Senior forward Quinn McDowell shook off a recent shooting slump in finishing with 18 points on 7-of-11 from the field and 4-of-6 from 3-point range. With his 18-point night, McDowell moved into 11th on the Tribe's career scoring list with 1,351 career points, passing two-time First-Team All-CAA player Adam Hess. Junior guard Matt Rum continued his solid play for the Tribe tallying 12 points, including a 3-of-5 effort from 3-point range. Senior guard Kendrix Brown turned in a nice floor game, leading the Tribe with nine rebounds, three assists and three steals.
The Gaels scored the opening five points of the game, before the Tribe got on the board with a Brown conventional 3-point play at the 18:19 mark. The Iona advantage was one, 7-6, after a McDowell 3-pointer from the right wing before four straight points from the victors put the Gaels on top, 11-6. A seven-point Iona spurt pushed the margin to 11, 23-12, with 9:09 remaining in the first half as Scott Machado and Jermel Jenkins each canned 3-pointers.
The Iona lead was again 11 after a Jenkins' 3-pointer with 5:50 remaining in the first half, before the Tribe rattled off a 12-5 spurt to close within four. After sophomore Fred Heldring found McDowell for an easy back-door lay-up, freshman guard Marcus Thornton finished a nice spinning reserve lay-up to cut the margin to seven, 31-24. Rum took over for the Tribe with six straight points. After canning a 3-pointer from the right wing, the Baltimore, Md., native scored on a driving lay-up and drew the foul. His eventual free throw to complete the 3-point play pulled W&M within six, before sophomore guard Brandon Britt followed up his own miss to close the gap to 36-32 with a minute remaining in the opening half.
The lead remained four after another driving bucket by Britt with just 23 seconds remaining in the half, but it was Iona that took the momentum to the locker room. Lamont Jones found Machado for his second 3-pointer of the game from deep on the right side to send Iona to the intermission with a 41-34 advantage.
Back-to-back 3-pointers from Iona's Sean Armand extended the Gaels' advantage to 13, 47-34, two minutes into the second half. McDowell 3-pointers at both the 15:58 and the 15:06 marks cut the deficit to nine, but Iona answered with a 20-6 run to put the game out of reach. In total, the MAAC preseason favorite hit its first six 3-point shots of the second half to increase its halftime advantage and pick up the win.
For the game, W&M shot 41 percent from the field and hit 10-of-22 from 3-point range. The Tribe dished out a season-best 15 assists on the night as Heldring and sophomore guard Julian Boatner equaled Brown for team-high honors with three. Iona connected on 51.6 percent from the field (32-of-62), but did most of its damage from 3-point range, connecting on 62.5 percent (15-of-24) from long distance.
Britt added nine points for the Tribe, while Thornton and sophomore forward Tim Rusthoven each finished with eight points. Rusthoven added five rebounds, two assists and two steals, while Thornton recorded a pair of helpers. Jones and Armand led Iona with 20 points apiece as Jones also tallied eight assists and Armand connected on 6-of-7 from 3-point range. Mike Glover added a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds, while Jenkins and Taaj Ridley chipped in 13 and 10 points, respectively. Machado, the national leader in assists, finished with a unique double-double, dishing out 10 assists and pulling down 10 rebounds.
W&M will return to action at Miami (Ohio) on Thursday, Dec. 29, at 7 p.m. Fans can catch the action over the Tribe Radio Network with Jay Colley, Bill McDonald and Charlie Woollum on the call. The Tide 92.3 FM in Williamsburg is the flagship station of the Tribe Radio Network and the broadcast can be heard over the Internet at TribeAthletics.com.