Women’s basketball hit the road for the first time this season still in search of their first win, ultimately coming up well short of that goal as they fell to the Green Bay Phoenix by a score of 74-45.
The Red Foxes (0-3) entered today winless on the year after two home losses to open the season. The first loss came to Villanova, a game in which the team hung around at first before eventually being blown out, while the second loss was to the University of Pennsylvania, a close contest that was decided by a four-point margin. Green Bay (1-1) also came into the game searching for their first win, having lost to Drake by double digits in their season opener.
The first quarter began as a back-and-forth affair at first, with junior guard Kiara Fisher displaying her playmaking chops with a little over six minutes remaining in the quarter. Fisher dished the ball out to her left from beyond the arc, hitting graduate student guard Kendall Krick on the other side of the court, leading to a successful midrange jumper from Krick to make the score 10-8.
Krick contributed once again on the next possession, as she found herself in almost the exact same spot on the floor, this time choosing to pass the ball forward to junior forward Zaria Shazer, who drew a foul underneath the rim. Shazer sank both ensuing free throws to draw the score even at 10 apiece.
From this point onward, Green Bay gained some serious separation, going on a 16-2 run over the next nine and a half minutes of play to stake out a 26-12 lead. The offensive ineptitude on Marist’s end was fueled by a slew of missed three pointers, with numerous shots coming up short.
The shot selection was questionable at best from Marist’s end, as the team continued to fire away from deep despite miss after miss from beyond the arc; overall the team went 1-14 from deep in the first half. The misfires, combined with a lack of rebounding and the team’s unwillingness to attack the paint, made for an abysmal offensive performance during the second quarter.
Fisher finally got the Red Foxes off the schneid with four and a half minutes remaining in the half, coming up with an impressive steal at the top of the key and advancing in transition to make an easy layup with the entire defense having been left in the dust. She struck again a few minutes later just before the half to send Marist to the locker room on a positive note, burying the team’s only successful three of the half from the top of the key to make the score 28-21.
All things considered, Marist was lucky to only be trailing by seven at the half, as Green Bay had up until this point failed to fully capitalize on their dominant defensive performance. That wouldn’t last for long though, as the Phoenix came out of the gate strong in the third quarter.
Senior guard Julia Bonilla appeared to give Marist some momentum early in the third when she drilled a corner three to bring the team within six, but the Red Foxes would go on to be outscored 21-8 over the rest of the period. All told, Green Bay shot 59 percent from the field including 60 percent from deep during the third quarter, compared to only 25 percent from the field for Marist.
The dominant third quarter for Green Bay was capped off by a rollicking buzzer-beater from sophomore forward Jasmine Kondrakiewicz, who made a driving layup to push the lead to 19 and effectively put the game out of reach.
When the dust settled, the final score was a laugher, with Green Bay winning by 29. Senior guard Hailey Oskey led the way for the Phoenix with 19 points on 6-9 shooting to go along with six rebounds. Green Bay had three players reach double figures, while the only Red Fox to do so was senior center Maeve Donnelly; she notched a double-double with 13 points on 5-10 shooting to go along with 10 rebounds.
The most glaring weakness for Marist aside from their defensive performance, which waned as the game got out of hand, was the three-point shooting, as the team shot 2-23 overall from deep. Fisher (1-8 from deep) and Krick (0-4 from deep) particularly struggled on the day, and they will need to vastly improve their efficiency going forward if they hope to keep pace with their opponents.
Marist will get their next crack at notching their first win of the year when they travel to Dublin, Ireland to take on Eastern Kentucky next Friday at 7:30 a.m. eastern time as a part of the MAAC / ASUN Dublin Basketball Challenge.
Edited by Ricardo Martinez
Photo from Marist Athletics