POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. – The Marist men’s basketball team (5-6) defeated Hartford in an exciting double overtime contest by a score of 89-86. A late 16-5 run by Hartford (0-11) forced the game into extra time, where the teams needed two full periods to decide the victor. Freshman Isaiah Morton (Richland, N.J.) led the Red Foxes with a career-high 23 points on a perfect eight-for-eight night from the field.
Morton and Marist began the game on a hot streak as the freshman point guard fueled an early 7-0 run to put the Red Foxes ahead 7-2 within the first 2:44 of play. With momentum on their side the team continued pressing the issue offensively versus the Hawks and held an advantage of four or more points for over seven minutes from 16:06 until 8:59. During this time, the team at one point stretched the lead to 11 points at 10:36 following a 9-2 run that was capped with a successful basket by freshman Manny Thomas (Brooklyn, N.Y.).
Up 11, the Hawks fought back versus the Red Foxes with a long run of their own at 9-0 to pull the game within two at 22-20 at 8:33.
Almost as easy as their first run to an 11-point margin, Marist got its offense and defense back on the same page and went on a 12-3 run to bring the score to 36-25 with 3:48 remaining in the first. Offensively, the duo of Devin Price (Inglewood, Calif.) and Chavaughn Lewis (Queens, N.Y.) led the way with four points apiece, while Adam Kemp (Sherill, N.Y.), Anell Alexis (Hillsborough, N.J.) and Thomas all flexed their muscles defensively with individual blocked shots during the 3:59 run.
The Red Foxes closed the half by expanding their lead to 13 by a score of 42-29. As a team they were outshooting the Hawks, 45.5 (15-33) to 34.3 (12-35) and registering an eight shot advantage from the foul line 10-12 versus 2-4. Thomas was the leading scorer at the break with 10 points on 4-5 shooting. He was joined by four other Marist players, who had six or more points.
To begin the second half, Hartford went back to the style of play that helped them fight back from double digits once in the first half. Over the first 3:50 of the second stanza, the Hawks ran off 11 unanswered points to pull the game to within two at 42-40.
Similar to the first half, Marist was quick to answer with a long run of their own. From 16:20 to 12:51, the Red Foxes notched 10 consecutive points. Morton was important to this run, as well, as he rattled off the first five points.
The middle portion of the second half saw Marist hold a comfortable margin of anywhere between 13 and nine points.
Led by strong three point shooting, Hartford turned a late seven point deficit of 66-59 at 4:02 into a 70-70 deadlock with 22 seconds remaining. For the period, Hartford shot 64.3 (9-14) percent from long range.
In the first overtime period, the Hawks converted two quick baskets to take their first and largest lead of the contest. Down four points, the Red Foxes kept their composure and coolly sank four consecutive free throws. This would be a precursor for the remainder of the first overtime session and well into the second.
On the strength of 90 percent (9-10) shooting a second overtime would be forced after both teams notched 11 points.
In the second and final five minute period, 75 percent (6-8) foul shooting and three steals led the Red Foxes to the 89-86 victory.
For the game, Morton led four Red Foxes in double figures with a career-high 23 points on his 8-8 night shooting. He was joined by Lewis (16), Thomas (14) and Price (13). Alexis also posted a career-high as he corralled 14 rebounds.
The team will next be in action on Friday, Dec. 23 when they travel to Philadelphia to take on Penn in a 7 p.m. matchup at The Palestra.