The Red Foxes have now lost five of their last six games after falling to the Rider Broncs 76-64 on Friday night. Marist now obtains a below .500 record in MAAC play for the first time this season.
Prior to tipoff, the big news coming out of Rider revolved around the absence of Dontrell McQuarter. The 6-foot-7 guard was taken out of the lineup for personal reasons, so the Broncs needed to get contributions from other players alongside leading scorer Dwight Murray.
Head coach Kevin Baggett went nine deep in the first half, and it proved to be crucial for Rider in the early stages of the game. The Broncs scored 36 points in the first half, including 48.5 percent shooting from the field. Murray led the team with nine points at the half, but 6-foot-4 guard Jeremiah Pope wasn’t far behind with seven points of his own.
Carolo Pascale/The Rider News
The biggest concern for Marist after 20 minutes was their inability to get into a flow on the offensive end. 11 first-half turnovers gave the Broncs the opportunity to get in out in transition, and they capitalized. Rider got 14 points off turnovers, and that caused the lead to grow as large as 12. Marist was down 36-26 going into halftime, giving themselves a chance to make a run in the second half.
On the first few possessions of the second half, the Red Foxes looked to get the ball inside to 6-foot-8 center Jordan Jones. The redshirt senior from Baltimore missed his first layup of the half, but he scored on their next two possessions.
Marist got the lead down to as low as eight early in the second half, but the Rider offense continued to get buckets when they needed them most. Sophomore guard Allen Powell started to come alive, as he hit three pivotal triples in order to keep the momentum in favor of the Broncs.
Carolo Pascale/The Rider News
Marist went on a 7-0 run to cut the Rider lead to 13 with 4:40 left, but it was too late to overcome the deficit. A 76-64 loss for the Red Foxes drops the team to 7-6 (5-6 in the MAAC).
“We allowed them to feel good early with some turnovers, and they took advantage of that,” head coach John Dunne said. “They felt pretty good for the entire game on the offensive end.”
Murray led all scores with 22 points on nine-for-15 shooting from the field and four-for-eight shooting from three. Powell and Pope also scored double figures for Rider tonight.
A bright spot for Marist on the offensive end was 6-foot-1 guard Rahiem Sullivan. The junior from Toronto led the team with 17 points on eight-for-13 shooting from the field. Tyler Saint-Furcy had a good night of his own, scoring a season-high ten points on five-for-six shooting from the field.
One of the biggest reasons why Marist was unable to cut into the lead was due to their poor shooting from behind the arc. The team only shot 18.2 percent from three on 22 attempts.
“If you’re not going to shoot the ball well when you’re getting these looks, you got to do other things to be successful,” Dunne said about the struggles from the three-point line.
Marist will return to conference play at 7 p.m. tomorrow, January 23, where they face the Rider Broncs at Alumni Gymnasium in Lawrenceville, New Jersey.
Edited by Nicholas Stanziale