Does the date of January 30, 2020, hold any significance for you? It marked a time when most of us were still blissfully unaware of COVID-19, but it was also the last instance the Marist Women’s Basketball lost a game. That was until this past weekend when Quinnipiac won an overtime thriller, which broke Marist’s 17-game winning streak and was the first Red Foxes loss in almost a year.
With the loss in their rearview mirror and a series against Manhattan on the horizon, Marist looks to get a bounce-back win and possibly kickstart a new win streak. The Jaspers, on the other hand, are looking to get wins over Marist to bolster their second-place standing in the MAAC.
Red Foxes’ Keys to Victory
If Marist hopes to bounce back from their first loss and add two more wins to their record, then they’ll have to shoot more consistently. In their loss against Quinnipiac, Marist shot an uncharacteristically awful 29.7 percent from the field and a mere 11 percent in the second quarter, where they only managed seven points. In overtime, Marist let the game slip away by going 1-for-7 from the floor. The numbers need to improve, or else the Red Foxes may be taking some more losses in the not too distant future.
Red Fox to Watch
All eyes should be on Sarah Barcello this game, who set a personal record of 25 points in Marist’s first matchup against Quinnipiac. All season, Barcello has been an offensive difference-maker for the Marist team, averaging 16 points per game before the series against Quinnipiac. Proof of her impact came during this weekend’s loss against the Bobcats, where Barcello scored only four points, shot 2-for-13 from the field, and went 0-for-5 from the three-point line. There’s no doubt that she will be looking to have a bounce-back performance against Manhattan. If she does and shows some more consistency, she’ll play a major role in potential Marist victories.
Jaspers’ Keys to Victory
For Manhattan to win, they’ll have to play the same well-rounded brand of basketball that they played against St. Peter’s. Manhattan averaged 70 points and shot around 40% from the field in their sweep of the Peacocks. The Jaspers paired their efficient offense was with stingy defense, as Manhattan finished the series with 13 blocks and 14 steals.
Also, keep an eye on Manhattan’s bench as well, as the group has found ways to put points on the board whenever they are on the court. If Manhattan gets the same type of productivity from reserves like Lizhaya Morgan and Christina Katsamouri that they got in the wins over St. Peter’s, then it’s hard to imagine Marist walking away with two wins over the weekend.
Jasper to Watch
Look for a big performance from one of Manhattan’s best players, Courtney Warley. Warley is averaging a double-double on the season, tallying 12 points and 11 rebounds per game. The former MAAC Defensive Player of the Year winner is again among the best stoppers in the league, averaging two steals and one block per game. It’ll be interesting to see how Manhattan’s star post player matches up down low against Marist’s forwards, Willow Duffell and Caitlin Weimar.
Both Marist and Manhattan are jostling for seeding position when the MAAC Tournament comes along. The only way to get there, though, is by going through each other. So, these games have the potential to be really hard-fought. I see both games coming down to the wire, with both teams potentially splitting wins.
Edited by Jonathan Kinane