Recap: Iona vs. Fairfield
Springfield, MA (Sports Network) - Rakim Sanders was sensational in posting a 26-point, 12-rebound double-double as the fourth-seeded Fairfield Stags stunned the top-seeded Iona Gaels 85-75 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament semifinals at the MassMutual Center.
Colin Nickerson and Keith Matthews each finished with 14 points and Ryan Olander chipped in 11 while Desmond Wade handed out 11 assists for Fairfield (19-13) which will take on second-seed Loyola-Maryland in the conference final.
Iona (25-7) was paced by Scott Machado who scored 24 points and dished out seven assists while Mike Glover had 19 points and Lamont Jones added 16. The Gaels will now have to see if their strong regular season warrants an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Both teams shot well in the first half with Iona hitting on 17-of-29 of its shots to take a 42-40 halftime lead, while Fairfield went 16-for-26.
The Gaels led by a 60-54 score with 10:43 left in the game before the Stags ripped off a 16-1 run to take a 70-61 lead with 5:47 remaining. Iona was never able to recover and the Stags coasted to the upset by going 7-for-10 from the free throw line in the last two minutes.
Led by Sanders, Fairfield dominated on the boards collecting 32 rebounds as a team to just 20 by Iona.Game Notes