Lovisa Henningsdottir does not typically show much emotion during games, but after hitting her fifth 3-pointer during the fourth quarter on her Senior Night, she couldn’t help but let out a scream of excitement while she got back on defense as the Marist bench. The McCann Arena crowd erupted with her. The senior scored a career-high 24 points to help Marist win 82-69 on Saturday night over Niagara.
“To me I was just thinking, this is the last time I’m ever going to play here,” said Henningsdottir.
“With the crowd that we always have and my family traveling from Iceland and Florida. I just felt great.”
Marist closed the regular season with a 21-9 record overall, and 13-5 in MAAC play.
The game kicked off fittingly with the team’s two starting seniors, Allie Clement and Henningsdottir, scoring the Red Foxes’ first two baskets.
“I don’ t think Lovisa could have asked for more of a Senior Night than what she got today,” Head Coach Brian Giorgis said. “And even Allie, who was ailing, we were going to take her out at the first dead ball. At least she got a shot up and made it.”
Niagara kept the game close in the first quarter, knocking down a pair of deep 3-pointers in first few minutes. Marist pulled ahead in the second quarter going on a 16-3 run to start the period. The run was highlighted by freshman Sarah Barcello hitting two 3-pointers on consecutive possessions to create a 35-17 lead. Henningsdottir led the scoring with 14 points in the first half going 5-of-8 from the field. Towards the end of the quarter, the Purple Eagles were able to cut the lead nine-point game with outside shooting, going 5-of-13 from outside the three point line in the first half.
In the second half, Marist was able to pull back to a comfortable double-digit lead, The scoring effort in the third led by Rebekah Hand scoring 10 of the team’s 19 third-quarter points. Hand finished the game with 20 points. In the fourth quarter Henningsdottir hit a pair of 3-pointers to keep Niagara from striking distance.
After falling to Niagara on last year’s Senior Night, Giorgis was glad to end the regular season on a high-note this year. “At first, they were making all of their shots and it was beginning to feel like deja-vu all over again. We stuck with it and got some stops. We had great offensive performances from Lovisa and Rebekah”
Marist was able to contain Niagara’s Jai Moore for seven points off 3-of-16 shooting. She finished second in scoring in the MAAC averaging 17.2 points.
With the regular season concluded, the Red Foxes focus now shifts to the MAAC tournament this weekend. Marist is the third seed in the tournament and will play next Saturday at noon against the winner of Manhattan and St. Peter’s. They sit behind first seeded Quinnipiac (18-0) and second placed Rider (14-4). Marist was swept by both Quinnipiac and Rider during the regular season, but Giorgis is optimistic about how the team has looked lately.
“We have been playing really well here at the end, outside of a four-minute stretch against Quinnipiac,” Giorgis said. “I feel real confident, I have felt confident all year. We have gotten used to and overcome the loss of Maura, which is a huge loss for us and it took us a bit. You want to peak at the end and we have been playing some of our best basketball.”
Henningsdottir is not ready to end her Marist career quite yet, and is confident this team can play past next weekend.
“For us being this confident and playing this good going into the tournament is more than important it is necessary because we are planning to win this year.”
Edited by Oscar Fick