Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Prior to this year, the Puerto Rico Tip-Off tournament record for assists was 22 in three games.
Iona’s Scott Machado shattered that mark by dishing 41 dimes in three contests– against just six turnovers — to lead the Gaels to a 2-1 record in the event.
“It’s amazing,” Machado told SNY.tv by phone after going for 15 points, 15 assists and zero turnovers in Iona’s 89-63 rout of Maryland.
“All the credit goes to my teammates. Without them knocking down shots or making layups or catching alley-oops, it all goes to them. It’s just wonderful.
“And you have so many pieces like that. Even the guys on the bench, when they come in the game, they all step up. It’s a blessing really.”
Lamont “Momo” Jones led all scorers with 22 points and Mike Glover had 19.
Iona’s 26-point win over a BCS opponent broke the school’s previous mark of 24 set over Georgia Tech in 1983.
Machado went for 14 points, 11 assists and 2 turns in Thursday’s 91-90 loss to Purdue.
He then put up 17 points, 15 assists and four turns in Friday’s 94-88 victory over Western Michigan.
The former St. Benedict’s Prep standout from Queens said his team treated the consolation game against Maryland like the final after the disappointing loss to Purdue.
“We had too many mishaps on the defensive end [against Purdue],” he said. “We really wanted to play in the championship game and that’s why we played the way we did today.
“We played as if it was a championship game.”
Iona, the preseason favorite to win the MAAC, will need Machado’s leadership and distributing skills going forward.
After hosting St. Joe’s Nov. 23 and LIU Nov. 28, the Gaels don’t play a single home game in the month of December.
They must travel to Canisius, Niagara, Denver, Marshall, Richmond, Vermont, William & Mary and Hofstra, before finally returning to play Siena Jan. 3 at Madison Square Garden.
Still, they leave Puerto Rico feeling confident after going 2-1 and nearly toppling Purdue for a chance to play in the title game.
“It’s great, it’s a great accomplishment,” Machado said. “It just feels good, really.”
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.