It was Rossiter who kept the Saints in the game with his performance but the freshman Rahkeem Brookins came to the aid of Rossiter late to give the Saints their fifth victory of the season.
The MAAC Preseason Player of the Year took control tonight. Rossiter’s layup off a Rakeem Brookins pass and completed the three point play to give the Saints a 53-48 lead. The senior Rossiter, coming off two road games where he scored a combined 14 points, erupted for a team high 26 points and 15 rebounds. Meanwhile Brookins built off of his impressive individual performances on the Saints road trip to score 11 points and dish out 4 assists.
Brookins nailed a long three pointer with the shot clock winding down to give the Saints a 64-63 lead with 3:24 left. Rossiter’s hook shot over a triple-team with 1:42 left gave the Saints a 66-65 lead before the Gaels Scott Machado’s mid range jumper gave the Gaels a 67-66 lead.
The Saints did the little things to keep pace with the Gaels, grabbing 15 offensive rebounds and making 17 of their 18 free throws.
Davis Martens came off the bench and tied a career-high with 8 points and grabbed 4 rebounds filling in for sophomore O.D. Anosike who picked up his fourth personal foul with 14:49 left in the game. Anosike picked up his third foul with 9:07 left in the first half.
Owen Wignot quietly had a career night, racking up a career-high 9 rebounds and career-high 5 assists to go with 8 points.
The Gaels shot just 7 for 31 from three point range, shooting 3 for 17 in the first half for a team who shoots 34.6% from behind the arc, ranking 2nd in the MAAC entering tonight. Iona had a period where they went over 14 minutes without a three pointer until Rashon Dwight made a three with 17:30 left in the game.
Sean Armand nailed a dagger three with 7:02 to go to cap a 10-0 run and give the Gaels a 60-59 lead. However the Saints came back as Brookins dashed through the Iona bigs in the lane for a layup and a 61-60 lead.
The Gaels went on a 12-0 run in the first half to take a double digit lead and assume control early as the Saints struggled to make shots, shooting just 4 for 21 to start the game. However, the Saints closed the half on a 12-2 run to cut a double digit deficit to three and go into halftime trailing 34-31.
Rakeem Brookins layup off a transition pass from Owen Wignot gave the Saints a 42-41 lead with 16:50 left, their first lead since leading 3-2.
Scott Machado led the Gaels with 20 points on 9 of 20 shooting from the field. Mike Glover scored 18 points and brought down a team-high 8 rebounds.
The Saints notched their third straight home win after dropping their first four games at the Times Union Center this season.
Iona has lost 10 games in a row to the Saints and 19 out of the last 24 meetings with Siena. The Saints and Gaels are now in a four-way tie for third place in the MAAC standings with 2-1 records.