Marist returns to conference play on Saturday night against the 2-11(2-6) Fairfield Stags. The Red Foxes will look to turn the page after dropping both games against Monmouth on the road last weekend.
After prevailing in their matchup with Rider on January 2, Fairfield lost both of their games against the Siena Saints last week. The Stags are currently last in the conference, so they will certainly be looking for a fresh start of their own.
6-foot-5 guard Jake Wojcik currently leads the Stags in scoring at 12.6 points per game on 40.8 percent shooting from the field. Marist will also need to focus on Jesse Cruz, who was picked in the preseason All-MAAC Third Team.
The biggest concern for the Stags in the early stages of the season is their lack of scoring across the board. Fairfield is only averaging 60.5 points per game, which ranks dead last in the conference.
A major point of emphasis for Marist going into this matchup will be limiting turnovers. Fairfield struggles to put the ball in the basket, so not allowing them to get buckets in transition will be crucial this weekend. The Red Foxes are committing 15.8 turnovers per game, so they will look to bring that number down moving forward.
Offensively, Ricardo Wright has emerged as the team’s leading scorer in the absence of redshirt senior guard Micheal Cubbage. The 6-foot-4 freshman guard is currently averaging 11.7 points per game on 39.6 percent shooting from the field and 34.7 percent from three.
Coach Dunne will also need freshman guard Hakim Bryd to be aggressive after getting his first start of the season against Monmouth on Sunday. He scored double figures in each game against the Hawks, including 15 points on 5-for-9 shooting on January 9.
The biggest X-Factor for Marist going into this weekend is how much of an impact can Victor Enoh and Jordan Jones have in the paint. The big centers have the ability to score inside and create extra looks on the boards. Foul trouble is always a concern with Enoh and Jones, but they are crucial players for this team when they are on the floor.
Marist and Fairfield are coming off being swept last weekend, so both teams will certainly be looking to get back to winning ways this weekend. The Stags are really struggling on the offensive end, and Marist will likely take advantage of that on Saturday night.
Score Prediction: Marist over Fairfield 63 to 57
Edited by Nicholas Stanziale
Feature Image from Marist Athletics