With Marist women’s basketball head coach Brian Giorgis sidelined from being on the sidelines due to COVID protocols, it was more of the same for the Red Foxes, who lost 58-45 at Saint Peter’s on Sunday afternoon.
Associate head coach Erin Doughty, who has either played or coached in all of Giorgis’ 449 collegiate wins, took charge, but the change of pace did nothing to solve Marist’s shooting struggles. The Red Foxes shot 25 percent from the field and 5-of-26 from the three-point line.
Per the Marist sports information department, this is believed to be the first full game that Giorgis has ever missed in his 19-plus seasons at the helm in Poughkeepsie. The last time he wasn’t on the court for any game action was in December 2018, when he was ejected late in a game against Massachusetts.
It was a rematch of the 2021 MAAC Championship game, in which Marist cruised to a 69-30 victory to punch a ticket into the NCAA Tournament. On Sunday, the Peacocks got a small measure of revenge in another one-sided game.
Marist (6-12, 4-6 in the MAAC) is between a rock and a hard place on the offensive end. Without Kiara Fisher, Zaria Shazer is the team’s leading scorer. She’s a solid scorer but is not yet a primary scoring threat down low. Without any consistent inside threat, Marist turned to the perimeter for help. It didn’t provide any.
Kendall Krick tied her career-high with 14 points. She was the only Marist player in double-figures. Trinasia Kennedy was the next leading scorer with nine.
It felt like every time Marist shot from deep, it was playing into Saint Peter’s hands. The Peacocks turned in a marginally better shooting effort than the Red Foxes, finishing 35 percent from the floor and six-of-18 from deep.
The 45-point performance didn’t help Marist’s standing as the worst offensive team in the MAAC. It was the sixth time the Red Foxes failed to score 50 points this season.
Kendrea Williams had a game-high 23 for the Peacocks.
Once again, the first half was an offensive slog for the Red Foxes. For the second consecutive game, they failed to eclipse 20 points in the first 20 minutes. Marist shot 7-for-31 (23 percent) from the field and three-of-14 from three in the first half. A solid defensive effort from the Red Foxes was the only reason why the Peacocks weren’t up more than 26-19 at the intermission.
On Thursday night against Fairfield, Marist played its best basketball in the first few minutes of the second half. On Sunday against the Peacocks, the Red Foxes flopped. A three and a conventional three-point play from Kendrea Williams finished off an 11-0 run that put Saint Peter’s up 37-19 three minutes into the second half.
Marist eventually started scoring again, but its limited offensive acumen meant that playing catchup from 18 down was going to be next to impossible. Trading baskets was not enough for the Red Foxes, who trailed 47-30 after three quarters.
The closest Marist came was 51-41 after Krick hit a jumper with 4:49 left. The Red Foxes press any momentum they might have had, and the Peacocks got the lead back up to 15 with inside three minutes left, effectively sealing the deal.
There is a good chance that Giorgis will be back on the sidelines for the Quinnipiac game on Thursday. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the People’s United Bank Center in Hamden.
Edited by Ricardo Martinez
Photo from Luke Sassa