For the third consecutive game, the Marist men’s basketball team put themselves in a large deficit early into the contest. The Red Foxes showed some fight in the second half, but lost 70-59 against the Maryland Eastern Shore Hawks on Tuesday night.
Early in the season, the biggest concern for Marist was their inability to get off to good starts, which remained true today. The team has yet to take a lead into halftime, even if their opening night win against American University.
At one point in the first half against Maryland Eastern Shore, Marist held a 13-8 lead. But that quickly evaporated, as the Hawks answered with an extended 25-4 run to completely flip the momentum.
For most of the first half, everything seemed to be in favor of the home team. Marist was surrendering second opportunities, losing a lot of the 50/50 balls and taking shots a bit early into possessions.
Still, the Red Foxes finished the first half on a positive note, going on a 12-4 run over the final 03:26 to make it a 38-31 game in favor of Maryland Eastern Shore. Marist committed eight first-half turnovers, leading to 15 points for the Hawks. Patrick Gardner kept the team in the game by scoring 16 points on just ten field goal attempts.
The Hawks were on the front foot to open the second half, scoring seven straight points to take a 45-31 lead with 17:45 left in the game. The Red Foxes had the task of digging themselves out of a major hole once again.
Marist began to get to the free throw line, which would become a critical source of their offense early in the half. Gardner, Javon Cooley and Rollin Belton combined for the team’s next five points, all coming from the charity stripe. Still, the Red Foxes trailed by 11 less than six minutes into the half.
Anytime it looked like Marist had a chance to make it a two or three possession game, the Hawks had the answer. The Red Foxes could not string together any defensive stops, and that denied Marist any chance of really threatening Maryland Eastern Shore.
A three-pointer from Kam Farris cut the deficit to eight with 08:46 left in the game, but that would be the closest to the Red Foxes would get to their opposition. Marist scored the final five points of the contest, ending the game with an 11-point loss.
Two factors played the biggest role in Marist dropping their fourth game in a row: defending from the perimeter and allowing countless offensive rebounds. The Hawks shot 9-for-22 from three compared to Marist’s 6-for-27 from distance
Maryland Eastern Shore had 15 offensive rebounds, helping the Hawks win the rebound battle 40-32. Marist has the size in the frontcourt to be better on the boards, so that is something they will look to address over the next game or two.
Marist committed 14 turnovers against the Hawks, which only led to 15 points. The Red Foxes were able to stop some of those opportunities in transition, but that is certainly an area they would like to improve in.
Marist has four non-conference games before they open up league play against Manhattan on Dec. 19. This is a team that is still trying to figure out an identity, which comes with expected roadblocks.
Gardner led the way for the Red Foxes, scoring a team-high 20 points on 7-for-16 shooting from the field. The 6-foot-11 center also had seven rebounds, with three of those coming on the offensive end in 27 minutes of action.
Marist now owns a non-conference record of 1-4 following their loss at Maryland Eastern Shore. The team will return to play on Saturday, Nov. 26 against the Bucknell Bison of the Patriot League. Tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m. at Sojka Pavilion.
Edited By Dan Aulbach
Photo By Kira Crutcher