After two disappointing non-conference losses in a row, Marist needed to get off to a quick start early against The Citadel to avoid falling to 1-3. And yet, as per the season trend, the team struggled to put the ball in the basket early, allowing The Citadel to get out to an early lead, which grew to as much as 10 in the first half. Marist was able to hang with The Citadel deep into the game but ultimately fell, 79-75.
While Marist has struggled this year to put up points, Coach John Dunne adjusted his rotation to get the most out of his lineups. In their last game, Marist only was able to score a total of 41 points against Fordham. When the starting squad took to the floor tonight, Marist’s team had a different look to it. Sophomore point guard Darius Hines — who started 29 of 31 games last year as a Freshman and saw significant time in the first three games — did not log a single minute. Tobias Sjoberg, another regular, saw a goose egg, too. Instead, Dunne turned to a couple of new faces in order to get the most of his team. “We made some adjustments in the office this week adding more movement in the offense,” he said.
Marist needed some big performances off the bench to keep the game from getting out of hand. Freshman guards Jack Canvanuagh and Tyler Sagl added a lot of energy into the game, each nailing a three in the first half. After 20 minutes, Marist was led in scoring by center Jordan Jones who put up seven points to go with three rebounds. Though the Red Foxes were down for almost 19 minutes in the first half, they found themselves down by just four at the half.
The start of the second half was much different from how Marist started the game, as Sagl came out on fire, giving the Red Foxes a huge spark with 12 points in the early stages of the final frame. Sagl finished the night with 15 points on 50-percent shooting. Dunne said he “played the guys we recruited to shoot the ball.”
Another big contributor for big stretches of both halves was guard Matthew Herasme, who hauled in two massive offensive rebounds that turned into four points. Herasme — known more for his excellent defense — showed on many different occasions throughout the game that he can be an offensive weapon as well. He put it all together Saturday to finish the night with a career-high 15 points, also coming down with eight rebounds. After the loss, Herasme broke down Dunne’s gameplan from the player’s perspective: “Everybody is supposed to be ready when their number is called… it’s the kind of system where we need everybody to execute at all times on the court.”
Late in the fourth quarter, the game was tied at 75 after a jump ball gave possession to The Citadel. On the ensuing inbounds play underneath the basket, Citadel forward Eddie Davis III found himself wide open for a dunk giving them the go-ahead two-point advantage with 23 seconds to go. After multiple timeouts and by both teams, Marist had the ball on the wing with 12 seconds to go. Michael Cubbage drove to the right side of the basket but was unable to finish in the lane, as he was denied by a sea of dark blue jerseys. A loose ball led to a Cavanaugh foul, giving Citadel two free throws. They hit both to seal the four-point win.
The Red Foxes will square off with Army on November 30 at home in a must-win game to get the team back on track.
Edited by Will Bjarnar