Winthrop 57, Iona 38
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP)—Chris Gaynor scored 12 points and Torrell Martin shook off a stomach virus to add 11 points and 10 rebounds to lead Winthrop to a 57-38 win over Iona on Tuesday night in the opening round of the NIT Season Tip-Off.
Michael Jenkins scored 10 points for the Eagles (2-0), who will play No. 2 North Carolina in the second round Wednesday. The winner will advance to New York for the semifinals next week.
Milan Prodanovic scored 12 points and Kyle Camper added 10 for the Gaels (0-1), who shot 32 percent and were outrebounded by 14 as they fell into the consolation game Wednesday against Sacred Heart.
The game matched two NCAA tournament teams from last season. But while Winthrop returned four starters from the team that lost in the first round on a last-second shot to Tennessee, Iona lost four starters from the team that fell to LSU in round one.
Martin, the preseason player of the year in the Big South, sat out practice Monday with a virus. While he shot just 2-for-9, he hit all six of his free throws and scored 11 points in the first half as Winthrop built a 29-16 lead.
Iona cut the deficit to 31-23 early in the second half before Jenkins scored on a baseline drive and hit consecutive 3-pointers on three straight possessions to put Winthrop back in control.
Jenkins, who hit a school record-tying 12 3-pointers and scored 40 points in Winthrop’s season-opening win over North Greenville last Friday, made 2-of-6 3s for the Eagles, who went 23-8 last season.
Winthrop lost to North Carolina 66-61 the last time the teams met in the 2000-01 season.