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The Ionian

The Student News Site of Iona University

The Ionian

Basketball faces nail-biters as schedules wind down

Photo+courtesy+of+Ionagaels.com.+With+18+points+against+Rider%2C+Givon+reached+double+digits+in+a+game+for+the+sixth+time+this+season.
Photo courtesy of Ionagaels.com. With 18 points against Rider, Givon reached double digits in a game for the sixth time this season.

The Iona University men’s and women’s basketball teams each split their matchups for the week of Feb. 12.  

Beginning with the women, their first game during this slate came on Feb. 15, as they faced off against the Rider University Broncs. 

It was truly a back-and-forth contest the entire night, as the two teams were squared away at 22 points apiece in the second quarter and 33-31 heading into the final frame.  

Iona began the fourth quarter with a solid 5-2 run after three points from Noa Givon and a layup by Sierra DeAngelo. Givon later hit a clutch three with a little over two minutes to go before Rider went back up one point after a quick two.  

With nearly three seconds left in the game, DeAngelo was fouled. The forward made her first free throw attempt, but hit the rim on her second try, allowing the Broncs to retrieve the ball for one last push.  

Just as the clock expired, Rider’s Taylor Langdan hit a turnaround jump shot and brought the Broncs to a 45-43 victory in front of a stunned Hynes Athletic Center crowd.  

The Gaels rebounded two days later with a much-needed 54-35 win over Saint Peter’s University at Run Baby Run Arena.  

In capturing the regular season series over the Peacocks, eight Gaels contributed to the stat sheet. Rookie Zoey Ward hit the double-digit mark for the first time in her collegiate career after going 4-for-9 on shot attempts and leading the team in scoring in the fourth quarter.  

Sophomore Petra Oborilova scored half of her three-pointers (3-for-6), while graduate student Natalia Otkhmezuri tied a personal-best in assists with four.  

The women’s team returns to action on Feb. 24 for a Senior Day match with Mount St. Mary’s College.  

The men’s squad enjoyed an all-around team effort in a nationally televised win over rival Manhattan College on ESPNU.  

There were eight lead changes in the first half, which could be attributed to inconsistent shooting by the Gaels early on and a 13-8 score favoring the Jaspers by the 13:44 mark.  

Graduate student Wheza Panzo posted 21 points in 31 minutes, energizing an offense that needed help in the first half. His 70% shooting from long distance is a season-best among games with 10 or more attempts.  

The Gaels ended up making 63.6% of their second half baskets and cruised to a 73-63 win.  

Iona’s affair with Saint Peter’s was much more tense, as both defenses stepped up and allowed just 4-for-27 combined shooting in the first 11 minutes. The Gaels trailed by four at intermission, but cut it to 28-26 after baskets from Jeremiah Quigley and Idan Tretout.  

Saint Peter’s held a 51-39 lead with three minutes remaining and, even with a late Iona run that brought it to a four-point game, the visitors still won, 59-53.  

Up next for the men is a Feb. 23 away game at Rider University which begins a two-game road trip.

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Robert Hughes
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