POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. – The Marist men’s basketball team (4-5) used a late game 7-0 run to come from behind and defeat their Hudson Valley neighbor Army (3-6) by a score of 59-56. After trailing from midway through the first half, the Red Foxes used tenacious defense and hot shooting in the second half to earn their fourth win of the season. Junior Devin Price (Inglewood, Calif.) and freshman Chavaughn Lewis (Queens, N.Y.) led Marist on offense with double-digit performances of 17 and 11 points, respectively. Sophomore Adam Kemp (Sherrill, N.Y.) led a defensive attack, who totaled 11 blocks, with a career-best six individual blocks.
Marist began the game fast as they ran out to a 13-6 lead over the initial 5:50 of play. Similar to the team’s fast start on Sunday, Price was at the center of the offensive production as he netted seven of the points.
Army quickly responded with an 8-0 run of the strength of back-to-back three pointers by Julian Simmons to retake the lead at 14-13 with 12:31 remaining in the half.
Freshman point guard T.J. Curry (Brooklyn, N.Y.) then put the offense on his shoulders with a personal five point streak to keep the game within one point over the next two minutes of play.
The Black Knights were able to extend their 19-18 lead to 25-18 as their power forward Ella Ellis ran off of five consecutive points of his own.
Up by seven points with 5:35 left in the first half, Army closed out period by outscoring Marist 9-7 to put the score at the break, 34-25.
At the break, Price was the lone Red Foxes in double figures as he had 10 points on 4-7 shooting, 2-4 from distance. Looking at the stats, the two areas that helped Army build their lead was six three-pointers and four successful foul shots. Marist had converted just three treys and had not attempted a foul shot.
Coming out in the second half, Marist tried to muster up long scoring runs to cut into their nine point deficit, but every short streak was quelled by Army. Redshirt-sophomore Anell Alexis (Hillsborough, N.J.) tried to do his part with a personal five-point streak from 18:53 to 17:28, but to little avail as the score got to just 36-30.
From his jumper at 17:28 through a Price layup at 10:12, the Red Foxes were never able to get within a half dozen points.
A three point basket by Price off of an R.J. Hall (Bloomfield, N.J.) assist at the 7:01 mark got Marist to within two points at 49-47.
The five-man lineup of Kemp, Lewis, Hall, Price and freshman Manny Thomas (Brooklyn, N.Y.) never left the court over the final seven minutes of the game, as Head Coach Chuck Martin leaned on the five of them to will the team to victory with their hearty defense and offensive playmaking abilities.
To close out the game, Army was held to just three successful baskets for a combined seven points, including no points over the final 3:14. With the defense locked down, Marist’s offense was able to slowly peck away as they pieced together 14 points with four from Lewis, three from both Kemp and Hall, and two from Price.
Thomas’ value may not have made the offensive stat-line, but the young forward added three clutch defensive rebounds, a charge drawn and a blocked shot. The blocked shot was especially important as it occurred as time was expiring on Army’s 35-second shot clock with 42 seconds to play.
Lewis’ four points should be noted as they were on consecutive possessions with under 25 seconds. His first shot, which took the lead for Marist came off of a Hall assist as he sunk a jumper from 15 feet out. At 57-56 with 23 seconds to go, this was the Red Foxes’ first lead since 12:09 in the first half. After tight defending forced an awkward Army attempt for the lead, Hall led a fast-break rush that culminated with a Lewis layup with six seconds remaining.
With McCann Arena rocking with excitement at the comeback that just took place, the Red Foxes closed out the final seconds to earn a hard-fought 59-56 victory.
For the game, Price and Lewis were the two lone Red Foxes with double figure point totals at 17 and 11. Though of note, nine of the 10 players who participated for Marist registered points. On the boards, Kemp led the team with 11 rebounds. He was joined amongst the leaderboard by Thomas, who corralled a career-best six. This duo also registered nine combined blocks, a career-high six for Kemp and a career-high three for Thomas. Hall led all Red Foxes with four assists.
As a team, Marist outshot Army, 46.2 percent (24-52) to 35.1 (20-57). They finished behind the Black Knights in both three-point percentage and free throws at 29.2 percent (7-24) versus 28.6 (6-21) and 75.0 (9-12) to 45.5 (5-11). Though it should be noted that the Red Foxes held Army to just 14.3 percent shooting for long range in the second half.
The Red Foxes will take an extended break for finals before getting back onto the court at the University of New Hampshire on Saturday, Dec. 17 in a 1 p.m. matchup.