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Washington, Svandrlik rally Iona past Ohio, 79-75

Gaels shoot nearly 60 percent in 2nd half

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – Jordan Washington scored 30 points, and Jan Svandrlik added 19 to rally Iona past Ohio, 79-75, on Saturday at the Hynes Center.

Jaaron Simmons had 22 points, while Antonio Campbell finished with 16 points and nine rebounds for Ohio (5-2).

The Bobcats led by as many as 12 points in the first half and held an advantage most of the second half until the Gaels (6-3) came on strong down the stretch.

Svandrlik hit a 3-pointer that gave Iona its first lead of the game, 57-56, with 11:56 remaining, but after a Taylor Bessick dunk added to the advantage, Ohio tied it on a Simmons three-point play. The Gaels briefly regained the lead, 62-61, on another Svandrlik trey, but it, too, was short-lived as Campbell scored in the post on the next possession.

A short time later, Ohio pushed out to a five-point lead, getting a Campbell jumper, a Simmons layup, and, after a Sam Cassell Jr. free throw, a Doug Taylor jumper to make it 70-65 with 7:40 remaining.

Once again, the lead did not hold up. Svandrlik, who hit his first five 3-point attempts, made back-to-back treys to push Iona in front, 71-70, with 4:48 to go. He added two free throws on an 8-0 run of his own, and Washington scored inside with Campbell on the bench with four fouls, giving the Gaels their biggest lead, 75-70, with 2:57 remaining.

Ohio tied it, though, with Gavin Block knocking down a 3-pointer, and then after Svandrlik finally missed, Jordan Dartis hit a pair of free throws to make it 75-75 with 1:36 to go.

E.J. Crawford split a pair of free throws to give Iona the lead for good with 1:23 left, and after Campbell missed an off-balance jumper, the Bobcats came up with a big steal, only for Simmons to throw the ball away to Rickey McGill in transition the other way.

That led to a fast break for the Gaels, who made the most of it. Cassell Jr. found Crawford for a layup, and he was fouled by Kenny Kaminski. After the free throw, Iona’s lead was four points with 18 seconds remaining. Kaminski missed a pair 3-point tries on Ohio’s final possession.

The Bobcats had the momentum early, using a 9-0 run to take an 11-2 lead. After a Washington basket, Campbell scored inside and Simmons hit a 3-pointer to make it 16-4 seven minutes into the game.

With the score 21-9, Iona began to get back in the game with a 7-0 run capped by a Crawford 3-pointer making it 21-16. The Gaels got as close as 24-21 and 29-26 in the first half before the Bobcats pushed their lead back to double-digits, 36-26, on a Simmons 3-pointer.

Iona followed with eight straight points, getting a Washington layup to make it 36-34, but Ohio got Simmons free throws and a Rodney Culver dunk to take a 40-34 lead at the half.

Washington did most of his damage in the first half with 18 points, while Svandrlik scored all but three of his points after the break. Crawford finished with 15 points, and McGill had 12 assists and three steals to go with six points.

Kaminski had 11 points, and Dartis finished with 10 points and five assists for Ohio. After going 6 of 7 for 12 points in the first half, Campbell was just 2 of 7 for four points in the second half.

Iona shot 59.3 percent in the second half, compared to 41.9 percent for Ohio. For the game, the Gaels finished at 46.7 percent, while the Bobcats made 44.6 percent of their tries.

Ohio hosts Milwaukee at 7 p.m. Wednesday at The Convo.

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