Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Record-Setting Night For Iona's Armand

A record setting long-range shooting performance came on one of the sport’s grandest stages from a somewhat unlikely source in Iona’s 95-59 victory over Siena in a men’s game played Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden.

In that game, Iona’s Sean Armand made 10 three-pointers (10-of-19) on his way to a game-high 32 points in just 22 minutes of playing time. The 3-pointer barrage by the 6-foot-3 sophomore guard is a MAAC record, surpassing the previous best of nine in a game.

Previous record-holders were St. Peter’s Keydren Clark, who twice made nine trifectas in a game, Loyola’s Andre Collins, Manhattan’s Bruce Seales and Siena’s Jim Secretarski.

Armand’s big night, though, wasn’t a total surprise. He had established himself as one of the league’s better marksmen as a freshmen when he set an Iona rookie record with 61 treys last season, making 42.1 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc.

This season Armand already has 32 treys, converting 50% of his attempts beyond the bonus line, in an average of just 14 minutes of playing time through Iona’s first 14 contests.

Armand’s limited minutes is testimony to Iona’s depth, particularly in the backcourt which has a starting duo of all-league caliber performers point guard Scott Machado, who leads the nation in assists (10.3 per game) and Lamont “Momo” Jones, a transfer from Arizona who averages 15.6 points per game.

But it was Armand, who continually riddled Siena’s zone defense with his long-range effort Tuesday night.

Afterwards he expressed his pleasure at having the big night so close to home.

"That’s something I’m really happy about,” said Armand, a Brooklyn native. “My friends and family were here at Madison Square Garden. There is no better place to do this.”

Armand, who was averaging 6.8 points per game prior to his big night, had 20 points in the first half alone, all coming in the final 6:13 of play on 6-of-9 shooting from long range. Armand had four more three-pointers in the second half on his way to the MAAC’s one-game record.

“I felt good,” Armand said afterwards. “Someone told me on the bench when I hit the one that tied the record, but you have to keep going.”

He did, getting one more to break the conference’s record for most three-pointers in a single game.

Surprisingly, it was not the most three’s ever made against a Siena team. That came when Gary Bossert of Niagara made 11 on just 13 attempts in a game against the Saints in the 1986-87 season. At the time, though, both programs were members of the North Atlantic Conference.

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