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Friday, March 23 Sports

Fairfield men ripped by Iona

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. — Tyler Nelson scored a team-high 16 points while Ferron Flavors Jr. added 13 points, but the Fairfield University men’s basketball team fell to Iona College 84-65 Sunday.

The Stags grabbed an early lead by outscoring the Gaels 7-2 through the first few minutes of the game. Deyshonee Much erased that deficit quickly for Iona by making two three-point field goals on consecutive possessions. The shots were the first of Much’s five first-half three pointers which he made on his first five attempts.

The Gaels pushed the lead to seven points at 20-13 with 11:15 mark after another Much long-range jumper. But the Stags netted the next nine points to regain the lead at 22-20, a run that started with consecutive layups from Jesus Cruz. A three-point shot from Flavors Jr. tied the game while Wassef Methani’s layup put Fairfield in front.

Fairfield continued to add to its lead and eventually ran the advantage to 28-23 after three free throws from Nelson and a three-point shot from Aidas Kavaliauskas. Iona finished the half with a 14-6 run that sent the home team into the locker room with a 37-34 lead.

The deficit remained at three points after Jonathan Kasibabu’s layup put the score at 41-38 just two minutes into the second half. Iona opened things up with eight straight points with six of those coming on back-to-back three pointers by Schadrac Casimir within a 14-second span that would put the Gaels ahead 51-38 with 16:22 left.

Fairfield fought its way back into the game, beginning with a three-point field goal from Flavors Jr. and Methnani’s layup that cut the lead to eight points. Iona built the lead back up to 16 points with 11 minutes to go, taking advantage of second-chance opportunities that came about from several offensive rebounds.

Fairfield still rallied down the stretch after falling behind 66-51 as the Stags managed to trim the deficit to seven points with a 9-1 run that included five points from Nelson and a dunk from Kasibabu. But Iona responded with its own spurt by scoring 11 of the game’s next 13 points that pushed the lead to 16 points at 78-62 with just over two minutes remaining in the game.