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Massachusetts 87, Iona 82

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Completing a difficult month on a positive note, Massachusetts closed out nonconference play with an 87-82 victory over Iona on Tuesday at the Mullins Center in Amherst, Mass.

After a hot start to the season, Massachusetts (7-6) went 2-4 in December.

The backcourt led the Minutemen to Tuesday’s win. Junior guards Trey Davis and Derrick Gordon scorched the nets all evening, as the duo combined to shoot 17-for-26 from the floor. The bulk of Davis’ production came from behind the arc, as he made five of six 3-point attempts en route to a game-high 25 points.

Leading 69-58, Massachusetts appeared as though it would run away with the game. However, Iona stormed back with a 20-4 run that put the Gaels ahead 78-73. The Minutemen responded with six consecutive points to move back on top.

With the score tied at 81-81, Gordon sank a jumper, and then he sealed the win with two free throws down the stretch. Gordon finished with 19 points and seven rebounds.

Iona (8-5) had four starters score in double figures. Senior forward David Laury had a team-high 24 points and 11 rebounds. Junior guard A.J. English also posted a double-double with 16 points and 12 assists.

Massachusetts’ Derek Kellogg coached Tuesday’s game with a heavy heart, as he revealed afterward his mother-in-law died earlier in the day.

The Minutemen open Atlantic 10 play Saturday with a home contest against St. Bonaventure. The Gaels resume Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference action Sunday at Siena.

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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