Lake Buena Vista, Fla. – Nellie Joseph and Walter Clayton Jr. made major free throws in the final seconds, taking down Iona in the opening round of the ESPN Events Invitational on Thursday night. 10 Alabama topped 72-68.
Clayton got the offensive rebound and made one of two free throws to make it 70-68 with 20 seconds left. After Jahvon Quinerly missed a blow to Alabama, Joseph won with two free throws with 9 seconds remaining,
Tyson Jolly of Iowa scored 13 points, Elijah Joyner 12 and Quinn Slazinski 11 (6-0)
Alabama (4-1) got 19 points from Jayden Shackelford. Quinerly 15 is included.
Joyner hit 3 to tie Iona 69-65, but Shackelford connected from distance and made a one-point game in 56 seconds.
Joseph made two free throws during the 11-3 run and gave Iona a 59-57 advantage. Alabama’s Darius Miles responded with a layup, but Jolly hit a three-run single to put Iowa back at 62-59. Shackelford outscored their No. 3 Alabama 54-48.
Iona won despite a 4 ½ minute-enlargement without a field goal early in the second half. Alabama was 33-29 in the half, which was the biggest lead in the opening 20 minutes.