Clayton, Joseph secure Iona's 72-68 win over No. 10 Alabama

Alabama guard Jahvon Quinerly drives between Iona guards Berrick JeanLouis, left, and Elijah Joiner, right, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Nov. 25, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Jacob M. Langston)
Caption
Alabama guard Jahvon Quinerly drives between Iona guards Berrick JeanLouis, left, and Elijah Joiner, right, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Nov. 25, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Jacob M. Langston)

Credit: Jacob M. Langston

Credit: Jacob M. Langston

Nelly Joseph and Walter Clayton Jr. made key free throws in the final seconds to lift Iona over No. 10 Alabama 72-68 in an opening-round game at the ESPN Events Invitational on Thursday night

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — Nelly Joseph and Walter Clayton Jr. made key free throws in the final seconds to lift Iona over No. 10 Alabama 72-68 in an opening-round game at the ESPN Events Invitational on Thursday night.

Clayton got an offensive rebound and made one of two free throws to make it 70-68 with 20 seconds left. After Jahvon Quinerly missed a shot for Alabama, Joseph secured the win with two free throws with 9 seconds remaining,

Joseph and Clayton both finished with 15 points.

“I'm happy for the guys,” Iona coach Rick Pitino said. “They are great guys to coach. I'm really, really excited, happy for them.”

Tyson Jolly had 13 points, Elijah Joiner 12 and Quinn Slazinski 11 for Iona (6-0).

“It was one of our first goals, and we accomplished it,” Jolly said. “Our goal was to start the year 6-0 and we did that tonight.”

Alabama (4-1) got 19 points from Jaden Shackelford. Quinerly added 15. There was no immediate postgame media session with the Crimson Tide because they held a lengthy meeting after the loss.

Joiner hit a 3 to put Iona up 69-65, but Shackelford connected from long range to make it a one-point game with 56 seconds to go.

Joseph made two free throws during an 11-3 run to give Iona a 59-57 advantage. Alabama's Darius Miles responded with a layup, but Jolly made a 3 to put Iona back ahead 62-59 at the 4-minute mark. Shackelford’s 3 put Alabama ahead 54-48.

Iona won despite a 4 ½ minute-stretch early in the second half without a field goal. Alabama was up 33-29 at the half, which matched the biggest lead during the opening 20 minutes.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Alabama: Will likely drop in next week's rankings after a loss to an unbeaten team.

Iona: A strong run through the invitational could give Pitino another Top 25 team.

LIMITING DAMAGE

Pitino thought a key for Iona was to limit Alabama's 3-point production. The Crimson Tide made just four in 12 tries.

“If we could limit them from a large number of 3s, I felt we had a shot,” Pitino said.

Alabama entered averaging 10.8 3-pointers a game.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Alabama forward Juwan Gary returned after missing two games with an ankle injury, and had four points in 20 minutes.

RETURN ENGAGEMENT

Alabama beat Iona 68-55 in the first round of last season’s NCAA tournament.

UP NEXT

Iona: Will play Belmont on Friday in a semifinal.

Alabama: Plays Drake on Friday in the consolation round.

___

More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

Caption
Iona forward Quinn Slazinski, left, looks for a teammate as Alabama forward Juwan Gary defends during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Nov. 25, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Jacob M. Langston)

Credit: Jacob M. Langston

Iona forward Quinn Slazinski, left, looks for a teammate as Alabama forward Juwan Gary defends during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Nov. 25, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Jacob M. Langston)
Caption
Iona forward Quinn Slazinski, left, looks for a teammate as Alabama forward Juwan Gary defends during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Nov. 25, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Jacob M. Langston)

Credit: Jacob M. Langston

Credit: Jacob M. Langston

Caption
Alabama head coach Nick Oats looks on during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Iona, Thursday, Nov. 25, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Jacob M. Langston)

Credit: Jacob M. Langston

Alabama head coach Nick Oats looks on during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Iona, Thursday, Nov. 25, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Jacob M. Langston)
Caption
Alabama head coach Nick Oats looks on during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Iona, Thursday, Nov. 25, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Jacob M. Langston)

Credit: Jacob M. Langston

Credit: Jacob M. Langston

Caption
Alabama guard Keon Ellis goes up for a dunk ahead of Iona forward Quinn Slazinski during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Iona Thursday, Nov. 25, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Jacob M. Langston)

Credit: Jacob M. Langston

Alabama guard Keon Ellis goes up for a dunk ahead of Iona forward Quinn Slazinski during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Iona Thursday, Nov. 25, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Jacob M. Langston)
Caption
Alabama guard Keon Ellis goes up for a dunk ahead of Iona forward Quinn Slazinski during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Iona Thursday, Nov. 25, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Jacob M. Langston)

Credit: Jacob M. Langston

Credit: Jacob M. Langston

Caption
Iona head coaxch Rick Pitino looks at the scoreboard during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Alabama, Thursday, Nov. 25, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Jacob M. Langston)

Credit: Jacob M. Langston

Iona head coaxch Rick Pitino looks at the scoreboard during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Alabama, Thursday, Nov. 25, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Jacob M. Langston)
Caption
Iona head coaxch Rick Pitino looks at the scoreboard during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Alabama, Thursday, Nov. 25, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Jacob M. Langston)

Credit: Jacob M. Langston

Credit: Jacob M. Langston

Caption
Alabama guard Jahvon Quinerly drives in front of Iona guard Elijah Joiner during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Nov. 25, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Jacob M. Langston)

Credit: Jacob M. Langston

Alabama guard Jahvon Quinerly drives in front of Iona guard Elijah Joiner during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Nov. 25, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Jacob M. Langston)
Caption
Alabama guard Jahvon Quinerly drives in front of Iona guard Elijah Joiner during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Nov. 25, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Jacob M. Langston)

Credit: Jacob M. Langston

Credit: Jacob M. Langston

Caption
Alabama forward Darius Miles (2) tries to dunk on Iona guard Walter Clayton Jr. (13) as Iona forward Quinn Slazinski, left, looks on during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Nov. 25, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Jacob M. Langston)

Credit: Jacob M. Langston

Alabama forward Darius Miles (2) tries to dunk on Iona guard Walter Clayton Jr. (13) as Iona forward Quinn Slazinski, left, looks on during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Nov. 25, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Jacob M. Langston)
Caption
Alabama forward Darius Miles (2) tries to dunk on Iona guard Walter Clayton Jr. (13) as Iona forward Quinn Slazinski, left, looks on during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Nov. 25, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Jacob M. Langston)

Credit: Jacob M. Langston

Credit: Jacob M. Langston

Caption
Iona guard Berrick JeanLouis shoots over Alabama guard JD Davison, left, and guard Keon Ellis, center, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Nov. 25, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Jacob M. Langston)

Credit: Jacob M. Langston

Iona guard Berrick JeanLouis shoots over Alabama guard JD Davison, left, and guard Keon Ellis, center, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Nov. 25, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Jacob M. Langston)
Caption
Iona guard Berrick JeanLouis shoots over Alabama guard JD Davison, left, and guard Keon Ellis, center, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Nov. 25, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Jacob M. Langston)

Credit: Jacob M. Langston

Credit: Jacob M. Langston