Rick Pitino, Iona Gaels write the historical past of MAAC males’s tires with the shock of # 10 Alabama

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Rick Pitinos Iona Gaels grew to become the primary crew in Metro Atlantic Athletic Convention historical past to beat an AP High 10 crew after upset # 10 Alabama 72-68 on Thursday evening.

Nelly Junior Joseph and Walter Clayton Jr. made crucial free throws within the ultimate seconds to carry Iona within the opening spherical sport of the ESPN Occasion Invitational.

Clayton acquired an offensive rebound and made 1 of two free throws for 70-68 with 20 seconds to go. After Jahvon Quinerly missed a shot for Alabama, Joseph secured victory with two free throws 9 seconds to go.

MAAC groups are actually in video games in opposition to an AP high 10 squad with 1: 119. Pitino has now defeated a high 10 crew at 4 completely different colleges (Windfall, Kentucky, Louisville, Iona).

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“I am joyful for the boys,” stated Pitino. “They’re nice to coach. I am actually, actually excited, joyful for them.”

Tyson Jolly had 13 factors, Elijah Joiner 12 and Quinn Slazinski 11 for Iona (6-0). Alabama (4-1) acquired 19 factors from Jaden Shackelford. Quinerly added 15.

“It was one in every of our first objectives and we achieved it,” stated Jolly. “Our objective was to start out the yr 6-0 and we did that tonight.”

Joiner hit a 3 to get Iona to 69-65, however Shackelford hit from a distance to make it a one-point sport with 56 seconds remaining.

Joseph made two free throws throughout an 11-3 run to offer Iona a 59-57 benefit. Alabama’s Darius Miles responded with a layup, however Jolly made a 3 to convey Iona again into the lead with 62-59 on the 4-minute mark. Shackelfords 3 gave Alabama a 54-48 lead.

Iona gained with no discipline objective regardless of a 4½ minute break early within the second half. Alabama was midway forward with 33:29, which was the most important lead within the first 20 minutes.

Pitino thought a key for Iona was to restrict Alabama’s 3-point manufacturing. The Crimson Tide solely managed 4 in 12 makes an attempt.

“If we may reduce them off by a lot of 3s, we felt we had an opportunity,” stated Pitino. Alabama got here up with a mean of 10.8 3 factors per sport.

The win serves as revenge for the Gaels who misplaced to Alabama within the first spherical of final season’s NCAA match.

Iona will play Belmont within the semi-finals on Friday, whereas Alabama might be within the comfort spherical to face Drake.

Data from The Related Press contributed to this story.

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