Marist powered its way to a 69-44 win over a depleted Siena team on Saturday afternoon at the UHY Center just outside of Albany. The victory was the Red Foxes’ fifth in a row and their seventh consecutive triumph over the Saints.
“We were able to take away their main weapons today,” Marist Head Coach Brian Giorgis said after the win. “Our guards did a good job, and as a whole, the team defense was solid.”
After playing a game with six players last week, Siena dressed nine players today but did not have the conference’s leading scorer Isis Young, who failed to clear COVID protocols before the game. The home team dearly missed the graduate transfer’s 19.2 points per contest.
The Red Foxes never trailed, and the only tie besides 0-0 came at 2-2 in the opening minutes of the game. Marist controlled the glass, winning the rebounding battle 49-37 and grabbing 20 offensive boards, which contributed to 18 second-chance points.
“They lead the league in offensive rebounding, so that was our main concern coming into the game,” Giorgis continued. “We rebounded really well, and we got a break that they didn’t have their best player, who’s the heart and soul of the team.”
The offensive rebounding prowess allowed the Red Foxes to take a season-high 70 shots from the field, compared to 58 for the Saints.
Marist (13-2, 11-2 in the MAAC) shot just 36 percent from the field and hit eight-of-21 attempts from three-point range. The Red Foxes did not miss in 11 tries from the free-throw line.
Caitlin Weimar only had six points but set a new career-high with 17 rebounds and swatted four shots in 24 minutes.
“Caitlin did a great job spearheading our defense and making things difficult on them,” Giorgis said. “She was blocking shots, and she grabbed all those rebounds. I saw she was just four away from the school record.”
Trinasia Kennedy led the team in scoring for the second straight game, finishing with a team-high 13.
Willow Duffell added 10 points and eight boards.
Allie Best and Kendall Krick each chipped in with nine. 11 of the 13 Marist players that saw action scored.
“We were really balanced today,” Giorgis added. “It’s always great when we can empty the bench and rest the starters for tomorrow.”
Siena (2-4, same record in the MAAC) was another victim of the suffocating Red Foxes’ defense, only shooting 33 percent from the field. The Saints could not capitalize from the charity stripe, going an abysmal two-of-nine.
The Saints have struggled against COVID-19 all season long. Yesterday was the first time Ali Jacques could have a full-contact practice in weeks.
Margo Peterson had a game-high 18 points on eight-for-20 shooting. Marilena Gerostergiou was the next highest scorer with nine.
The plays that typified the first half came on the offensive glass for Marist. Weimar pulled down her fourth offensive rebound and dished it to the top of the key for a wide-open Best three that pushed the lead to 28-17 with five minutes left in the first half. The six-foot-four freshman was at it again a few minutes later when she grabbed her sixth offensive board (11th total) and made a beautiful pass to Kendall Krick, who laid it in despite getting fouled.
Krick completed the three-point play to stretch it to 33-21, but Siena hung tough, with Peterson hitting a three to make it 33-26 with 30 seconds left. Duffell prevented the Saints from heading into the locker room with too much momentum, hitting a mid-range jumper to make it a nine-point game at the half.
The Red Foxes had 14 second-chance points in the first 20 minutes.
It was more of the same early in the second half. Weimar collected a Duffell miss that failed to hit the rim and banked a short jumper in to barely beat the shot clock to give her team a 37-26 advantage. Marist continued to build its lead with Duffell hitting a jumper to cap an 8-0 run after halftime and make it a 17-point game.
Siena cut the lead to 12 midway through the third quarter, but Kennedy helped restore and extend the advantage. She hit a three, finished a layup, threw a beautiful outlet pass, which led to a Krick score, and then knocked home another long-range shot that finished off a 10-0 run to end the quarter.
After holding the Saints to five points in the third, the Red Foxes led 53-31 with ten minutes to play.
Peterson broke a six-minute Saints scoring drought with a three, but Siena could not do anything to get back into the game against Marist’s second unit. Anabel Ellison hit her second three-pointer of the year, and Erin Fox hit a pair of free throws for her first points since December as the Red Foxes eased to victory.
Marist and Siena will do it again tomorrow, with tip-off scheduled for 2 p.m. at the UHY Center.
Edited by Mackenzie Meaney
Photo by Marist Athletics