Marist falls to 7-8 in conference play following their 59-54 loss to the Saint Peter’s Peacocks on Friday night.
The Red Foxes now hold sole position of fourth place in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference after tonight’s contest.
A huge question mark going into this game revolved around the absence of Matt Herasme. The 6-foot-4 guard had started 12 of the last 14 games, but a nagging wrist injury forced the junior to miss the contest against Saint Peter’s.
“We knew going into the game that Matt wasn’t going to play tonight,” coach Dunne said.
The Red Foxes were also without redshirt junior Victor Enoh, as a knee injury forced the center to miss his first game of the season. After the game ended, coach Dunne gave an update on his status for the rest of the season.
“We got bad news right before the game that Victor has a MCL injury and is done for the season,” Dunne said.
After Braden Bell picked up two fouls in the first three minutes of the game, Dunne and his coaching staff needed to go to the bench to keep the 6-foot-7 forward out of foul trouble.
Sophomore Henry Makeny — who was averaging less than four minutes per contest going into tonight — was given the opportunity to make an impact off the bench.
“For a guy that hasn’t played much this year, he handled it really well,” Dunne said about the impact Makeny had tonight.
Marist had a lot of trouble getting into a rhythm throughout the early going, but getting into the bonus with 6:43 left in the first half was crucial for their offensive production. After only scoring ten points in the first 13 minutes of the game, the Red Foxes got some easy buckets from the free throw line.
The team connected on five of six shots from the charity stripe during the final stretch of the opening half, taking a 20-18 deficit going into halftime.
The second half provided more scoring, but neither team could pull away. Marist took a 24-22 lead with 17:26 left in the game following two made free throws from Bell.
After the Peacocks went on a 10-0 run in the middle of the second half, the Red Foxes answered with a 10-2 run of their own. Both teams showed the ability to score at times, but each squad found a way to fight back when they got down.
With 3:59 left in the game, Makeny banked in a three-pointer to give the Red Foxes a three point lead. The Peacocks followed that up with nine straight points, including six makes from the free throw line. Freshman guard Ricardo Wright then hit a pullup three to make it a four point game with fifteen seconds left, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the deficit.
“I thought we played extremely hard and we fought right until the end” Dunne said.
Saint Peter’s forward KC Ndefo led all scores with 19 points, shooting 4/9 from the field and 11/14 from the free throw line.
Hakim Byrd led the way for the Red Foxes, scoring 12 points on 3/8 shooting from the field and 2/5 from behind the arc. Bell also had 12 points, shooting 3/6 from the field and 2/4 from behind the arc.
Marist will return to conference play Saturday night at 8 p.m., where they will once again face off against the Saint Peter’s Peacocks at the John J. Moore Athletics and Fitness Center, Jersey City, NJ.
Edited by Nicholas Stanziale
Image courtesy of Marist Athletics