In the first quarterfinal round game of the MAAC women's tournament Friday morning it took Iona about 18 minutes before it started looking like the No. 2 seed in its meeting with Siena.
At that point Siena, the No. 7 seed, was still within 21-19.
Iona then scored the last four points of the first half and went on a 10-3 run to start the second half to grab a 12-point lead at that point on its way to a 59-43 victory over the Saints.
Siena got it to within nine midway through the second half, but never got closer than that again.
The winners were well prepared to defend Siena's top two scorers, forward Serena Moore and guard Allie Lindemann, and did so with height inside and athleticism on the perimter.
Thazina Cook led the offense for Iona (18-12 overall) with 19 points and 10 rebounds, and forward Kristina Ford added 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Moore finished with 14 points for Siena, but had just three points without a field goal in the first half. Lindemann struggled to get a good look all night and finished with two points on 1-of-9 shooting.
"Serena Moore was definitely a point of emphasis for us," said Iona coach Tony Borzella. : We only allowed her to score three baskets, so we did well with that."
"They did a great job of defending our scorers," said Gina Castell, coach of Siena (which finishes 11-18 overall). "We had a hard time scoring. They keyed on Serena and Allie, and those are out two key players for us, the ones we need to score. They are a very good defensive team and they knew who we needed to go to to succeed."
Iona advances to today's 9:30 a.m. contest against No. 3 seed Fairfield.