Feb. 8, 2006
BALTIMORE, Md. - Senior guard Steve Burtt scored a game-high 30 points as Iona College (17-5, 11-3) had six players in double figures en route to a 101-85 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference victory over the Greyhounds (11-11, 5-9) at Reitz Arena on Wednesday evening.
The Gaels jumped out to a commanding 20-2 lead in the first 6:20 of the game by making eight of their first 10 shots from the floor and forcing seven Loyola turnovers. Iona continued its torrid shooting performance in the first half and held a 54-33 advantage at the intermission, setting a season high for points in the first half. The Gaels, who entered the game as the top scoring team in the conference, shot 62.5 per cent from the field in the opening stanza. Senior guard Andre Collins led the Greyhounds with 11 points, while Burtt led all players with 16 points in the opening half.
The Gaels expanded their lead to as much as 23 in the second half with 13:54 remaining on a lay-up by senior forward Kiril Wachsmann before the Greyhounds tried to chip away at the lead with an 11-3 run, which was led by freshman Marquis Sullivan, who had nine points in the spurt. Iona ended the rally with fourth straight points, including a slam dunk by junior forward Anthony Bruin, to take an 84-65 advantage and end the Greyhounds' comeback bid. Loyola was unable to get closer than 15 and lost for the eighth time in the last nine games.
Burtt, who scored 32 points in the Gaels' January 19 win over Loyola, made 9 of 11 shots from the floor and also converted 9 of 14 free throw attempts. Senior guard Ricky Soliver added 21 points and a game-high six rebounds as Iona held a 34-28 rebounding edge.
Collins led the Greyhounds with 20 points, marking the 15th straight game he has reached the 20-point plateau. Sullivan and sophomore guard Brad Farrell each added 18 points in the loss for Loyola.
The 101 points scored by the Gaels were the most since Iona tallied 100 points against Niagara on December 28, 2000 in a 10-point victory over the Purple Eagles. The Gaels also made 36 of 48 free throw attempts in the win, setting a season high.
The Greyhounds, who have lost six straight games, return home on Saturday afternoon when they host Saint Peter's College at Reitz Arena beginning at 12:00 p.m. Meanwhile, Iona continues its three-game road trip with a 3:30 p.m. meeting against Fairfield on Saturday.