Marist suffered a 63-50 defeat to Siena on Sunday as they split their season series with the Saints, moving them to .500 in MAAC play. The Red Foxes committed 16 turnovers and converted just five assists in the defeat.
“They didn’t let us get into a rhythm on offense,” said Marist head coach John Dunne. “It was partly their energy and maybe some fatigue play from us that made some unforced errors.”
The Red Foxes were able to contain Pre-Season MAAC Player of the Year Jalen Pickett as well as senior guard Manny Camper to just a combined six-for-24 from the floor and 16 points in the victory on Saturday. It was a poor offensive performance from a Siena team that handed out at least 70 points to opponents in their first six games to open the season.
“My coaches give me a great game plan every game,” said Marist junior guard Matt Herasme, the primary assignment for Pickett this weekend. “I’m usually guarding the best player on the opponent and I just try to follow that and play hard. I try not to let them get comfortable. That’s it.”
Saturday marked Marist’s first win over Siena since 2017 and looked to sweep the rivals for the first time since 2007. The Saints looked to split the series and maintain atop the MAAC standings as they have fallen in two of their last three outings.
The grudge match mirrored Saturday’s contest early on as the teams combined for just 11 points in the first six and a half minutes. A 16-9 lead for the Red Foxes at the midpoint of the first half slowly dwindled and Siena would take the lead on an Aidan Carpenter jump shot late in the first half. Both teams seemed to pick up on the offensive end as ten lead changes and six minutes spent tied in the opening frame concluded with a 30-27 lead for the Saints.
After tying the game early in the second half, John Dunne’s squad couldn’t find their way back to a lead as the Saints slowly pulled away to the win. Jalen Pickett finally found form in the series and poured in 11 points in the second half. Pickett and Camper combined for seven points in a three-minute span late in the second half to extend the lead to double-digits with just three minutes to play and seal the win for the Saints and a series split from their trip to Poughkeepsie.
“Even with some poor numbers, we were right there until the last couple of minutes,” said Dunne. “We know we can play with the top dogs in this league and we’re going to continue to work better as we move down the stretch here.”
Marist was balanced in attack as no one reached double-figures, but nine players were able to find the scoresheet. Freshman guards Hakim Byrd and Ricardo Wright led the way with nine each. The Red Foxes shot three-for-16 from deep as they struggled to get anything going from the perimeter.
Siena was led in scoring by Camper who had 19 points in the victory. Pickett was crucial down the stretch for the Saints as he finished with 11 points, all coming in the second half. The Saints shot 29 free throws with 16 of them coming from Camper.
“We fouled a little too much, we put them on the line,” said Dunne. “We were three-for-16 from three with 16 turnovers. It’s hard to beat a good team with those kinds of numbers.”
Marist will get the upcoming weekend off and will be back in action on Friday, February 13th against Quinnipiac in McCann Arena. Tip-off is scheduled for 3:00 p.m.
Edited by Nicholas Stanziale
Featured Image from Marist Athletics