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Monday / November 20.
  • Monmouth’s Win Over Iona Marred By Altercation In Handshake Line

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    UPDATE 1/16: Iona announced Saturday that it had suspended Jordan Washington two games as a result of his slap of Monmouth’s Chris Brady. Washington will not play Sunday at Rider and Friday (Jan. 22) vs. Saint Peter’s.

    “We hold our student-athletes to a higher standard than was displayed last night,” said Iona coach Tim Cluess. “We should know and will use better judgment in the future, regardless of provocation.”

     

    NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. — Monmouth scored a key MAAC victory on Iona’s home floor Friday night, but the exciting contest was marred by an altercation in the handshake line when Iona’s Jordan Washington slapped Monmouth’s Chris Brady in the face.

    A junior forward who had 21 points and 8 rebounds in the game, Washington is listed at 6-foot-8, 255 pounds, while Brady, a junior big man, goes 6-10, 250. Brady responded by putting his hands in the air, but did not appear to retaliate.

    The video was shown by ESPNU and then released via Twitter.

    “Chris’ nose is about this swollen right now so if [Washington] slapped Chris that hard, man he should maybe try MMA because nobody smacks and the kid’s nose is this big downstairs right now,” Monmouth coach King Rice said after his team’s 110-102 victory. “So I don’t know if it was a smack or what it was but big Brady’s nose is pretty messed up right now.”

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    Rice added: “There’s going to be suspensions. I saw a couple of them and I’m not that happy about it. But when we see the video something will happen when people lose their cool.”

    Said Iona coach Tim Cluess: “I haven’t seen any video yet so I really don’t know what went on that way. Right now we’re all involved making sure that none of the players got hurt and trying to contain the whole situation with both teams. And I think the majority, almost every single kid on both teams, did a very good job of keeping everything under control and making sure nothing happened.”

    Cluess added: “There’s emotions when you play a basketball game, when you play a football game, whenever game you play, there’s a lot of emotions going on in there. Unfortunately, something got the best of somebody in there or the chippy talk that was going on right from earlier in the game probably was remembered by someone. We don’t know yet, when we see the video we’ll have a better idea.”

    In a game attended by half a dozen NBA scouts, Iona’s A.J. English went for 45 points on 16-for-26 shooting in the loss, one off his career-high.

    “He is obviously the top player in our league right now,” Rice said of English.

    Asked what he saw during the handshake line, English said, “I was toward the back of the line, I didn’t really see what happened.”

    He added: “There was a lot of emotions out there, I don’t know exactly what happened.”

    Monmouth, which ended Iona’s 26-game home winning streak, was led by a career-high 29 points from Justin Robinson. Deon Jones added 18 points, Micah Seaborn had 15 and Josh James 14.

    Monmouth, whose bench has gained national notoriety for their antics during games, now owns victories over Notre Dame, UCLA, USC, Rutgers, Georgetown and at Iona.

    “I was just going to congratulate Monmouth on a really well-played game,” Cluess said. “They’ve played about as well as anyone we’ve seen this year. They shot the ball at a whole different level, they shared the ball well.”

    Both teams are NCAA Tournament contenders. Monmouth (13-4, 5-1 MAAC) is projected as an at-large team by ESPN’s Joe Lunardi, while Iona (9-7, 6-1) is projected as the MAAC champion.

    “We’re still the little brother until we win the league,” said Rice, whose program is now 2-6 against Iona.

    Said Cluess: “Hey, it’s a really good rivalry, it’s fun to have a good rivalry.”

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.