Marist suffered a nail-biting loss on Sunday afternoon in a 66-65 defeat to Canisius in Buffalo. The Red Foxes led 65-60 with 18 seconds to play and once held a nine-point lead with 7:45 remaining in the second half.
“I’m not going to use the lack of experience as an excuse,” said Marist head coach John Dunne when asked about the final seconds. “Clearly, as a group, we just need to be better. All of us.”
The Red Foxes entered the afternoon winning three of their last four and coming off a dominant performance over Niagara on Friday night, which had them sitting at ninth in the MAAC with a 4-6 record. Canisius was looking to end a three-game skid that has since put them at 3-7 and into the basement of the conference.
Three players ended up in double figures for Marist with Michael Cubbage putting together a second consecutive strong outing. The redshirt junior flirted with a triple-double, finishing with 16 points, seven rebounds, and eight assists.
“Cubbage is just getting much more comfortable with the ball in his hands and making decisions,” said Dunne. “Early in the year, he had tunnel vision as far as shooting his pull-up or trying to drive it to the rim or looking into the paint. He wasn’t seeing the shooters that were open… these last few weeks, he’s done a great job of playing with really nice vision and playing with pace. He’s certainly getting better.”
Both teams struggled from deep to start the game in the first half, shooting a combined three for 17. A back and forth first half included a 15-6 run in a five-minute span for the Red Foxes that was answered by a 13-4 run from Canisius to close out the half, giving them a slim one-point lead.
The Red Foxes led 65-60 with 18 seconds left when Canisius guard Majesty Brandon made an open three to cut the deficit to just two. Two intentional fouls put Michael Cubbage on the line, where he missed the front end of a one-and-one with 15 seconds left. A second consecutive three-pointer by Brandon in the final seconds gave the Golden Griffins the lead and the win.
“That was a tough one to swallow there,” said Dunne. “We just didn’t have the presence of mind to guard the arc there just being up two.”
Canisius star senior guard Malik Johnson has been averaging 15.5 points per game in his last six outings but was held to just eight points in his 120th start as a Golden Griffin. Jordan Henderson was the leading scorer for Canisius with 17 points.
Zion Tordoff pitched in for Marist with 12 points on a perfect five for five from the floor. Tyler Sagl’s shooting struggles continued as he finished with just 12 points on three-of-18 shooting in his previous two games. Jordan Jones played just seven minutes after tying a career-high with 18 points on Friday night.
“Just a coach’s decision,” said Dunne when asked about Jones’s minutes. “Just thought the other guys were playing a little bit better today.”
Canisius improves to 9-13 on the season with a 4-7 record in conference. They will next travel to Lawrenceville to take on Rider on Friday night.
The Red Foxes fall to 5-15 overall and 4-7 in the MAAC in the defeat. They will face St. Peter’s on Friday for their second meeting of the season.
Edited by Will Bjarnar