Friday, March 8, 2013

Iona's Stars Key to Women's Victory over Canisius

Damika Martinez and Joy Adams put on an exhibition pf high-level production Friday morning, confirming their status of two of the MAAC's most-talented players in leading the Iona women to a decisive 76-58 victory Canisius in a quarterfinal-round contest.

Martinez, a sophomore guard who was named the MAAC's Player of the Year a night earlier, put up a game-high 36 points on 14-of-23 shooting from the floor. Adams added 15 points and a game-high 18 rebounds.

Martinez's scoring outburst matched the all-time high in women's tournament play, the third time the 36-point mark has been reached in the post-season event. Loyola's Patty Stoffey has the other two, and those on back-to-back efforts in the 1994 tournament.

The rebound effort by the 5-foot-11 freshman Adams is third-highest for a single game in conference tournament play. Only Alisa Robinson of Canisius (21 in the 1990 event) and Tricia Sacca of Fairfield (19, also in the 1990 tournament), had higher single-game rebound totals.

Adams joins five others to get 18 rebounds in a MAAC tournament game, Rachele Fitz of Marist (2009), Jenel Stevens of Canisius (2003), Rosalee Mason of Manhatan (2002), Janet Hourihan of Holy Cross (1985) and Terri Vaccarino of Fordham (1982).

The victory by the Gaels (19-11 overall) sends the to Saturday's 9:30 a.m. semifinal round against Siena, an upset winner over Fairfield in Friday's quarterfinal round.

Iona and Siena split regular-season meetings with both winning on their respective home courts, Siena by a 70-54 score on Jan. 31 and Iona by a 71-47 tally on Feb. 24.

The individual efforts by the two Iona standouts were nothing new. Martinez finished regular-season play as the league's leading scorer. A year ago she was the first freshman in women's history to lead the conference in scoring.

Adams is the league's leading rebounder, the first time that has been accomplished by a freshman. She won the conference's Rookie of the Week honors a record 12 times during the regular season.

Canisius managed to stay within six with 2:54 left in the first half, but the winners went on a 6-2 run to finish out the half, take a 10-point lead at the intermission and, then, scored the first five points after the break.

The Golden Griffins, who finish 12-19, never got their deficit under 13 again in the contest.

The Gaels, who also got 12 points from sophomore guard Aleesha Powell, shot 51.7 percent from the floor (31-of-61), while holding Canisius to 33.3 percent shooting (23-of-69). Junior forward Jamie Ruttle led the Griffs with 13 points.

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