Iona is a veteran college basketball team that again showed this week that it knows how to win on the road. On Wednesday afternoon, the Gaels won their sixth road game of the season, by defeating Richmond 88-79 in Virginia.
In a game that they trailed by three early in the second half, Iona pulled away from the Spiders with a 37-16 second half run. The Gaels improve on the year to 8-2, their only losses coming in the season opener by one point to Purdue and Sunday at Marshall. Richmond fell to 6-4 on the season.
Mike Glover had another one of his monster games, contributing 24 points along with eight rebounds. Point Guard Scott Machado, who leads the NCAA in assists, had another 15 on the day. Lamont "Momo" Jones had 14 points and continues to emerge as a major partner with Glover and Machado in the Iona offense.
Iona received big performances off the bench. Sophomore swingman Sean Armand gave Iona a big push by making five of six three point shots, including a two point field goal for 17 on the afternoon. Ra'Shad james added 14 points and six rebounds.
Iona Head Coach Tim Cluess responded by email to my question about why his team played so well in the second half at Richmond,
"I think the team came out focused on the defensive end to start the second half and did a great job of sharing the ball on the offensive end. Our guys really wanted to play a better half and get the taste of the Marshall game out of their mouth."
Iona plays its sixth straight game on the road Saturday in Burlington, Vermont against the Catamounts. They then trail back to play at William & Mary in Virginia next week before a Christmas break.
The win showed the veteran toughness of the Gaels being able to come back with a big performance after a road loss at Marshall on Sunday. Preventing back to back losses is key for successful teams. Iona showed their fitness by playing forty minutes of their up tempo style.
Ken Kraetzer covers Iona basketball and West Point football for WVOX 1460 AM in New Rochelle, NY and Sons of the American Legion Radio. Follow him on Twitter at SAL50NYRadio.
All quotes are original unless otherwise noted.