels treat fans to back-to-back wins at Hynes to open season


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Iona’s 42 free throw attempts is the most the team has attempted in a single game in the last nine seasons.

The Iona men’s basketball team beat Appalachian State 65-53 on Nov. 9 at the Hynes Center in the team’s first home-season opener since 2018.  


The Gaels gave a team effort as they combined for sixteen assists throughout this game, while maintaining a strict defense that continued to improve as the game progressed, highlighted by the Mountaineers’ 29% shooting in the final 20 minutes of play.  The team also limited their mistakes, totaling 12 turnovers.  


Nelly Junior Joseph, who is currently in his sophomore year after a MAAC Rookie of the Year campaign last season, played the most with thirty-two minutes contributing twelve points, three rebounds and two assists.  


Graduate student Tyson Jolly, a newcomer to the team from Southern Methodist University, contributed the most points with 19 in 27 minutes of playing time.  


Dylan Van Eyck, also a fifth-year player, played a sizeable role in the rotation for Iona as well, scoring 17 points and pulling down eight rebounds.  


Iona went on to beat Harvard 90-87 in overtime on Nov. 13 at the Hynes Center, moving them to 2-0 in the early season.  


The game came down to which team would capitalize from the charity stripe, and the Gaels delivered, converting four chances in the final seconds of overtime.  


Junior Joseph’s impact on the game was made clear in the box score. His 28 points were a career-high for the sophomore forward and he was able to control the paint on both ends of the floor for Iona.  


His pair of free throws at the end of overtime capped off his career evening and gave Iona a lead they would not surrender.  



Jolly’s versatility was shown in his team-leading 41 minutes. He was able to collect 16 points, three rebounds and four assists on the game. Van Eyck’s value as a weapon off the bench for head coach Rick Pitino was demonstrated against Harvard, as the stretch forward notched 16 points, five rebounds, five assists and five steals.  


Iona was unanimously voted as Men’s Basketball Preseason Favorite in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Basketball Preseason Awards Show on October 19. Joseph who is entering his sophomore year was selected to the Preseason All-MAAC First Team. The Gaels finished first with 121 votes in the MAAC Preseason Coaches’ Poll.   


The Gaels will have one more home game against Hofstra before they head down to Lake Buena Vista, Florida as they are set to play four straight games in the 2021 MAAC A-SUN Challenge. 


Iona will play Alabama on Nov. 25 in a rematch of the first round in the 2021 March Madness tournament. Head coach Rick Pitino and the Gaels will look for redemption and to pull off an upset when they face Alabama, a team ranked 14th in the ESPN Men’s College Basketball Rankings.  


The team will then return north to find itself on the hardwood of some of the most notable venues in New York sports, playing Yale at the Barclays Center on Dec. 12 before facing off against Seton Hall in the Gotham Classic at Madison Square Garden.  


The Maroon and Gold head to Belmont Park to battle Delaware at the UBS Arena on Dec. 21 before beginning their conference schedule 10 days later against Siena.  


Iona will look to defend their MAAC pedigree this season and keep the streak alive as they look to claim their 13th conference championship in school history.