The Iona Gaels (5-5) split games this week winning at home against Liberty 87-69 then traveling to Philadelphia and losing 88-74 to La Salle despite 21 points and 14 rebound debut performance from sophomore forward David Laury.
Against Liberty on Tuesday night in the Hynes Center, the Gaels set a school record taking 41 three-point shots and tying a record by making 18 of them. Sean Armand had a productive game for the Gaels with seven "Threes" completed of 14 attempts, 23 points and nine rebounds on the night. Lamont "Momo" Jones led in total points with 24 points, grabbed seven rebounds, and made five passes for assists.
New comer for Iona Tre Bowman had 13 points and true freshman A.J. English had 17 points. Bowman played 16 games for Penn State before playing last year at Midland College in Texas. English is the son of former NBA player AJ English II, who played for the Washington Bullets in the early 90s. The 6'4" small forward has found a comfortable spot in the corner to make his shots, making five of his eight three-point attempts.
The Gaels struggled on three point shots against La Salle, making only five of 23 attempts. Only three Gaels had double figures in scoring as "Momo" Jones had 19 points and Sean Armand had 15.
Iona was weak in play, making just 11 assists on the night and being forced into 16 turnovers.
In his first game as a Gael, David Laury contributes a double-double with 14 rebounds and 21 points. The former 6' 8" Lamar State junior college forward player shot 8 of 13 and grabbed 14 rebounds. Laury came off the bench to play 26 minutes, showing that his conditioning could be better than the coaching staff might have thought for a team that plays fast break basketball.
To make playing time available for Laury, the pairing at the five spot so far in the season between junior 6'9" Shawn Jackson and 6'7" senior Taaj Ridley was reduced to seven minutes for Jackson and nine for Ridley. Iona may try a bigger lineup at times, playing both Laurie and either of the other two Gael "bigs".
Sunday afternoon will be the first time for Iona fans to see David Laury in action at the Hynes Center against Norfolk State (6-7). Game time against on North Avenue in New Rochelle will be 2 p.m.
This should be an important opportunity for Iona to work Laurie into the lineup before heading on the road for three straight road games at Saint Joseph's Friday in Philadelphia, at Saint Bonaventure on New Year's eve, then in Albany against Siena, an ESPN3 game on January 4th.
Ken Kraetzer covers Iona basketball and West Point football for Sons of the American Legion Radio. Twitter @SAL50NYRadio