NEW YORK (AP) Myles Mack scored 19 points for Rutgers which lost all but one point of a 22-point second-half lead but managed to hang on for an 81-73 victory over Iona on Saturday night in the Madison Square Garden Holiday Festival.
The Scarlet Knights (5-2), who won for the fifth time in six games, went up 64-42 on a three-point play by Dane Miller with 10:31 to play.
The Gaels (3-4) went on a defensive run that saw them chip away at the lead, closing within 70-69 on two free throws by A.J. English with 2:34 left. Iona was within 75-73 on two free throws by Lamont Jones with 57 seconds left.
After a turnover by Rutgers, the Gaels had a possession that could have given them the lead but Jones missed on a wild drive.
Eli Carter, for some reason, went down court and ignoring the shot clock went in on a drive. Miller was able to get the rebound and he made two free throws with 25 seconds to go and then added a dunk with 15 seconds left.
Mike Poole had a career-high 18 points and Miller had 13 points and 13 rebounds for the Scarlet Knights, who shot 48.4 percent from the field (30 of 62) and outrebounded Iona 47-29, including 17-9 on the offensive end.
Jones had 26 points for Iona, which lost for the third time in four games, while Sean Armand added 17 points. The Gaels shot 38.3 percent from the field (24 of 63). They shot just 27.6 percent in the first half (8 of 29).
Iona scored the first five points of the second half to get within 35-28. The Scarlet Knights answered with a 10-0 run that was started and ended by a 3-pointer by Mack and gave them a 45-28 lead with 16:20 to play.
Rutgers committed a season-high 25 turnovers.