Isaiah Williams made his return for Iona Friday night, scoring 12 points and grabbing seven rebounds in Gaels' 79-75 win over Manhattan. (Photo courtesy of Brian Beyrer via Iona College Athletics)
The traditional handful of observations and nuggets of note this time around, with five items of interest following Iona's 79-75 win over Manhattan, one that gave the Gaels a regular season sweep of the Jaspers and clinched an undefeated record at the Hynes Center:
- Isaiah Williams.
- With Williams' return, Iona was able to return to an old standby.
- David Laury battled, even if the box score says otherwise.
- Once again, Steve Masiello had glowing praise for Iona.
"I thought they should have got in last year," he continued, reminding everyone of his belief that the Gaels were an NCAA Tournament-caliber team last season, "and I was a big advocate for that. They should have, because they were that good last year."
"A.J. English was grabbing me, saying 'I'm so happy to see you back on the sideline, Coach,' Masiello later added. "Their kids have such class, and I really respect that."
- "We gave up the middle too much."
Bonus Observation: Reaction to a potential third Iona/Manhattan matchup:
"Just because we beat them now, it basically don't even matter now that the regular season's about to be over, and if we lose in the MAAC, (Tournament) it's over." - Isaiah Williams
"I mean, it's great, but like I said, every team in the MAAC has great coaches and great teams. We don't look by anybody. We try to worry about everybody." - A.J. English
"I don't really believe that if you beat a team two times, you can't beat them a third. I think whoever plays better that night, whoever makes their shots is going to win the game. Obviously, there's a little more motivation on the team that lost twice, they're going to be hungrier, they're going to make a lot of changes that may surprise you a little bit." - Tim Cluess
"I feel like we're going to see Iona again, and hopefully the third time's a charm. I would love to play them again. Obviously, I think everyone would want to see that matchup again. You know, we played them last year in the championship and we came out with a win, which is good for us, but if we end up seeing them again, I feel like we'll be ready, so I'm looking forward to that." - Ashton Pankey
"They're a great team, but I feel like they don't want to see us also, so it goes both ways, but like I said, they're a great team. I love playing against those guys, they're probably sending me text messages right now. It's hard to beat a team three times. I could backtrack on my career here at Manhattan, and it shows that you really can't beat a team three times, so I feel like we've got a great chance." - Emmy Andujar
"I'm not into the sizzle factor, I'm into winning games, and they're a good team. I like playing them because it's great for college basketball, it's great for our guys, but it's a tough out. That's what makes it fun." - Steve Masiello