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Iona 70, Rutgers 62

November 30, 1997

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) _ John McDonald scored five of his game-high 22 points in a key 10-0 second-half run as Iona defeated Rutgers, 70-62, Saturday night.

McDonald’s second straight 22-point effort helped the Gaels (3-2) win their third game in four attempts against Big East teams under third-year coach Tim Welsh.

After Jeff Greer’s three-point play gave Rutgers (1-2) a 34-32 lead, Tariq Kirksay hit a three-pointer to make it 35-34 and give Iona the lead for good with 17:32 remaining. That started a 10-0 run that gave the Gaels a 42-34 advantage with 14:19 left. McDonald hit a three-pointer and a jumper during the run.

Rutgers, which had forwards Rob Hodgson and Eric Clark playing with four fouls much of the second half, cut the deficit to one point twice, and trailed 51-49 with 8:18 left. Iona responded with a 15-6 run to make it 66-55 and put it away with 33 seconds left.

Kashif Hameed had 12 points and 11 rebounds for Iona while Kirksay added 15 points, nine rebounds and five steals. The Gaels shot 40 percent for the game but improved a woeful first half effort by hitting 47 percent in the second half.

Rutgers got 15 points from Hodgson, 13 from Greer, 11 points and five assists from Earl Johnson and 10 points from Alvydas Tenys.

Despite making just two field goals in the final 11 minutes of the first half, Iona emerged with a 30-27 lead at intermission. Rutgers used a 12-2 run for a 16-15 advantage and led 27-26 with 4:35 remaining. But Iona scored the last four points as the Knights went their final 10 possessions before halftime without scoring.

Rutgers hurt itself with 40 percent shooting and 13 turnovers in the half. Iona was unable to pull away due to 32 percent shooting.

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