Marist Clinches Top Four Seed at the MAAC Tournament in a Victory over Quinnipiac

Marist collected their second straight victory over the Quinnipiac Bobcats in a 65-52 win on Monday night. This is the team’s second series sweep of the season, including two road wins over the Manhattan Jaspers in the middle of December. 

After producing 38 points in the opening half yesterday, the Red Foxes struggled in the early going on Monday night. Marist committed ten first half turnovers while only shooting 37 percent from the field and 15.4 percent from three. The team could have gone into halftime with a large deficit, but a combination of good defense and poor shooting from the Bobcats led to a 24-22 halftime lead for the Red Foxes.

In the opening minutes of the second half, the Red Foxes began to find their feet on the offense end. Ricardo Wright connected on a three-pointer to open the scoring after halftime, and that gave Marist some much needed confidence for the rest of the game.

Even with the Red Foxes scoring 41 points in the second half, the biggest takeaway for the team revolved around their intensity on the defensive end. The Bobcats struggled to get good looks at the basket, shooting 30 percent from the field and 18.5 percent from three.

“We stayed disciplined off the ball, and we just grinded,” head coach John Dunne said about making things difficult for the Bobcats.

Quinnipaic cut the lead to eight with 4:12 remaining in the game, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the deficit. In the second half, Marist shot 48.3 percent from the field and 37.5 percent from behind the three-point line, leading to a thirteen point victory on their home floor.

“I don’t think we’ve shot the ball up to our potential yet from three,” Dunne said about the team being even more efficient on the offensive end.

Tonight, senior walk-on Tucker Lee made his first career start in his final regular season appearance for the Red Foxes. “He’s a really selfless guy so it was great to get him in there for two and a half minutes,” Dunne said about the impact he has on the locker room.

Wright led the way for the Red Foxes tonight, scoring a game-high 19 points on 8/17 shooting from the field. The 6-foot-4 guard also had eight rebounds, tying a career high. 

Rahiem Sullivan had a strong performance as well, scoring 14 points on 5/12 shooting from the field along with three rebounds and three assists. Matt Herasme had a season-high ten points on 3/6 shooting from the field and 2/5 shooting from downtown.

Going into the season, many would have expected Micheal Cubbage to play a key role for the team on both ends of the floor, but a season-ending foot injury forced Dunne to trust in his younger guards right from the beginning.

“At the end of the day, I couldn’t be more proud of these guys,” Dunne said about his young team battling through the peaks and valleys of a tough season.

With the Red Foxes clincing a top four seed in the conference tournament, the team will not be back in action till March 10th. “We just need to stay strong mentally, and that’s what we’ve done all year,” Dunne said.

Their next opponent will be determined at the end of the week after the regular season concludes for a few other teams in the conference.

Edited by Nicholas Stanziale

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