Following three straight wins, it was a night of sobering lows for Marist women’s basketball.
After climbing out of the valley that was a three-game losing streak to start the season, Marist (3-4) suffered a major setback at Columbia on Thursday night, losing 103-54 to the Lions in New York City.
The 103 points allowed and the 49-point defeat are both new records in the Brian Giorgis era.
Marist’s calling card coming into the game was a solid defense that had only allowed opponents to shoot 22 percent from three-point range in six games. The Lions went about inflating that stat, clinically picking apart the Red Foxes’ defense and shooting 14-for-29 from deep and 40-for-64 (63 percent) from the floor overall.
Here is a breakdown of how the Lions shot in each period:
Q1: 9-for-15 (60 percent)
Q2: 12-for-17 (71 percent)
Q3: 13-for-18 (72 percent)
Q4: 6-for-14 (43 percent)
It was a stark reminder that Marist doesn’t quite stack up with powerful mid-majors as it has in years past.
Giorgis has stressed that team defense must be a constant but on Thursday night, it just wasn’t there against a team that outclassed the Red Foxes in every aspect of the game.
At one point in the first half, Columbia made 17 out of 18 shots stretching from the last seven minutes of the first quarter to the middle of the second quarter. Some of the looks were well-contested. Marist was simply up against a buzzsaw.
Columbia was picked to finish second behind Princeton in a very strong Ivy League. In the first month of the season, the Lions have already sprung road upsets on major conference foes like Miami (ACC) and Seton Hall (Big East) while dropping difficult games to Vanderbilt and seventh-ranked Iowa State.
Columbia came into the game as a shining example of what a balanced scoring attack should look like, with all five starters in double-figures. Having to key in on all five starters was difficult enough but bench player Paige Lauder dusted Marist for 24 points, blazing past her previous career-high of 10.
Lauder shot 9-for-11 from the floor including five made threes. Abbey Hsu joined her teammate on 24 points shooting an efficient 10-for-13.
Marist had a difficult time running its motion offense against a talented Lions team, resulting in another cold shooting night.
The Red Foxes shot 38 percent from the floor and 5-for-16 from three. Those numbers can keep Marist in half-court games that don’t get out of the 50s but gave it no shot at keeping up with the Lions on Thursday.
Fisher put together a solid statline with a team-high 16 points and five assists on 7-for-8 shooting.
After a difficult day on Sunday against Lafayette, Shazer climbed back into double figures with 10 points on 4-for-11 shooting.
Julianna Bonilla was the other Red Fox in double-digits with 12.
The game remained scoreless for the first three minutes but the Lions soon found their way into things. Columbia was able to push the tempo and strike before the Marist defense could set itself. The Lions ran out to a 12-0 run behind accurate shooting from Lauder to build an 18-5 lead over the cold-shooting Red Foxes.
Marist did reel off six straight points in response, but the Lions came right back with five of their own, with Jaida Patrick hitting a short jumper to put the home team on top 23-11 after one quarter.
After missing its first five shots of the game, Columbia went 9-for-10 the rest of the way in the first period. The train kept rolling in the second as Hsu hit a three to extend the lead to 32-13 with eight minutes in the half, forcing a timeout from Brian Giorgis.
The onslaught continued with no signs of slowing down as Lauder hit from deep again to make it 47-19 late in the second and a layup from Hsu put the Lions up 54-23 at the break.
Marist actually began to shoot the ball a little better in the second half but by then the game was already well past decided. It didn’t matter anyway as the Lions continued their barrage, with the lead growing to 82-42 courtesy of another Lauder three.
Columbia went into triple digits with a three from Sienna Durr to make 101-52 with just over 90 seconds remaining.
The Red Foxes will look to rebound on Sunday when they travel up north to face Vermont. The Catamounts are coached by former Marist standout Alisa Kresge, who was a member of the NCAA Sweet 16 team in 2007 and served as an assistant coach under Giorgis from 2009-16.
Tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m.
Edited by Ricardo Martinez
Photo from Marist Athletics