Marist Stalls in Loss at Monmouth

A long day for those involved with Marist women’s basketball ended with a frustrating 52-44 loss to Monmouth on Wednesday night. The loss broke a string of nine consecutive victories over the Hawks. 

At 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Marist women’s basketball head coach Brian Giorgis and associate head coach Erin Doughty found themselves in what would turn out to be an emotional press conference in the McCann Center.

Tears flowed from both parties as they discussed the past, present, and future of the Marist program. Giorgis will retire on Apr. 1, 2023, with Doughty replacing him.

It was undoubtedly an emotional few days for Giorgis, Doughty, and the players, who only found out about the succession plan on Monday. From the moment they boarded the bus to West Long Branch, it was going to be a big ask to win this game.

Marist didn’t play well but still found itself down just 47-42 after a putback score from Anabel Ellison with 3:42 left. The Red Foxes couldn’t buy a perimeter basket all night long, and Monmouth’s Stella Clark made them pay with a three-pointer to put the Hawks up 50-42 with 2:29 remaining.

Marist had the ball down 50-44 with just over a minute left, but a turnover by Kendall Krick and a layup from Monmouth’s Belle Kranbuhl sealed the game.

Marist (8-19, 6-13 in the MAAC) only shot 28 percent from the floor and a frigid 1-of-12 from three-point range. The Red Foxes had shot the ball better in their last two games, but Wednesday’s contest may have been a regression to the mean.

Trinasia Kennedy struggled from the floor, throwing up 19 shots and making just four. Still, it was good enough for a team-high 10 points.

Zaria Shazer has only gone over 10 points once since January 30. She had nine (all in the second half) in a game that might help restore some of the confidence she had earlier in the season. Krick added six points, and no other Marist player had more than five.

In Marist’s 71-53 victory at McCann on January 15, the Red Foxes battled the Hawks to a draw on the boards, but on Wednesday, Monmouth dominated the glass, winning the rebounding margin 51-30.

Kranbuhl struggled with foul trouble in the first meeting but made up for it with an 18-point, seven-rebound performance in the rematch. Clark added nine points, eight rebounds, and six assists in the win.

The victory snapped a six-game losing streak for Monmouth (14-14, 9-10 in the MAAC) and helped their chances of getting a first-round bye.

The Red Foxes trailed 9-2 less than four minutes into the game, but battled back and dug in on defense to take a 14-12 lead after one quarter of play.

Marist struggled to make a shot as the first half drew to a close. A Kennedy layup gave Marist an 18-17 lead with six minutes left in the half, but the Red Foxes went on a lengthy drought, only making one of their next nine shots. Scoring from Clark made it a 29-20 Monmouth lead with 11 seconds left, and a make from Kennedy finally ended Marist’s dry spell and sent the Red Foxes into halftime trailing 29-22.

The Red Foxes forced 13 first-half turnovers but allowed Monmouth to clobber them 32-13 on the glass and score nine second-chance points. They also only shot 9-of-33 from the floor.

Marist continued to struggle, and the Hawks built a 39-25 lead after a Lucy Thomas layup midway through the third quarter. The Red Foxes dug in on the defensive end and slowly whittled the deficit down to single digits.

A layup from Julianna Bonilla made it 39-32 with 30 seconds left in the third, but Kranbuhl scored to beat the buzzer off an inbounds play to send the Hawks into the fourth with a 41-32 lead.

This game could be the last time Monmouth and Marist meet as MAAC foes. The teams could meet in the MAAC Tournament, but the Hawks are leaving for the CAA following this season.

Marist seems to be headed toward the 10-seed in Atlantic City. That would mean a first-round matchup with the 7-seed (as of now, Iona) early Tuesday afternoon in the MAAC Tournament.

The Red Foxes finish the season 2-12 in true road games.

Marist will return to Poughkeepsie for senior night against Manhattan at 7 p.m. on Saturday.

Edited by Connor Kurpat

Image from Marist Athletics

Author: Jonathan Kinane

I'm a senior from Syracuse, NY, studying sports communication and journalism. I consider myself a die-hard Syracuse University sports fan, but I also follow the Knicks, Giants, and Yankees in the professional ranks. Sports and writing have long been my passions and I am excited for another year with Center Field.

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