Clayton and Joseph secured Iona’s 72-68 victory over No. 10 Alabama
Lake Buena Vista, Florida. – Nellie Joseph and Walter Clayton Jr. executed key free throws in the final seconds to beat Alabama’s No. 10 Iona 72-68 in the opening round game at ESPN Events Invitational Thursday night.
Clayton had an offensive rebound and made one of two free throws to make it 70-68 with 20 seconds left. After Jahvon Quinerly missed a shot for Alabama, Joseph secured two free throws with 9 seconds left,
Joseph and Clayton each finished 15 points.
“I’m happy for the guys,” said Iona coach Rick Pettino. “They are great guys to train. I am really, really excited, happy for them.”
Tyson Jolie scored 13 points, Ilya Joyner 12 and Quinn Slazynski 11 Leona (6-0).
“It was one of our first goals, and we accomplished it,” Julie said. “Our aim was to start the year 6-0 and we did that tonight.”
Alabama (4-1) got 19 points from Jaden Shackleford. 15. There was no immediate media session after the match with Crimson Tide because they had an extended meeting after the loss, Quinrelli added.
Carpenter managed a 3 hit to lift Iona 69-65, but Shackelford connected from long range to make it a one-point game with 56 seconds remaining.
Joseph made two free throws during the 11-3 game to give Iona a 59-57 advantage. Alabama’s Darius Miles responded with a corner kick, but Jolly scored 3 to put Iona back in 62-59 lead in minute 4. Shackleford 3 put Alabama ahead 54-48.
Iona won despite 4 consecutive minutes early in the second half without a field goal. Alabama was leading 33-29 in the inning, which equated to the largest advance within the opening 20 minutes.
The repercussions of the opinion poll
Alabama: Next week’s rankings are likely to drop after a loss to an undefeated team.
Iona: A strong run during the call could give Pitino another top 25 team.
Pitino thought Iona’s key was to limit Alabama’s 3-point production. Crimson Tide made only four attempts in 12.
“If we can reduce them to a large number of 3s, I feel like we have a chance,” Pettino said.
He entered Alabama averaging 10.8 three-pointers per game.
Alabama striker Joanne Garry returned after missing both games due to an ankle injury and has four points in 20 minutes.
Alabama defeated Iona 68-55 in the first round of the NCAA Championship last season.
Iona: Belmont will play in the semi-finals on Friday.
Alabama: Drake plays Friday on the funeral tour.
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