Marist women’s basketball played one of its best games of the season in a 70-62 win on the road at Rider on Monday evening. The victory was only the second away from home for the Red Foxes this season.
The Red Foxes came into the game at just 1-11 on the road. Despite being away from the friendlier confines of McCann, Marist took control of the game in the second quarter and never really let the Broncs back into the game, avenging a 60-50 defeat earlier in the month.
Kendall Krick, the elder stateswoman of the team, was not far behind with a career-high 20 points of her own. Krick, whether by choice or by necessity, has had to look for her own shot more than usual this season. She turned in another efficient performance, finishing seven-of-10 from the floor.
Two games ago, against St. Peter’s, Anabel Ellison suffered a left ankle injury. As she limped off the floor in pain, the outlook didn’t look too good, especially since she had already injured both of her ankles earlier in this season. Luckily, she didn’t miss any time and continued her solid relief of Kiara Fisher with 17 points, including a three-of-five effort from deep on Monday.
Zaria Shazer added eight points and six rebounds, and Erin Fox came off the bench to contribute seven.
The Red Foxes (8-17, 6-11 in the MAAC) shot 24-of-55 (43 percent) from the floor and six-of-18 from the three. These numbers don’t exactly set the world on fire, but they are also a noticeable improvement from what Marist usually shoots.
The Red Foxes also were 16-of-21 from the foul line, including nine-of-12 down the stretch in the fourth quarter.
If the Red Foxes can defend at the same level they have been for most of the season, they can win games shooting 40 percent from the field and making six or seven threes. That is, of course, easier said than done.
Marist scored 26 points off of 20 Rider turnovers and enjoyed a 28-20 advantage in points in the paint.
The Broncs (8-17, 6-10 in the MAAC) shot 41 percent from the floor and eight-of-26 from the three-point line. Lenaejha Evans had a game-high 21 for Rider, and Raphaela Touissant added 18. Only five Broncs scored in the game (nine players found the scoresheet for the Red Foxes)
The Broncs led 19-14 after the first quarter before Marist came alive in the second ten minutes. Shazer hit a jumper to put Marist up 22-21 with 5:42 left in the first half. Little did the Red Foxes know that they would hold the lead from that point onward.
A three from Ellison made it a 28-21 game a minute-and-a-half later, and a three-point play from Fox made it 31-21 with 3:37 on the clock. In a little more than five minutes, Marist went from down six to up 10, a 16-0 run.
A pair of free throws from Ellison made it a 36-28 game heading into the halftime break.
Krick nailed a three, and Ellison added a layup to expand the lead to 41-28 coming out of the locker room. The Red Foxes have given up some leads this season, and it looked as though that might be happening again after Touissant drained a triple to bring it to within 43-36 with 4:33 left in the third.
Marist regrouped, and a Krick jumper had the lead back up to 51-38 with just over a minute left. Catie Cunningham, the freshman from Syracuse, converted a wide-open layup to make it 55-38 heading into the final stanza.
The Red Foxes kept the Broncs at arm’s length for enough of the fourth quarter to dismiss any serious hopes of a comeback. Rider did its very best to extend the game, making it 68-62 with 19 seconds left, then forcing a turnover on a held ball.
The Broncs couldn’t come any closer, and Krick had the free throws to put the finishing touches on the victory.
Marist returns home to face Quinnipiac on Thursday, wrapping up a busy stretch of games. The home contest against the Bobcats will tip at 11 a.m. on Thursday because of a national television slot on ESPNU.
Edited by Connor Kurpat
Image from Marist Athletics