Saturday, November 23, 2013

Armand's 30 Leads Iona Past George Mason

Sean Armand lit up scoreboard again, going for 30 in Iona's 89-73 win over George Mason. (Photo courtesy of Iona College)

Following a 1-2 start to the season and a 20-point loss to Kansas, criticism arose as to whether Iona could play a complete game.

The doubts, at least today, have been temporarily silenced.

Taking control with an authoritative 34-5 run to start the game, the Gaels (2-2) never eased off the accelerator, drawing away to an 89-73 win over previously undefeated George Mason (4-1) in a matchup of two of the more successful mid-majors of recent years, with five Iona players ending the afternoon in double figures before a crowd of 1,738 at the Hynes Center.

"We came back ready to work from our last loss," said Sean Armand, who led the Gaels with 30 points on a day where the senior from Brooklyn broke the school record for career three-point field goals, passing Iona legend Steve Burtt. "Everybody doubts our team, but we've got a lot to prove. We've got a chip on our shoulder day in and day out."

David Laury also contributed 14 points and nine rebounds for the Gaels, who got 11 points from Tre Bowman and 10 from Rutgers transfer Mike Poole. In addition, sophomore guard A.J. English had a career game with 18 points, seven rebounds and six assists.

"I think we found our point guard," Tim Cluess said of English, who missed Iona's run to a MAAC championship after breaking his hand in January. "He's done a great job at that position the last three games."

The Iona offense fired on all cylinders this afternoon, scoring the first 14 points of the game before Mount Vernon product Sherrod Wright put George Mason on the board with a free throw over four minutes into the contest. Wright and teammate Marko Gujanicic led the Patriots with 12 points each.

Iona heads to "Dunk City" one week from Sunday to face another upstart mid-major in Florida Gulf Coast, with the Gaels' MAAC opener taking place three days later against Marist.

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