Marist men’s basketball started their season with a convincing win over Army West Point by a score of 71-55. Sophomore guard Isaiah Brickner and sophomore center Max Allen each scored 13 points en route to the win. Brickner added five assists and rebounds.
Marist’s defense led the way, holding the Black Knights to 38 percent shooting and forcing 18 turnovers. Offensively, it was a balanced effort from the Red Foxes with four players contributing over 10 points.
Three of five Marist starters were newcomers, including freshman guard Jadin Collins, freshman guard Josh Pascarelli, and sophomore center Max Allen II. Graduate student forward Javon Cooley and sophomore forward Jaden Daughtry rounded out the starting five.
Collins led the team in minutes with 29 and had a good college debut with 12 points, four assists and rebounds, and three steals.
Brickner was a late scratch from the starting lineup due to a back injury, according to the broadcast. However, he came off the bench in the opening minutes.
Graduate student guard Isaiah Sulack did not suit up for the Red Foxes tonight, giving more opportunity to the younger players on the roster.
Allen set the tone for Marist’s defense, drawing an offensive foul on Army forward Charlie Peterson, then opened the scoring down low with pretty footwork.
Marist forced four turnovers in the first five minutes, but only turned that into two points on the other end.
Brickner scored six straight points, capping his run off with a strong one-handed dunk at the 14:21 mark in the first half.
The Black Knights continued to cough up the ball, with six turnovers at the under-12 timeout. However, Marist only led 12-9.
Daughtry knocked down a three in transition to extend Marist’s lead to seven. After an Allen layup capped an 11-0 Marist run, Army first-year head coach Kevin Kuwik took a timeout with the Red Foxes up 11 with under nine minutes remaining in the half.
Army made a concerted effort to get the ball inside, with senior forward Abe Johnson earning three trips to the free-throw line. Consequently, all three of Marist’s big men were charged two fouls in the first half.
Marist junior forward Jackson Price scored five straight points, including an and-one off a perfect pass from Collins, extending Marist’s lead to 12 with four minutes left.
Black Knights junior guard TJ Small hit a pull-up three, but Brickner responded with a three of his own after a Collins drive and kick. Brickner again was involved with a drive and kick to Pascarelli, who knocked down the first three of his college career.
Collins missed two free throws with 4 seconds left but got the ball back to drain a buzzer-beating three. Marist led the Black Knights 42-26 at the half.
The Red Foxes displayed great scoring balance in the first 20 minutes, with four players scoring six or more points. Marist shot 55 percent from the field and 50 percent from three. The only area that left more to be desired was poor free-throw shooting, going 6-13 from the line as a team.
Army’s offense was held in check, shooting 42 percent from the field and accruing 10 turnovers. Freshman forward Josh Scovens led the Black Knights in scoring with seven.
Marist came out flat to begin the second half, being outscored 7-4 and racking up five team fouls in less than five minutes. Head coach John Dunne tried to stem the tide by subbing in four players, but Army senior Jared Cross hit his second three to cut the lead to 13.
Both teams struggled to score, each shooting under 25 percent in the first eight minutes of the half. Marist reached their sixth team foul with over 12 minutes remaining in the game.
Price scored another and-one to put Marist ahead 48-36 at the under-12 timeout, halting a 7-0 Army run.
Marist continued to lock down defensively, holding Army to 4-17 shooting and six turnovers in the second half with 5 minutes left. After a Collins steal, he advanced up the court and lobbed the ball for Brickner to slam it down. Another Collins steal led to a layup by sophomore Trace Salton. Army called a timeout, with Marist stretching their lead to 19.
Army went into a full-court press, and freshman guard Ryan Curry scored five straight to cut the deficit to 13 and forced a Marist timeout. Curry ended up leading Army in scoring with 13 points, with Scovens adding 11.
However, the Red Foxes held their lead and salted the game away in the final minutes, scoring eight of the final 13 points to win 71-55.
The Red Foxes will continue their road trip with a matchup against the UMBC Retrievers of the America East Conference on Saturday, November 11. Tip-off at Chesapeake Employers Insurance Arena is set for 3:30 p.m.
Edited by: Aidan Lavin
Photo Credit: Jonathan Kinane