After two huge victories for The Red Foxes, there’s a sudden sense of hope in the locker room. It may be small — they still second to last in the conference — but it’s hope. Marist’s fourth win of the year seemed to feel the sweetest, as the team delivered a win to the home crowd in the first game after the grand opening of the McCann Center. Coach Dunne has been working on the rebuilding process he is trying to establish here at Marist, in what has already been a long season. The MAAC Conference, however, remains completely up for grabs with the difference between the first seed (Monmouth) and the tenth seed (Marist) being one win. So what can we take away from last night’s victory?
- What is most notable about this victory is the amount of floor Mike Cubbage probably had to cover to pull it off. You know how they do the NFL metrics with the trackers on the players? We needed one for Cubbage last night. For the whole game, mind you, OT and all; he didn’t come out once. Cubbage did everything he could to get help Marist a win. Afterward, Dunne mentioned that “Mike Cubbage isn’t sitting up here [on the podium], but he had a ridiculous floor game.”
- While last night, Zion Williamson made his first NBA appearance, it was Zion Tordoff who came into his own for Marist. With 10 points and seven rebounds, his scoring was what kept them in the game, but in the second half, his rebounds gave Marist the chances they needed to keep feeding Tyler Sagl. The past two wins have stemmed from getting more chances through rebounding. Think Matthew Herasme’s double-double versus Iona, and Tordoff’s work against Manhattan, both night’s on which those players proved to be the difference-maker.
- Sagl’s 23 points, highlighted by a five-for-nine clip from the three-point line, was good enough to lead the team in scoring while also being a career-high for the shooting guard. Second in scoring on the night was forward Braden Bell, who gave Marist 17 and helped lead the second-half comeback. Coming off the bench, he played 34 minutes, giving the Red Foxes the scoring option they needed to go to when Manhattan’s press defense ran them down. If Bell can continue this level of play, he could offer Dunne a similar kind of player that Ryan Funk had been for him last season.
- A final parting thought: last night’s game was the third time in the last four years that a Manhattan-Marist game has gone into overtime at the McCann Center. It may mean nothing, or it means everything. Let me know what you think.
Edited by Will Bjarnar