Marist came into Friday night’s contest with an opportunity to extend their winning streak to two. The Red Foxes failed to do that, making too many careless mistakes against the gritty Saint Peter’s Peacocks team. Marist made a run late in the second half, but it wouldn’t be enough, as they lost 67-56 to drop to 4-9 in MAAC play.
This was the Red Foxes’ fourth consecutive loss against the Peacocks, getting swept for the second straight season. Marist really struggled to compete with intensity and physically of Saint Peter’s, leading to a lot of their simple mistakes.
Marist got off to a tough start, falling behind by seven early in the first half. Saint Peter’s did their best to get the ball out of Patrick Gardner’s hands, something they were successful with right from the tip-off. Even when he was able to create a look for himself, two or three defenders were in his face.
The two teams went back and forth for large portions of the first half, until the Peacocks started the process of pulling away. Saint Peter’s did a great job getting downhill, giving themselves opportunities to score at the free throw line. Combined that with Marist struggling to score, especially from three, and the Red Foxes were in a big hole. Saint Peter’s scored five of the final seven points in the first, taking a 35-24 lead into the locker room.
Marist shot 34.4% from the field and 11.1% from three in the opening 20 minutes. They also allowed ten offensive rebounds, which Saint Peter’s turned into 14 second chance points. The Red Foxes played a pretty poor first half, yet they only trailed by 11 at the break.
Jaden Daughtry got Marist started by a layup, triggering a 6-2 run for the Red Foxes to cut the deficit to seven. But just as they did in the first half, the Red Foxes continued to turn the ball over in tough situations. That allowed Saint Peter’s to get out on the break, which they took advantage of.
The deficit would grow to as many as 16, giving Marist over 12 minutes to find a way back into the game. That was when the Red Foxes began to show signs of life, hitting back to back threes off post passes from Gardner. Marist trailed 47-39 following a made triple from Kam Farris.
Saint Peter’s stayed in control, doing everything in their power to make someone other than Gardner beat them. That gameplan continued to work, allowing the Peacocks to retain their comfortable lead as the second half winded down.
Marist would eventually make their run, cutting the lead to four following two made free throws from Isaiah Brickner with 4:46 remaining. The Red Foxes had the momentum and were in a two-possession game, but Saint Peter’s would have enough to put them away. The Peacocks finished the game on a 14-7 run, sending the Marist home with a tough loss.
The Red Foxes did everything they could in the second half to make it a game, but it proved to be too tall of a task. If Marist can play well for close to 40 minutes, they have proved that they can hang with anyone in the conference. Unfortunately for them, that was not the case against Saint Peter’s.
Patrick Gardner had a tough shooting night despite the numbers, scoring a team-high 17 points on six-for-18 shooting from the field. He also had nine rebounds and five assists in 29 minutes of action. Kam Farris added 14 points on four-for-six shooting from three, getting his other two points from the free throw line.
The schedule won’t get any kinder to Marist, as they will finish up their two-game road trip at the Siena Saints on Sunday, Feb. 12. Siena is 10-4 in MAAC play, good enough for third in the conference. Marist will need to play at or close to their best in order to win that game. Tip-off is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. at MVP Arena.
Edited by Andrew Hard
Photo from Marist Athletics