Marist vs Monmouth Part 1: Can the Red Foxes Return to Winning Ways in West Long Branch?

Marist will be back on the road in conference play against Monmouth on Saturday afternoon. The team will look to flip the switch after a fourteen point loss at the hands of the Niagara Purple Eagles on January 2.

The Hawks are currently 3-3 in conference play following two straight losses against the Siena Saints. The team had two tough road defeats at Times Union Center, including a 78-77 loss on January 3rd.

The main offensive threat for Monmouth going into this weekend will be Deion Hammond. The preseason All-MAAC First Team selection is currently averaging 18.6 points per game on 46.9% shooting from the field. 

Another player the Red Foxes will need to worry about is 6-foot-5 guard George Papas. The senior from Jersey City has assumed a bigger role on the offensive end after being considered a scoring option off the bench throughout his college career. Papas is the clear second option behind Hammond, as he is averaging 15.3 points per game.

Matt Herasme will likely take the responsibility of containing Hammond. If Marist can do a quality job forcing the Hawks duo into tough shots, the Red Foxes will have every chance to earn another road victory. 

Offensively, a balanced attack continues to be the recipe for success for the Marist in the early part of the season. Having the ability to get double figures from a multitude of different guys will keep the defense on their toes. 

Freshman Ricardo Wright leads the team in scoring at 12.6 points per game. The three-pointer has become a bigger part of his game, as the 6-foot-4 guard knocked down eight triples in his last two games. 

Another key factor for the Red Foxes in this matchup will surround the playmaking ability of Rahiem Sullivan. The JUCO transfer has quickly improved as a passer, as his ability to create good looks for his teammates has been evident over the few games. Sullivan had a season-high seven assists against the Purple Eagles on January 1.

One x-factor for Marist will surround the play of 5-foot-10 guard Hakim Bryd. After being named MAAC Rookie of the Week following the first weekend of conference play, the freshman has struggled to retain the same scoring ability. Byrd is only averaging 4.6 points over his last three games, but he has the potential to be a great scoring option for the Red Foxes. 

Marist will be going on the road for another conference matchup, but coach Dunne and his team has shown a lot of improvement in the early part of the season. Monmouth will provide another test for the Red Foxes, but I believe their defensive intensity will earn themselves another road victory.

Score Prediction: Marist over Monmouth 67 to 63

Edited by Nicholas Stanziale

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