Marist fell to Manhattan 65-56 on Wednesday night in the Bronx, ending their four-game winning streak over the Jaspers and giving them their fourth loss in five games.
An unusual weeknight game marked the beginning of an important three-game stretch in just four days for Marist. With sixth through tenth place within one game of each other in the MAAC standings and only three to four games remaining on the schedule, the tournament seeding race has begun to heat up. The seeding circumstances gave the matchup a late season feel that only comes in the final days of February.
“We played really, really hard,” said Marist head coach John Dunne. “We’re not going to quit; we’re always going to play hard. The positive is that we know we didn’t play well at all and we were still pretty close.”
The Red Foxes headed into the midweek matchup at 6-10 in the MAAC coming off a dominant home performance over Niagara and completing the season sweep of the Purple Eagles. Marist was seeking their second season sweep of the year with a road win over Manhattan after beating Steve Masiello’s squad in an overtime thriller earlier in the season. Manhattan entered tonight’s contest at 7-9 in the conference, just one game ahead of the Red Foxes. The Jaspers were in the midst of a four-game losing streak and have been winless against Marist in their last four meetings.
Manhattan came flying out of the gates and took a quick 11-0 lead to start the game. Marist was able to bring it within one but the Jaspers separated once again after going on a 13-2 run to end the first half with a score of 34-22. The Red Foxes got it within five in the second half but never had the lead in the game as their comeback attempt ultimately fell short and they suffered their 19th loss of the season. Marist’s typical three-point heavy offensive scheme was held at bay Wednesday night with 16 attempts on the evening. Sharpshooting freshman Tyler Sagl averages 5.4 three-point attempts per game and was limited to just one in the outing.
“They decided they were going to deny Tyler Sagl the ball everywhere,” said Dunne. “Manhattan just plays a different style and we just had to make more plays off the dribble today.”
Sophomore forward Braden Bell led the Red Fox offense on the night with a career high 20 points in the loss. Freshman guard Tyler Saint-Furcy was the only other Marist player in double figures with 11. Junior guard Michael Cubbage flirted with a triple double with seven points, nine rebounds, and seven assists.
“Bell’s just getting better and better every time he steps onto the floor,” said Dunne about his sophomore forward. “It took him a few months there in the first semester to learn the intensity of what it takes to play at this level. He’s been playing harder so he’s gotten more consistent. He’s going to get better and better.”
Senior forward Pauly Paulicap led the way for Manhattan with 16 points on six-for-seven shooting. Sophomore guards Samir Stewart and Tykei Greene each reached double figures with 13 and 12 points. The Jaspers shot 23-for-45 from the field in the win.
“Paulicap just played really well,” said Dunne. “He was doing a really good job of spinning off and getting back to his right shoulder. We didn’t do a good job of crowding him at times.”
Manhattan improves to 12-14 overall and 8-9 in the MAAC with the win. The Jaspers will travel to New Jersey to take on Monmouth this Sunday.
Marist drops to 7-19 overall and 6-11 in the MAAC with the defeat. The Red Foxes will travel back to Poughkeepsie and host the Siena Saints in a pivotal matchup on Friday night.
Edited by Jack Griffith
Photo by Mike Cahill