Coach Tim Cluess and the Iona Gaels saw their season end in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive year. The 2017 MAAC Tournament champions hung with Oregon for most of the first half, but ultimately ran out of steam down the stretch.
There was a scary moment toward the end of the first half when Iona’s Jordan Washington slipped on a wet spot on the court and went down clutching his right leg. Fortunately, Washington, who led the Gaels in scoring this season with 17.9 points per game, was able to return for the second half. The senior showed a lot of heart playing through obvious pain and finished with a 22-point and 11-rebound double-double.
The Gaels trailed by as many as 26 in the second half before a barrage of three-pointers spurred a 20-7 run to cut the deficit to 13 with just under six minutes remaining. 13 points turned out to be as close as this game would get in the second half before Oregon pulled away to a comfortable 93-77 victory.
Sam Cassell Jr. and Deyshonee Much both finished in double figures with 16 and 15 points respectively. For Washington and Cassell, Friday’s loss marked the end of their collegiate careers. Washington played two years at Iona after transferring from Indian Hills Community college and Cassell played just on season in New Rochelle after transferring from UConn for his final year of eligibility.