How Iona Won: Gaels cherished the basketball in second half, committing just four turnovers after giving it away 11 times in the opening 20 minutes. Ball security, combined witha 41-32 rebounding advantage, limited Niagara’s chances in transition. And the Purple Eagles aren’t the same team when forced to operate out of the half-court set.
Turning Point:Niagara went on a 11-0 burst to lead, 47-37. Iona came right back with nine straight points, five of them by Rashon Dwight, to close within one with about nine minutes remaining.
Player of the Game: Iona sophomore guard Scott Machado had 12 points, six rebounds, six assists and scored the winning basket.
Stat of the Game:Niagara shot 3 of 16 from three. Live behind the arc, die behind the arc.
He Said It: “Personally I like to play over there at Niagara. I love the fans. The fans were crazy. They got one of the best fan bases in America I would say. So it was a little different atmosphere. – Iona forward Alejo Rodriguez on the HSBC setting..
In the House: 2,616 for the doubleheader. The weather couldn’t have helped.
Up Next: Niagara gets Fairfield at Monday in the GallagherCenter. Iona is at Canisius at 7 Monday.
Western New York native Bob DiCesare covers UB football, Big 4 basketball and writes an occasional column. He still holds a grudge against Chris Ford who, he's convinced, cost St. Bonaventure the 1970 NCAA basketball championship.
Rodney McKissic began his journalism career in 1989 after graduating from the University of Cincinnati and has worked for The Buffalo News since 2001. A proud father of four children, he enjoys reading in his spare time.
Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has covered colleges for The Buffalo News since 1999. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.