Jan. 5, 1998

    Providence Drops Close Game to Iona


    PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Tariq Kirksay scored a game-high 23 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead Iona to its sixth straight win, 68-62 over Providence Monday night.

    There were 33 fouls - including five technicals - in the second half, with 41 free throws attempted.

    Providence (5-6) was led by Jamel Thomas, who shot 14 points with 11 rebounds, and Kendrick Moore, who also had 14 points.

    Erron Maxey had 11 points and 12 rebounds for Providence.

    Iona (10-3) shot out to a 43-34 halftime lead behind Kirksay's 22 points. The Gaels took their biggest lead, 49-36, early in the second half on a three-pointer by John McDonald, who had 14 points.

    Providence, which shot only 14 percent in the entire second half, still mounted a comeback without scoring a field goal the last 16:13 of the game. The Friars sank 22 of 28 foul shots and finally tied the game with 2:54 left on a Corey Wright free throw.

    The teams then exchanged free throws until Jason Young sank an eight-foot jump shot to give the Gaels a 64-62 lead. That basket was the first hoop for the Gaels in almost 10 minutes.

    The Gaels scored the last two hoops of the game to seal the victory.

    It was only the third time teams have met. The last was in 1950, when Iona won 81-70.