Iona Avenge’s NCAA Tournament Loss, Shock No. 10 Alabama Improves to 6-0 – CBS New York

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (CBSNewYork / AP) – Nelly Joseph and Walter Clayton Jr. made important free throws in the final seconds to lift Iona over No. 10 in Alabama 72-68 in an opening round at the ESPN Events Invitational Thursday night.

Clayton got an offensive rebound and made one of two free throws to 70-68 with 20 seconds left. After Jahvon Quinerly missed a shot for Alabama, Joseph secured the victory with two free throws with 9 seconds left,

READ MORE: Dressed down; Alabama rolls over Pitino, Iona

Joseph and Clayton both finished with 15 points.

“I love the guys,” Iona coach Rick Pitino said. “They are good guys to train. I’m really, really excited, happy on their behalf.”

Tyson Jolly had 13 points, Elijah Joiner 12 and Quinn Slazinski 11 for Iona (6-0).

“It was one of our first goals and we reached it,” Jolly said. “Our goal was to start the year 6-0, and we did that tonight.”

Alabama (4-1) got 19 points from Jaden Shackelford. Quinerly added 15. There was no immediate postgame media session with Crimson Tide because they held a longer meeting after the loss.

Joiner hit a 3 to bring Iona up 69-65, but Shackelford joined from long range to make it a one-point game with 56 seconds left.

Joseph made two penalty throws during an 11-3 run to give Iona a 59-57 advantage. Alabama’s Darius Miles responded with a layup, but Jolly made a 3 to put Iona ahead 62-59 after 4 minutes. Shackelfords 3 put Alabama ahead 54-48.

Iona won despite a stretch of 4 ½ minutes early in the second half without a field goal. Alabama was up 33-29 at halftime, matching the biggest lead in the first 20 minutes.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Alabama: Likely to drop next week’s rankings after a loss to an undefeated team.

Iona: A strong run through the invitational match could give Pitino another Top 25 team.

READ MORE: Iona Gaels coach Tim Cluess is stepping down

LIMITATION OF DAMAGES

Pitino believed that a key for Iona was to limit Alabama’s 3-point production. The Crimson Tide made only four out of 12 attempts.

“If we could limit them from a large number of 3s, I felt like we had a shot,” Pitino said.

Alabama averaged 10.8 3-pointers a game.

COACH’S ROOM

Alabama striker Juwan Gary returned after missing two games with an ankle injury and had four points in 20 minutes.

BACK COMMITMENT

Alabama beat Iona 68-55 in the first round of last season’s NCAA tournament.

NEXT

Iona: Plays against Belmont on Friday in a semifinal.

Alabama: Drake plays Friday in the consolation round.

MORE NEWS: Bagley, Duke Rout Iona, Breeze Enter the second round of the NCAA Tournament

(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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