Marist Women’s Defense Carries Red Foxes Past Canisius

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. – “If it is not clicking on the offensive end, we have to pick it up on the defensive end. Championship teams are made on the defensive end,” Marist guard Grace Vander Weide said after the Red Foxes’ 58-47 victory over the Canisius Golden Griffins on Sunday.

When these teams met in Buffalo two weeks ago, Marist shot 46.6 percent from the field and 9 for 23 from beyond the arc in a 78-53 victory. The scoring for Marist did not come as easy this time around, shooting 40 percent from the field and an uncharacteristic 4 for 21 from behind the three point line.

“The fun thing about playing a Terry Zey coached team is they are going to do things that take away things that you do best. Offensively they are going to attack things that you don’t do well. I think our key to victory was making those mid-game adjustments,” Marist Head Coach Brian Giorgis said.

Even though Marist’s offense was not in peak form, the team did have four players who scored in double digits. Guard Rebekah Hand scored 15, Vander Weide, forward Alana Gilmer and guard Maura Fitzpatrick all had 11 points. The balanced attack from offense has been a key factor as the Red Foxes extend their winning streak to eight straight. Marist improved their record to 11-2 in MAAC play (16-10 overall). Canisius drops to 6-8 in the MAAC (8-17 overall).

The game started with the pattern of Marist scoring and Canisius responding with a score of their own. Canisius held a two point lead with two minutes left in the first quarter. Marist then turned on the jets to end the quarter, going on a 7-0 run in a 1:17 span. This was highlighted by a Vander Weide turnaround, fadeaway mid-range jumper with two seconds left in the first quarter. That basket gave the Red Foxes’ the momentum to end the first quarter leading 18 to 13.

The second quarter was where both teams saw offensive struggles. Marist went 1 for 10 from the field in the quarter. Canisius was not much better, shooting 3 for 13 from the field in the second. Canisius’ leading scorer forward Sara Hinriksdottir, finished the half draining an off balanced, running three pointer at the buzzer from about 27 feet out, making the score at the half 22 to 20. “(It was a) bad shooting second quarter, but defensively we did a decent job,” Giorges said. “It’s nice that when we go 1 for 10 in a quarter we at least had our defense hold up.”

In the second half, Marist took control of the game. Hand had nine points in the third quarter helping the Red Foxes extend their lead to double digits. “We didn’t have the prettiest game ever, but I like how we fought after them and didn’t fall down,” Hand said about the team’s resilient effort.

The third quarter ended with the third straight buzzer beater of the game, with Gilmer tapping the ball in from an inbound pass. This extended the Red Foxes lead to eight points.

During the fourth quarter, Canisius could not make a run.  The Golden Griffins went 3 for 12 for field goals in the fourth. Marist shutdown Iceland-born forward Sara Hinriksdottir in the fourth, leaving her with 13 points in the game.

McCann Arena experienced a pink out on Sunday as Marist hosted its annual “Play4Kay” game to support the Miles of Hope Foundation and honor breast cancer survivors. The athletic department gave away pink Marist Women’s Basketball T-shirts to the first 1,000 fans and held a halftime ceremony honoring 20 breast cancer survivors. The Marist team also sported bright pink uniforms for the game as the coaching staff rocked pink attire.

Author: David Salamone

I am a student Marist College studying Sports Communications. Covering the Marist Women's Basketball and Baseball beat.

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