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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.
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Monday / October 23.
  • Iona Returns to the Big Dance After Knocking Off Siena in Overtime

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    Iona is headed back to the NCAA Tournament after a dramatic overtime win in the MAAC championship game.

    No. 3 Iona edged No. 4 Siena, 87-86, in extra time in Monday night’s championship game at the Times Union Center in Albany, N.Y.

    Coach Tim Cluess and the Gaels (21-12, 12-8) are headed to their fourth NCAA Tournament in six years. They won the MAAC Tournament in 2013 and ’16, beating Monmouth last year. The Gaels improved to 9-0 against Siena in the MAAC Tournament. Iona is headed to the Big Dance for the 11th time.

    The Gaels had lost twice during the regular season to No. 1 seed Monmouth, but avoided the Hawks when Siena stunned them on Sunday in the semifinals.

    Entering the day, ESPN’s Joe Lunardi had Iona as the 15 seed in the South playing No. 2 Kentucky.

    “We’re going to try to go far this time,” Jordan Washington, who hit two foul shots with 1.6 seconds left to make it 87-83 and finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds despite foul trouble, told reporters. “That’s basically it.”

    E.J. Crawford put Iona up 85-83 with under a minute to go and Siena’s Nico Clareth missed a three-point attempt with the shot-clock running down.

    After Washington’s foul shots, Marquis Wright hit a meaningless three-pointer at the buzzer and finished with a game-high 29 points for Siena. Brett Bisping added 16 points and 14 rebounds and Javion Ogunyemi added 16 points.

    “I’m doing this for my grandma, emotionally speaking,” Washington said. “When I go to the line, I say her name three times.

    Deyshonee Much was huge for the Gaels, scoring 18 points and adding four assists. Rickey McGill added 14 points despite dislocating his finger in the first half.

    A year ago, the 6-foot-8 Washington went off for 15 points, 13 rebounds and 3 steals when Iona stunned Monmouth in the MAAC championship game, 79-76. He did so hours after learning that a close friend had been killed in a car crash.

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    Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, 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.