Without standout forward Catie Cunningham and preseason First Team All-MAAC player Kiara Fisher, Marist women’s basketball faced their second Patriot League opponent – the Lafayette Leopards – without two of their three main scoring options.
Though the Leopards overcame a 13-point deficit in the fourth quarter to send the game to overtime, senior forward Shazer took over throughout, tying a career-high in points (29) while also leading Marist in rebounds (9) and assists (8). Ultimately, the Red Foxes prevailed 84-76, using overtime to secure the road victory.
With less of a post presence, the Red Foxes opted for quick passing around the perimeter, culminating in more catch-and-shoot opportunities. Sophomore Julia Coresentino became a popular assist target, finding open looks early on and knocking down 4-of-6 three-point shots. Though struggling with turnovers–seven against UPenn and six tonight–she continued to find open lanes. finishing with a career-high 23 points on the night.
Lafayette’s most common shortcoming came in the post, running into travels possession after possession; they amassed a whopping 25 turnovers throughout the contest. Despite the turnovers, the Leopards outscored the Red Foxes 27-14 in the fourth quarter and forced overtime, seemingly possessing all the momentum.
With the injuries, the Red Foxes had an opportunity to gauge the abilities of their new acquisitions. With Shazer often attracting double-team coverage down low, the team tried to generate open looks for others. Sophomore guard Lexie Tarul had a larger role in the offense for the Red Foxes, but the Fordham transfer failed to get shots to land from beyond the perimeter, shooting just 1-7 in the first half.
Though held to just six points in the first half, Lafayette’s top scoring option Abby Antognolli ran up the scoreboard in the fourth, with the junior guard demonstrating her sharpshooting capabilities. Marist’s efficiency evaporated while Antognolli used her speed to thrive on the inside, bringing Leopards within two at 67-65 with less than a minute to go in the fourth quarter, leading to the ensuing overtime with a clutch layup from junior guard Halee Smith with seconds to spare.
Marist attempted to establish perimeter shooting all night, but the Leopards outpaced them in that category. Lafayette made 12 three-point shots in regulation on 50% shooting, keeping them in the game and surpassing two separate 10-point-plus scoring deficits.
Initially, it seemed like the Red Foxes were well on their way to an easy victory, as they cruised to a 14-point lead in the second quarter. A two-minute 10-point run from the Leopards took the wind completely out of the Marist sails.
Junior guard Kylie Favours knocked down a couple of triples during the run. Marist, on the other hand, appeared discombobulated, shooting just 3-for-12 and racking up six turnovers of their own in the second quarter.
Marist failed to reestablish a strong shooting presence outside the paint while Shazer failed to get free of the Leopards as they anchored bodies down low. Soon enough, a 14-point margin became a tight 28-27 ballgame at halftime.
Sophomore guard Jackie Piddock opened up scoring on Marist’s first possession of the third quarter with her first three-point shot of the day, followed by a speedy layup that gave Marist a larger advantage. The guard often facilitated the offense in place of Fisher as the Red Foxes rebounded from an eight-point second quarter.
As their offense settled back to familiarity, Shazer became the main focus yet again for the Red Foxes, with a few pick-and-roll plays getting her to the free throw line multiple times, charging through the Leopards guards, forcing them to create contact and running into foul trouble with 18 personal fouls on the night.
With back-and-forth action starting in overtime, the Red Foxes didn’t waste time getting the advantage. Back-to-back triples from Corsentino and Tarul gave the Red Foxes an eight-point lead with a minute left in the period.
The team’s overtime performance secured Doughty’s second win of her career. Now the team heads to Georgia for the Savannah Hoops international on Nov. 22 and 23 for a two-game stint against Lehigh and Mercer.
Edited by Luke Sassa
Graphic Credit: Jaylen Rizzo
Photo From Marist Athletics