NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- A quick take on Iona's 76-69 loss to Santa Clara on Wednesday night at the Hynes Athletic Center:
WHAT IT MEANS: Iona loses at home in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament championship game to Santa Clara, out of the West Coast Conference. Iona finishes the 2010-2011 season 25-12 under first-year head coach Tim Cluess. Santa Clara finishes its season 24-14, and takes a trophy back home to California.
THE SKINNY: Iona jumped out to a 16-8 lead in this one, but the rest of the first half was dominated by Santa Clara. The Broncos at one point were on a 22-3 run, and led 38-28 at intermission thanks to a Kevin Foster trey at the buzzer. Iona came in shooting 47.8 percent from the field -- No. 11 in the country -- but the Gaels made just 11 of 32 shots in the first half (34.4 percent), and just two of five free throws. Santa Clara was also plus-13 on the boards (29 to 16), including nine offensive rebounds.
It took Iona less than five minutes to tie up the game in the second half at 40 -- but then Santa Clara took off again, opening up its biggest lead, 65-51, with just over seven minutes remaining. Iona kept battling, but never made it close enough to really make Santa Clara sweat. The Gaels never got closer than six points in the final minutes.
STAR WATCH: For Iona, Mike Glover concluded his outstanding first Division I season with 22 points and 12 rebounds. Scott Machado, who had just two points in the first half, finished with 12 points and seven assists.
For Santa Clara, Foster -- who came in averaging 20.3 points per game, No. 20 in the country -- did not have a good shooting night (6-for-20), but still finished with a team-high 16 points. Five Broncos were in double figures, a very balanced effort.
NUMBER CRUNCH: Santa Clara finished with a 50-to-33 rebounding advantage, including 17 offensive rebounds. The Broncos outscored the Gaels on the offensive glass 20-8, which is huge. Iona finished the game shooting 26-for-62 (41.9 percent).
WHAT'S NEXT: Sadly, nothing is next for both of these squads -- their seasons are over.