Women’s basketball prepares for the MAAC Tournament


Photo courtesy of ionagaels.com

The Gaels are seeking their second ever MAAC championship.  

Ethan Megar, Staff Writer

The Iona University women’s basketball team concluded their regular season on March 4, defeating Saint Peter’s University 64-56 in Jersey City, NJ.  

The Gaels kept the Peacocks winless this season in the contest. Senior guard Kate Mager led the Gaels with 16 points in the matchup. Senior forward Ketsia Athias also contributed to the win, recording a double-double with 12 points and 16 rebounds. 

The team is currently 16-1 in 2023, with their last loss coming on March 2 against Marist College, who finished the regular season ranked 7th in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.   

Iona finished 1st place in the MAAC with an 18-2 conference record (23-6 overall), holding a 2-game lead over Niagara University. The Gaels swept the Purple Eagles in their two matchups this season, recording victories on Jan. 2 and Feb. 2 by a combined total of 17 points.  

The Gaels have outscored their opponents by 272 points this season. Leading the team in points is Senior guard Juana Camilion with 14.1 PPG (points per game). Camilion also broke the program record for steals this season on Feb. 4 against Canisius College. Camilion currently has 265 career steals, surpassing the previous record of 249.   

Mager currently leads the MAAC in 3PT (three-point) percentage, shooting .492% over 29 games played. Mager also remains perfect from the free throw line, making all 24 of her attempts this season. 

Athias was voted the MAAC Player of the Week on Feb. 20, averaging 17.0 PPG and 11.5 RPG (rebounds per game) during the week. Athias leads the team with 8.2 RPG this season. 

A key highlight from this season was in the team’s 91-64 victory against Siena College on Feb. 16, where Iona shot 75.5% (37-49) from the field. This is the highest FG% (field goal percentage) in any Division I basketball game this season and ties the 2nd highest percentage since women’s basketball records began in the 1981-82 season.  

Athias, Camilion and Mager earned All-MAAC honors for their performances this season. Camilion was voted to the All-MAAC First Team for the first time in her career, while Athias and Mager were voted to the All-MAAC Second Team. Camilion was also one of two players who were unanimously selected for the First Team. 

Iona clinched the MAAC regular season title on Feb. 25 with a home victory against Canisius College. They will face the winner of Mount St. Mary’s University and Canisius College in the quarterfinals on March 9.  

Iona won in the first-round last year against Rider University 74-58 but lost to the eventual MAAC champions Fairfield University 69-56 in the quarterfinal.  

The Gaels were last regular season champions during the 2013-14 season and won the MAAC tournament during the 2015-16 season.  

The MAAC tournament championship will take place on March 11 in Atlantic City, NJ. The MAAC champion will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Division I tournament beginning on March 15.