Marist surpassed their win total from a year ago after defeating the Rider Broncs 76-67 on Saturday night. The Red Foxes are now 8-6 (6-6 in the MAAC) this season.
The game was scheduled to start at 7 p.m. under normal circumstances, but an issue with one of the baskets delayed tip-off. It took about 45 minutes to fix the issue, and the game finally began around 7:45.
“The guys had a salty taste in their mouth from last night so they were really ready to play,” head coach John Dunne said in regards to what the delay did for the team.
After struggling to get into a rhythm on the offensive end on Friday, the Red Foxes got off to a quick start tonight. Braden Bell connected on a three-pointer to open the scoring and that got the ball rolling for the Marist offense.
The Red Foxes scored the first 11 points of the game, and it seemed like they couldn’t miss for big portions of the opening half. Marist connected on 10 three-pointers in the first half, giving themselves a 51-22 lead at the break.
“If you’re getting wide-open looks, you got to shoot it with confidence,” Dunne said about the team’s ability to hit outside shots tonight.
Carolo Pascale/The Rider News
Marist had a big leading going into the second half, but Rider began to chip away. Dwight Murray and Allen Powell started knocking shots down, and energy on the Broncs bench quickly picked up. After trailing by as much as 31, Rider got the deficit down to as low as seven with 2:13 left in the game.
On the following possession, Marist had a chance to stop a 19-five run for the Broncs with a bucket. Bell drove to the basket while taking a ton of contact from the defender, and finished a tough layup to put the game away. The team struggled to sustain their offense after halftime, but they managed to get key baskets when they needed them most.
“It’s always a pleasure to fix these things after a win,” Dunne said about trying to learn from their mistakes in the second half.
Freshman Ricardo Wright led the way with a career-high 22 points on eight-for-14 shooting from the field and four-for-seven shooting from three. After starting the first 13 games of the season, the 6-foot-4 guard flourished in his new role against the Broncs.
“When his number was called, he was really ready to play and he was locked in and focused,” Dunne said about Wright’s incredible performance.
Carolo Pascale/The Rider News
Bell also added 15 points on five-for-six shooting from the field and three-for-four shooting from three. The junior forward from Texas is now shooting .461 percent from downtown this season.
“We really challenged him today in our film session, and he came out focused,” Dunne said about Bell bouncing back from a tough game on Friday.
For Rider, Powell led the way with 20 points on eight-for-15 shooting from the field and three-for-six shooting from three. Murray also added 16 points on eight-for-16 shooting from the field.
Marist will return to conference play on February 5 at 5 p.m., when they face the Quinnipiac Bobcats at McCann Arena in Poughkeepsie, New York.
Edited by Nicholas Stanziale