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Marist tops Iona women, earns share of MAAC title

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 2, 2014 at 2:02 pm •  Published: March 2, 2014

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. (AP) — Brian Giorgis knew his Marist Red Foxes wouldn't give up the MAAC regular-season title without a fight.

And that's what they did, as Marist topped Iona to win a share of the championship for the 11th straight season.

Tori Jarosz scored a career-high 21 points and had a career-best 14 rebounds to lead Marist to a 79-67 win over Iona on Sunday.

"I have three seniors that refused to lose," Giorgis said. "They had a great attitude coming in and you saw in second half."

Senior Casey Duhlin added 19 points for the Red Foxes (24-6, 18-2).

"We were all fired up for this game. We wanted our fourth regular season championship and we wouldn't leave here without it," she said.

Jarosz was the key. She had been battling injuries since transferring to Marist in 2011. She suffered a season-ending wrist injury one game into the season last year and then ruptured her Achilles tendon over the summer and didn't make her debut until Dec. 31.

"Tori came of age today," Giorgis said. "It was a great game for her. If you know her background with all the injuries she's had. I couldn't be happier for a player in this country than Tori Jarosz. We needed it most with the championship on the line and she came through."

The Gaels (25-4, 18-2) have already claimed the top seed in the MAAC tournament which starts on Thursday. That's the first time since 2004 that the Red Foxes won't be the No. 1 seed in the tournament.

Even with the loss, it's already been a record-breaking season for the Gaels. They've won 25 games for the first time in program history and had the school's longest winning streak with 18 in a row earlier this season. Iona also ended a 29-game losing streak to Marist with a last-second victory on Jan. 13.

"This one stings a little bit," Iona coach Billi Godsey said. "They played together and played well. We wanted it, just didn't put out maximum amount to get it."

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