Women’s Basketball Falters in Second Half, Drops First Game of the Season to Central Michigan

After tying the program record with a 5-0 start, women’s basketball could not set a new mark, falling 77-54 to Central Michigan on the road.

Sophomore Sarah Barcello led the Red Foxes (5-1) with 16 points on 5-6 shooting and a 5-7 effort from the foul line. Seniors Rebekah Hand and Alana Gilmer each contributed 15 points as well. The trio combined for 46 of Marist’s 54 points.

The first half was a nip-and-tuck affair, with neither team opening a lead larger than the 9-3 advantage Central Michigan jumped out of the gates with. Marist eventually found some rhythm, using an 8-0 run to take the lead. The Chippewas used inside scoring to retake the lead and had a 20-17 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Sarah Barcello’s 10 points in the second quarter kept the Red Foxes in control for most of the second quarter. A Barcello layup at the five-minute mark gave Marist a 26-22 lead, their largest of the afternoon. From there, the Chippewas responded and took a 35-33 lead into the break.

Marist was then hit by one of their own favorite weapons: the big run. The Red Foxes had used explosive runs in victories over Elon and Lipscomb, but now the script had flipped. Central Michigan used great ball movement to scorch the Red Foxes from beyond the arc. Four quick threes, including a trio from Micaela Kelly, spurred an 18-2 Chippewa run. Before Marist knew what hit it, they were trailing 53-35. Central Michigan finished the quarter making five-of-six from beyond the three-point line, Marist could only muster five field goals in 10 minutes and trailed 58-44 heading into the last ten minutes.

“That was the big thing,” said Marist Head Coach Brian Giorgis. “They made shots to start the quarter and we didn’t”

Central Michigan scored the first seven points of the fourth quarter and opened a 65-44 lead. Marist’s offense was not firing anywhere close to all-cylinders, and it took the energy out of the usually stout Red Foxes defense. The closest Marist would get was 68-52 and the Chippewas cruised home to a 23-point victory.

“We’ll learn from it,” Giorgis said of the defeat. “They’re a good team and we hung with them for a half, but we have to get better.”

Marist could only manage a 20-56 performance from the floor and shot an abysmal 2-16 (13 percent) from three. They were dominated on the boards by Central Michigan, getting outrebounded 50-29. 54 points comes at a season-low for the Marist offense.

“We just got killed on the boards,” Giorgis added. “I don’t know how many second-chance points we let up, but that just killed us.”

Central Michigan shot the ball 14 more times than Marist, going 31-70 from the floor and 9-23 (39 percent) from three. The Chippewas also got 17 points from their bench, compared to the single basket Marist got from theirs.

The Chippewas were led with 23 points from Micaela Kelly, who shot four-of-five from three. Kyra Bussell added 18 points to the winning effort.

Marist will be back in action when they face Princeton in the McCann Center next Saturday. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.

Edited by Lily Caffrey-Levine

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