Gaels stay golden in MAAC with win over Saints


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Joseph currently sits at second in the MAAC in rebounding and 10th in scoring.    

The Iona men’s basketball team remained undefeated in conference play with a win over Siena at the Hynes Arena on Tuesday.  


Four players scored in double figures for the Gaels as Iona cruised to a victory against their conference opponents.  


Both teams got off to a slow start, with the score at halftime showing Iona up 29-22. The home team shook off their subpar first half and picked it up in the second, scoring 47 in the period.  


Iona’s offensive attack featured the usual suspects of senior Elijah Joiner and Sophomore forward Nelly Junior Joseph, who each scored 13. Joseph filled his stat line with eight rebounds, four steals and three blocks, while graduate student Tyson Jolly put in 12 points as well.  


Sophomore guard Ryan Myers made the most of his 15 minutes on the hardwood, hitting three triples and scoring 13 points along with five rebounds, two steals and a block.  


The win on Tuesday put Iona over .500 in the series against Siena which dates back to 2001. Prior to the game, both teams had records of 22-22 against each other, with Iona taking the last two contests.  


Heading into the break, Iona was scheduled to play in the 2021 Basketball Hall of Fame Invitational at Barclays Center on Dec. 12 against Yale as well as the 2021 Guaranteed Rate Gotham Classic in Madison Square Garden on Dec. 18 against Seton Hall.   


The team faced off against Yale, handling them easily with a final score of 91-77, but was unable to play Seton Hall, a top-25 team in the country, due to a Covid-19 cancelation 


The Iona squad put in a full team effort as they were able to convert twenty assists on their ninety-one points scored against the Bulldogs. This stood as the Gaels highest point total in a regulation game this season.   


Joseph led the team in both rebounds and minutes played with 10 rebounds and 35 minutes. He also recorded a double-double with 15 points. 


Jolly recorded seven rebounds as well as leading the team with 21 points. Fifth-year player Dylan Van Eyck lead Iona in assists with five as well as recording 17 points.   


The Gaels took the court against Delaware on Dec. 21 at UBS Arena in the final game before winter recess. They were able to get the win with a score of 83-72. Joseph recorded another double-double as he recorded 14 points with 14 rebounds. Walter Clayton Jr continued his strong freshman campaign with twenty-one points. 


Iona then traveled back to New Rochelle and played their first home game at Hynes Arena since Dec. 3 when they faced off against Marist on Jan. 2. The Gaels were able to improve upon their undefeated conference record by beating Marist 69-66. Jolly lead the team with 18 points. 


After their home win Iona went on the road to Chaifetz Arena as they got set to play St. Louis on Jan. 8. The Gaels modest five-game winning streak ended as they lost 68-67.  


The game was tight from the start, as Iona held a one-point advantage at the end of the first half. St. Louis took the lead with nine seconds to go on a Fred Thatch Jr put back, set up by the team’s 21st offensive rebound of the night, to send Iona packing.  


Following the loss to Saint Louis, Iona bounced back and got the win against Fairfield on Jan. 11 at Webster Bank Arena. The Gaels had five players score in double figures in the contest.  


Joseph put together a standout performance in the game, scoring 20 and grabbing 12 boards, something that Gaels faithful have become accustomed to seeing the sophomore forward do game in and game out.