Marist toppled Siena 78-55 at the Times Union Center on Sunday afternoon on their way to their sixth straight win and the sole lead of the MAAC.
Coming into the matchup with Siena on a five game winning streak, Marist were high on confidence going into another tough road game in conference. Siena took it to the Red Foxes in the first half, but Marist were able to pull away in the third quarter. A 24-10 third frame in favor of the Red Foxes was the turning point of the game as Rebekah Hand and Alama Gilmer continued their fantastic senior seasons with another great performance Sunday afternoon.
To begin the game, it was much of the same for the Red Foxes. Marist started out extremely hot, having a lead as big as 15 at one point in the first quarter. They were locked in defensively, giving them plenty of opportunities to leak out and get fast break points. Rebekah Hand had a quick 10 points, getting Marist going right from the jump. Siena then went on a 15-0 run of their own, tying it at 19 going into the second quarter.
Siena extended it to a 19-0 run in the second quarter but Marist finally snapped that run with a Rebekah Hand jumper from the block, cutting the Siena lead to just two. The Red Foxes relied on Rebekah to do a bulk of the scoring going into halftime. Hand finished the first half with 21 points, and the Red Foxes needed all of them, going into half down 33-32.
“I told the girls that we needed to move the ball more but there was no reason to panic,” said head coach Brian Giorgis.
Marist came out of the break with a ton of energy, erasing the one point deficit going into the third very quickly.
“Hannah Hand, Molly Smith, Allie Best, and Kendall Krick were really important for us,” said Giorgis when praising his bench. Marist won the third quarter 24-10, giving them a 13 point lead going into the fourth.
The fourth quarter was nothing different for the Red Foxes as they eventually pulled away from Siena down the stretch. Rebekah Hand showed why she is one of the best players in the conference, helping Marist put Siena away and tying her career high with 32 points this afternoon.
“She doesn’t force things, and she moves really well without the ball,” said Giorgis about his senior guard.
Hand was extremely efficient against Siena, shooting 14-for-17 from the field. Alana Gilmer also had a fantastic performance, getting 20 points, a career high 12 rebounds, and five assists as well.
“We have told her that she can be a great offensive rebounder, she just needs to crash the boards more,” said Giorgis when asked about Gilmer.
Marist goes to 20-4 overall and 13-3 in the conference with their victory against Siena, leading the conference by half a game over Rider. The Red Foxes go down to Jersey City for a matchup against Saint Peter’s, who they defeated 96-76 back on January 4th.
Edited by David Connelly