Robert Olson matched his career high with 21 points, but the host Iona men's basketball team came back from a five-point halftime deficit Sunday afternoon to defeat Loyola, 74-63, in an early battle for first place in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.
Lamont Jones scored 25 points for the Gaels (14-4 overall, 6-1 MAAC), and Mike Glover added 20 points and 15 rebounds.
Loyola (12-5, 5-2) led by as many as seven in the game's early going after Justin Drummond converted a three-point play 7:03 into the contest.
Iona twice cut the Greyhounds' lead to three in the first two minutes of the second half, but Dylon Cormier (Cardinal Gibbons) scored four points in a row, the latter two coming on a pair of free throws with 17:29 in regulation, giving Loyola a 42-35 lead.
Glover made it a 44-41 game with a dunk, but after a steal by Loyola's Anthony Winbush, Olson fed Erik Etherly for a fast-break dunk at 15:20.
Iona, however, went on a 9-0 run, going up 50-46 when Jones made a layup in the paint with 12:13 on the clock.
The Greyhounds came back to tie on layups by Drummond and Cormier, but Iona took the lead for good with a tip-in by Glover at 10:02.
Scott Machado had 12 points and had nine assists for Iona, and Taaj Ridley added 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Drummond was the only other Loyola player to score in double figures, with 12 points. Etherly added nine and a team-high seven rebounds, and Cormier and J'hared Hall both scored eight points.
Loyola 55, Siena 45: The host Greyhounds (6-11, 2-4 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) played stifling defense, holding the Saints (4-11, 2-4) to 27.1 percent shooting and picking up their second win over Siena in eight days.
Katie Sheahin led Loyola with 19 points and nine rebounds, while Kara Marshall had 14 and Miriam McKenzie had 10 points and eight rebounds. The three combined for 43 of Loyola's 55 points just over a week after they scored 54 points on the road against the Saints.
The 45 points were the fewest Loyola had allowed against Siena in a series that dates to 1985. The Saints were led by Lily Grenci, who had 20 points and 11 rebounds.
The Greyhounds led by as many as nine in the first half after going on a 9-0 run to take a 16-7 lead.
Siena outscored the Greyhounds 14-5 over the final 9:45, tying the game at 21 at halftime. The Saints held the lead for much of the second half after starting the final period on a 9-3 run to take a 30-24 lead.
The Greyhounds showed their resiliency, drawing even with a quick 5-0 spurt capped by a layup by McKenzie to tie the game at 33 with 9:09 remaining.
Less than a minute later, Sheahin gave Loyola its first lead of the second half, knocking down a deep 3-pointer from the right wing that put the Greyhounds on top 36-35. Sheahin's 3 was part of a 14-2 run that put Loyola up 42-35 with 4:36 left.
The Saints pulled within three points with less than three minutes left, as Cristina Centeno hit a 3 and Grenci finished a layup in the paint to cut the Greyhounds advantage to 44-41.
Siena had the ball with a chance to tie the game, but Tehresa Coles missed a layup and Marshall grabbed the rebound and pushed the ball down the floor to McKenzie, who hit a 15-foot jump shot.
James Madison 67, Towson 57: The host Dukes used a 16-5 run over the final six minutes to defeat the Tigers (11-5, 2-3 CAA).
Three Towson players scored in double figures, led by senior guard Krystal Parnell's 17 points.
James Madison (12-4, 3-2 CAA) used a 12-1 run to take an early 12-6 lead, and the Tigers closed the first half on an 11-4 run to make it a 31-30 game at halftime.
Towson used a 6-1 run to take a 45-44 lead with 11:11 to play in the game, with senior guard Sheree Ledbetter scoring four points during the spurt. A layup from Lauren Whitehurst, however, put the Dukes ahead 51-47. A 3-pointer from Ledbetter as the shot clock expired and a bucket from Parnell gave the Tigers a 52-51 lead with 6:55 to go, but that would be the last bucket they scored till 4:16. During that stretch, James Madison scored six unanswered points and used that to start the 16-5 run.
Parnell had five rebounds and two assists in addition to her team-leading 17 points. Sophomore guard Tanisha McTiller had 14 points and two assists, while Ledbetter came off the bench to contribute 11 points and four rebounds.
James Madison's Tarik Hislop led all scorers with 21 points and four assists, while Toia Giggetts finished with 12 points and eight rebounds. Burkholder had 11 points, four rebounds and four assists.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun