BMarist got funky on Friday night with their tenth win of the season led by a dominant performance from senior Ryan Funk. It wasn’t all shooting that led to the victory, as the Red Foxes combined for 21 assists on the night in their 79-58 victory.
Coming off of a big road win over Canisius in overtime, Marist was looking to keep the momentum going against a Niagara team that was hoping to rebound back to .500 after a tough home loss to Quinnipiac. Chris Casey’s squad never really looked comfortable at any point in the game, allowing a mirage of backdoor cuts and easy layups to Marist on the defensive end.
Marist started the game off red hot from three with Ryan Funk leading the way and never looked back. The senior came alive off the bench and tallied 27 points while tying a season high in three-pointers with seven. His first miss from the field wouldn’t come until more than 15 minutes into the first half. “When we’re moving the ball around, it really helps me get open,” Funk said following his big outing. “When Ryan shoots the ball like that, we’re tough to beat,” said head coach John Dunne. His teammates soon joined in as the Red Foxes went on to hit 14 shots from deep and shoot 59.6 percent from the field.
Marist’s 21 assists compared to only seven converted by Niagara soon became a focal point in the game. “I’m really proud of the effort,” Dunne said. “Offensively, I thought we were extremely unselfish.”
Following a 17-point outburst against Canisius, Aleksander Dozic continued his strong play with a great all-around performance. The Marist big man dished out seven assists to go along with 11 points and seven rebounds. “When he’s not overdribbling, he’s a great player and an exceptional passer,” Dunne said.
Since seeing very little action during the second half of his last outing, leading scorer Brian Parker scored only eight points and continued to see his minutes dwindle, as he only played in 21 minutes in the win. The senior is averaging 28.6 minutes per game, the team’s highest so far this season.
After the game, Funk wanted anything but to make it about himself. “I feel like we’re getting better,” the senior said. “I’m happiest to do this in front of the fans.”
The Red Foxes will be looking for revenge next Friday as they travel to Quinnipiac to take on MAAC leading scorer Cameron Young and the Bobcats