As Iona defeated Manhattan, Schadrac Casimir added another chapter to his budding legacy in just his freshman season. (Photo courtesy of Brian Beyrer via Iona College Athletics)
In what was billed as the "game of the year" in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, here now is our traditional handful of observations and nuggets of note after Iona won their seventh straight game Friday night, defeating Manhattan by the final of 70-67:
- First and foremost, the game lived up to the hype.
- Iona's victory gives the Gaels 20 wins for the fifth consecutive season, and head coach Tim Cluess is the only coach in program history with five straight 20-win seasons.
- Four of the last five meetings between Iona and Manhattan have been decided by exactly three points, with the one outlier being an 85-73 Iona victory on January 31, 2014 at the Hynes Center.
- Iona's win was the Gaels' first at Manhattan since a February 4, 2012 victory, coincidentally enough, also by the final of 85-73. To put that in perspective, Mike Glover and Scott Machado were still seniors on the Gaels' roster, while Momo Jones was a junior, and Sean Armand only a sophomore on an Iona team that eventually secured just the second at-large bid from a MAAC school into the NCAA Tournament.
- A.J. English proved his unselfishness despite going down as the hero.
- English's shot won the game, but another star was born.
- Iona's respect for Manhattan is just as prevalent as the Jaspers' for the Gaels.
- The Manhattan bench came away with quality minutes.
- Even in defeat, Steve Masiello found a positive.