BALTIMORE, Md. – Troy Baxter had a game-high 25 points and Lagio Grantsaan scored 22 points, and Morgan State finished with a win to beat Iona 83-72 in the first meeting between the teams since 2001.
It marked Morgan State’s first win against the Gaels in six tries. Iona leads the all-time series 5-1.
Malik Miller chipped in 11 points with six rebounds and De’Torrion Ware came off the bench to score nine points.
Defensively, the Bears held Iona to 46.6 percent (27-58) shooting from the field and 6-of-25 shooting from beyond the arc. Morgan also scored 28 points off of 18 turnovers by the Gaels.
Baxter led Morgan State (2-1) shooting 7 for 17 from the field, 5 for 8 from 3-point territory and he hauled down seven rebounds. Grantsaan scored 17 of his 22 points (8-9 FG) in the first half, including five 3-pointers.
Grantsaan opened the game by hitting a 3-pointer and an Iona turnover led to a fastbreak layup by Trevor Moore to give the Bears an early 7-0 lead with 17:03 left in the first half.
Iona (1-2) went just over 5 minutes without a point before Berrick JeanLouis finished off a two-handed slam to put the Gaels on the scoreboard. Grantsaan answered with a 3-pointer from the top of the key to put the Bears up 12-2 at the 14:45 mark.
The Gaels were held to just a single basket to open the first eight minutes of action and started the game shooting just 1-of-8 from the field.
Grantsaan’s hot shooting continued when he buried his third 3-pointer of the half to give the Bears a commanding 17-4 advantage.
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Ross completed a 4-point play after being fouled on a 3-pointer to trim the Bears lead to 17-8 with 10:56 left in the half. Ross hit a pull-up jumper in the lane to cut the lead to 17-10.
The Gaels trailed 23-16 with 7:49 in the first half. Grantssan hit his fifth 3-pointer to extend the lead to 26-16.
Ross scored on a 3-point play to end a 3 minute field goal drought by the Gaels to trail 26-20. JeanLouis scored on a fastbreak as part on an 11-5 run to cut the lead to 28-24.
Iona tied the contest at 33-33 on a baseline jumper by Nelly Joseph (6pts, 5 rebs).
The Gaels took its first lead of the game at 38-35 when a turnover in the backcourt led to a 3-pointer by Tahlik Chavez. The lead was brief as Baxter answered with a 3-pointer of his own and the teams went into the intermission tied at 38-38.
Morgan State started the second half with a run-out dunk by Baxter and he hit a deep, contested 3-pointer as part of a 7-2 spurt to give the Bears a 47-42 lead with 15:58 left.
Ware completed a 3-point play and Baxter canned a step-back 3-pointer to give the Bears a 10-point cushion at 56-46 at the 13:46 mark. It was part of a 15-4 run by the Bears over a 5-minute stretch.
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The Bears held a 67-57 lead before Baxter reeled off six straight points, including his sixth 3-pointer of the night to push the lead to 73-57. Morgan’s lead balloned to as many as 19 points when Miller hit a pair of free throws to push the lead to 80-61 with 3 minutes left to go. The Bears would go on to cruise to its second win of the season.
Morgan shot 48.1 percent (25-52) for the game, including a season-high of 57.9 percent (11-of-19) from 3-point territory.
Berrick JeanLois paced the Gaels with 15 points and Ryan Myers added 10.
Isaiah Ross, who entered the game ranked No. 3 in the nation in scoring (28 ppg), saw a lot of defensive attention by the Bears. The senior guard was held to 12 points, including just two points in the second half.
Morgan State host Bellarmine on Sunday, Dec. 13.
Courtesy: Morgan State Athletics