POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. – The Red Foxes blew yet another late game lead, falling to the Rider Broncs Saturday night 89-79.
Marist cruised into the half, shooting 47 percent from the field and 50 percent from beyond the arc. Junior forward Ryan Funk led the team with nine points, making way for a comfortable 39-27 lead at the half against the first-place Broncs.
With a strong start from Funk and sophomore center Tobias Sjoberg, Marist strengthened their lead to 21 with 10:35 remaining in the second half. However, Marist soon lost their rhythm and with every turnover Head Coach Mike Maker saw his team’s winning probability of over 99 percent take a hit.
At the ten minute mark, Rider’s sophomore guard Dimencio Vaughn hit a jumper which would become the beginning of an unbelievable comeback. Vaughn went on to score 24 of his team’s 62 points in the second half to herd the Broncs to victory.
“We’ve certainly been here before, and I’m at a loss at what to say,” Maker said. “As disappointed as we are, our kids played their tails off.”
The Red Foxes were 1 for 9 from beyond the three-point line and amounted a whopping 18 turnovers in the second half to contribute to their unlikely fall to the Broncs.
Marist has struggled to put teams away all season, a trend that Maker finds extremely frustrating. Of their fourteen in-conference games, they have led thirteen late into the second half.
“Our crowd was great,” Maker said. “But even sometimes they wait for the heavens to fall, because they have, you know, for a long time. And it’s my job to change that, and I haven’t been able to.”
With four games left in the regular season and the playoffs nowhere in sight, Marist looks to end on a high note. The Red Foxes (5-21) square off against the Fairfield Stags (10-14) on Thursday in Fairfield, who they beat in an overtime thriller in Poughkeepsie in January.