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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Rick Pitino’s Iona Gaels grew to became the most important team within the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference’s history to beat an AP prime-10 team after upsetting No. 10 Alabama 72-68 on Thursday night time.

Nelly Junior Joseph and Walter Clayton Jr. made key free throws within the final seconds to pick out Iona within the hole-spherical game on the ESPN Events Invitational.

Clayton obtained an offensive rebound and made 1 of 2 free throws to construct up it 70-68 with 20 seconds left. After Jahvon Quinerly overlooked a shot for Alabama, Joseph secured the rob with two free throws with 9 seconds closing.

MAAC teams are truly 1-119 in games against an AP prime-10 squad. Pitino has now defeated a prime-10 team at four varied colleges (Windfall, Kentucky, Louisville, Iona).

“I am entirely chuffed for the fellows,” Pitino said. “They’re mammoth guys to coach. I am truly, truly furious, entirely chuffed for them.”

Tyson Jolly had 13 aspects, Elijah Joiner 12 and Quinn Slazinski 11 for Iona (6-0). Alabama (4-1) obtained 19 aspects from Jaden Shackelford. Quinerly added 15.

“It became one amongst our first targets, and we carried out it,” Jolly said. “Our blueprint became to commence up the 300 and sixty five days 6-0 and we did that tonight.”

Joiner hit a 3 to position Iona up 69-65, nonetheless Shackelford connected from long fluctuate to construct up it a one-point game with 56 seconds to hurry.

Joseph made two free throws within the future of an 11-3 trip to present Iona a 59-57 abet. Alabama’s Darius Miles responded with a layup, nonetheless Jolly made a 3 to position Iona abet ahead 62-59 on the 4-minute trace. Shackelford’s 3 set aside Alabama ahead 54-48.

Iona won despite a 4 ½-minute stretch early within the 2nd half of with out a subject blueprint. Alabama became up 33-29 on the half of, which matched the most entertaining lead within the future of the hole 20 minutes.

Pitino thought a key for Iona became to restrict Alabama’s 3-point manufacturing. The Crimson Tide made correct four in 12 tries.

“If we would possibly perhaps presumably perhaps well additionally restrict them from a aesthetic preference of 3s, I felt we had a shot,” Pitino said. Alabama entered averaging 10.8 3-pointers a game.

The rob serves as revenge for the Gaels, who lost to Alabama within the most important spherical of final season’s NCAA tournament.

Iona will play in a semifinal Friday against Belmont while Alabama drops into the comfort spherical to steal on Drake.

Knowledge from The Related Press contributed to this memoir.

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