NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- A second half surge fell just short tonight's for the Iona College men's basketball team in the 2017-18 season opener with a 69-67 setback at the University of Albany.
After trailing 34-23 at halftime, the Gaels (0-1) rallied to outscore the Great Danes (1-0) 44-35 in the second period. The Maroon & Gold opened the second half with a 15-4 run to tie the game at 38 following a Zach Lewis layup with just over five minutes gone by.
Iona claimed its first lead of the half at 44-43 with 11:10 remaining with a 3-pointer from Rickey McGill. The two teams exchanged leads five more times in the next three minutes as Joe Cremo put the hosts up three with 7:02 left. After McGill put the Gaels ahead 55-54 with 4:44 left, David Nichols nailed a trey to put Albany ahead for good at with 4:08 remaining in regulation.
Despite the deficit being cut to one point on two occasions, Iona was unable to overcome the Great Danes as Nichols went perfect on four free throws in the last 11 seconds. McGill made the first of two free throws with two seconds remaining, however, the second attempt was rebounded by Greig Stire to close out the win for Albany.
TK Edogi scored 17 points on 8-of-10 shooting in his Iona debut, including 13 in the second half, to lead the team while also adding nine rebounds, a block and a steal. Deyshonee Much added 15 points, three rebounds and three assists to join Edogi in double-figures.
The Great Danes put four players in double-figures, led by a game-high 18 points from Nichols. Stire posted a double-double of 15 points and 12 rebounds as Albany produced a 47-27 rebounding advantage, leading to 27 second chance points.
A tie game of 19-19 resulted in an 11-point halftime lead for Albany following a 15-4 run in the final six minutes. Stire pushed the Great Danes to an 11-point margin with 29 seconds until halftime with a layup. Travis Charles gave the hosts the largest lead of the game of 13 points to open the second half before Iona went on a 15-2 run to tie the game.
The Maroon & Gold continue a six-game road trip to start the season with a meeting at Syracuse on Tuesday, November 14. Tip-off is scheduled 7:00 pm from the Carrier Dome.