Marist made shots when they needed to late in the game, and earned a 62-61 win over the Maine Black Bears at the Basketball Hall of Fame London Showcase.
Marist got off to a strong start against the Black Bears, controlling the tempo early in the game. At the first media timeout, the Red Foxes led 11-6. The ball was constantly moving for the Red Foxes, and that led to plenty of good looks.
Isaiah Brickner has begun to feel comfortable in the flow of the offensive over the last few games, and that was no different against Maine. With less than five minutes remaining in the first half, the freshman found Javon Cooley slashing to the rim for a dunk. On the ensuing possession, Brickner hit a jump shot from the elbow to make it a 26-23 game in favor of Marist.
The teams would trade baskets in the final three plus minutes, giving the Red Foxes a 31-28 lead heading into the locker room. Patrick Gardner was the star of the show to that point, scoring a surging 14 points in the opening 20 minutes.
Marist came out of the break with intensity, and it showed on the scoreboard. The Red Foxes went on a 12-8 run early in the second half, giving themselves a 43-36 lead with 13:14 left in the game.
Just when it looked like Marist was ready to pull away, Maine had an extended run of their own. The Black Bears went on a 14-2 run, and were up 50-45 with 07:26 left in the game. Marist started to unravel by making costly mistakes, putting themselves in a hole.
Despite trailing by five, Marist stayed composed and regained some of their flow in the scoring department. The team came out of a timeout with a three-pointer from freshman Jaden Daughtry. Marist would eventually tie the game at 53-53, following a three-pointer from Gardner.
But once again, the momentum shifted in favor of Maine. The Black Bears went on a 6-0 run, and just like that, led 59-53 with 02:49 left. Marist needed to immediately respond, but this time, it came from Robert Morris transfer Kam Farris. The 6-foot-3 guard made a layup followed by a three-point make, giving him nine points for the game. Still, the Red Foxes trailed by one.
With the game hanging in the balance, the Red Foxes went right back to Farris. He brought the ball down the floor, looking to get downhill towards the rim. Farris had his runner in the lane contested, forcing a miss. The rebound fell right back to him, giving Marist a second opportunity on the possession.
Farris would miss another shot from point-blank range, but he was given a third chance to score. The junior from Burlington, Virginia continued to work, and that hustle paid off in the end. Farris finished with a reverse layup on his third attempt of the possession, giving Marist a 62-61 lead with 21 seconds left in the game.
Maine came down the floor and were unable to score, and once again, Farris was there to make the big play. His positioning got the team a critical defensive rebound, forcing the Black Bears to foul. All Marist had to do was knock down free throws, and Maine would have to make a three-pointer to tie it.
Farris would miss the front end of the one and one, leaving 14 seconds on the clock for Maine to make the game-winning shot. The Black Bears had two looks on their final possession: one from Ja’Shonte Wright-Mcleish and the other from Kellen Tynes. Neither fell, and the Red Foxes celebrated as the buzzer sounded.
Marist led for a majority of the game, and when they needed someone to step up on the offensive end, Kam Farris was there. As this team continues to grow, having someone to rely on alongside Patrick Gardner is crucial. If Farris can be there for the Red Foxes, it can go a long way for this group’s scoring abilities.
Patrick Gardner was excellent throughout, scoring the ball at an efficient rate. He finished the contest with a game-high 27 points on 11-for-16 shooting from the field and 4-for-7 shooting from three. Gardner also had nine rebounds and two blocks in 34 minutes.
Marist will travel back from London, with their next game scheduled against the Boston University Terriers of the Patriot League on Dec. 10. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. at McCann Arena.