Smyth leads Iona past Providence 82-73
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP)—Kyle Smyth scored a season-high 21 points and Iona took advantage of 31 percent shooting by Providence as the Gaels beat the Friars 82-73 on Saturday night.
Rashard Dwight and Scott Machado each had 14 points for Iona (6-4).
Marshon Brooks had 18 points to lead the Friars (7-4). Jamine Peterson posted his sixth double-double with 13 points and a game-high 14 rebounds, but he was just 4-for-15 from the field.
The shots dropped consistently for Iona, as the Gaels shot 48 percent. They went 5-for-12 from 3-point range.
“We knew they had a good ballclub coming in,” Providence coach Keno Davis said. “We knew that if we didn’t play our best basketball, that we could be in for a long night.”
Iona led the entire game, only once allowing the Friars to mount a serious threat. The Gaels picked up their sixth team foul just 3:26 into the second half, and the Friars quickly edged to within two on a pair of fast-break layups by Peterson and Brian McKenzie.
But Providence’s momentum stalled, and the Gaels pulled away.
“I felt like we were on the edge of kind of having control of the game,” Davis said. “And then there was just really no flow.”
Jonathan Huffman’s 3-pointer with 8:28 remaining put Iona up by 10, and the Gaels did not look back, spurred by Smyth’s 14 second-half points.
Huffman added 11 points and seven rebounds for Iona.
The Friars were held to their lowest scoring total of the season after posting 110 points at George Washington on Wednesday.
They attempted 31 shots from beyond the arc, but just 16 percent of them fell.
“I don’t mind if we shoot 31 times, if they’re going in,” Davis said. “But when they’re not, you’ve got to be able to find other ways to score.”
Providence was playing its fourth game in eight days.
“It’s sounds like excuses when Iona deserves the credit, but it’s bad scheduling—it just is,” Davis said.
Iona claimed its first victory against a Big East opponent since a 73-70 win over Seton Hall on Dec. 27, 2001. The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference team also won its last game at Providence, a 68-62 win on Jan. 5, 1998.