Armand buries nine three pointers as Gaels top Canisius 97-87 at home

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NEW ROCHELLE, NY – Junior Sean Armand set a Hynes Center record with nine three-point field goals and matched his career-high with 32 points in leading the Iona College men’s basketball team to a 97-87 win over Canisius in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference action. Armand was just one trifecta shy of his own school record and also became the second player in Iona history to surpass 200 career three-pointers.

In a game where senior Lamont Jones, the nation’s No. 4 scorer was in foul trouble early. Iona’s bench stepped up tremendously as Jones was limited to season-lows with seven point and 25 minutes. Junior Tre Bowman had a monster game off the bench with a career-best 24 points. Freshman A.J. English added 10 points and DeShawn Gomez hit a back-breaking three-pointer with 4:24 left that stopped an 8-0 Canisius run and halted a comeback effort. The trio combined for 37 points in the win.

Junior David Laury posted 13 points and nine boards, shooting 6-of-9 from the field. Senior Taaj Ridley had eight points and five rebounds including a three-pointer at the halftime buzzer to cut Iona’s intermission deficit to two.

Both teams raced out of the gate scoring early and often. Iona raced out to its biggest first half advantage on two Bowman free throws at 10:38 that made the score 24-18. Five minutes later, a 25-12 Golden Griffin run swung the balance in favor of the visitors 38-31 for Canisius’ largest advantage of the half. Ridley’s three ball as time expired made the margin 49-47 at the half.

The Gaels scored the first eight points of the second half and quickly opened a 55-49 advantage. Two Harold Washington free throws with 15:09 on the clock gave Canisius a 58-57 lead. English buried a three ball on the next possession and bookended a 14-3 run over the next 4:02 with a second trifecta and the Gaels took its first double-digit advantage of the contest. Iona’s big run capped at 27-10 as English’s layup at 6:44 made the score 84-68.

The Golden Griffins clawed their way back to a single-digit deficit with eight straight points. Gomez’ long three pointer with the shot clock winding down and 4:24 to play ended the run as Canisius would not get any closer than eight points the rest of the way.

Washington led the Griffs with 26 points. Junior point guard Billy Baron posted a double-double with 20 points and 11 assists. Junior Jordan Heath added 13 points while junior Chris Manhertz had seven points and 14 rebounds in the loss.

The Gaels out shot Canisius 53.8%-50.0% while the rebounds were even at 33 a piece. Iona had 23 assists to just 11 turnovers.

Iona completes a two game homestand next Friday at 9:00 pm when they host Fairfield at the Hynes Center. The matchup can be seen live on ESPNU and is the second game of a doubleheader with both school’s women’s programs at 6:00 pm.

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