Iona, Monmouth to meet in MAAC Championship game | Zagsblog
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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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Thursday / October 17.
  • Iona, Monmouth to meet in MAAC Championship game

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    By ADAM ZAGORIA

    Iona and Monmouth will renew their rivalry in the MAAC Championship game on Monday night (9 p.m. ESPN2) with an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament on the line.

    This is the seventh straight apperance in the MAAC title game for Iona and Coach Tim Cluess. The Gaels have won the conference’s automatic bid in four of the last six years, including the last three in a row. In 2016, Iona beat Monmouth, 79-76, for the title.

    The teams split two games this season.

    “It’s just the next game up and it’s going to be a tremendous one,” Cluess told Ionianews.com. “We have a chance to go to the NCAA Tournament and that’s what you work for all year long.”

    Both teams started the season poorly. Iona is now 16-15 after opening at 2-9. The Gaels have won nine straight and haven’t lost since a Feb. 8 home defeat to Quinnipiac.

    After an 0-12 start, Monmouth has gone 14-8. The Hawks have won four straight, including wins over No. 11 Niagara, No. 3 Quinnipiac and No. 2 Canisius at the MAAC Championship in Albany.

    Iona advanced to the final via a 73-57 win over Siena in which Asante Gist, went for 22 points.

    Gist holds the distinction of having won the New Jersey Tournament of Champions title with two different programs (St. Anthony’s and Roselle Catholic).

    Photo: Iona

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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.