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Iona wins Great Alaska Shootout on a buzzer-beater

NCAA Basketball Tournament - First Round - Iowa St. v Iona

DENVER, CO - MARCH 17: Tim Cluess, head coach of the Iona Gaels reacts during the game against the Iowa State Cyclones during the first round of the 2016 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at the Pepsi Center on March 17, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Sean Haffey/Getty Images)

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With the score tied at 73-all, Iona guard Jon Severe drove to the bucket and converted on a left-handed layup over two Nevada defenders with only half a second remaining on the clock.

The last-second score gave the Gaels the 2016 Great Alaska Shootout title with a 75-73 victory over the Wolf Pack.

Sam Cassell Jr., the UConn transfer, finished with 20 points. All six of his field goals came from beyond the 3-point arc. The hero of the night, Severe, the Fordham transfer, ended with eight. Marcus Marshall had a game-high 21 points in a losing effort.

Iona, projected to be a contender in the MAAC once again, got off to an 0-2 start this season. That included a loss to Nevada a week ago. The Gaels blew a double-digit halftime lead before dropping a 91-76 decision.

The Gaels, winners of three straight, return back to the east coast to begin conference play against Saint Peter’s on Dec. 2.