PHILADELPHIA – The Marist men’s basketball team fell in a non-conference matchup versus Penn at The Palestra on Friday by a score of 84-71. After a tight first half, the Quakers pulled away in the second half on the strength of 61.5 percent shooting. Junior Devin Price (Inglewood, Calif.) led the Red Foxes with 15 points.
Following a slow beginning to the game, the Red Foxes strung together an 11-3 run between 15:15 and 12:12 to swing the score to their advantage at 13-10. Freshman Isaiah Morton (Richland, N.J.) was the initiator of the run as he knocked down two baskets, a three pointer and a jumper in the lane.
Coming out of the under 12 media timeout, Marist quickly extended their lead to six as Morton found freshman Manny Thomas (Brooklyn, N.Y.) for a successful three-point basket from the wing. The team was successful in holding the Quakers down and even taking a larger lead as, they were able to push the margin to seven following a trey by Price at 4:16.
The Red Foxes proficiency from long range wasn’t just distinct to this period of play as they shot a combined 7-13 in the first half. Morton led five Marist players, who registered three pointers in the half with three individual makes.
The Red Foxes held the lead until 1:18 as the Quakers ran off a 9-0 streak to flip the score in their favor 36-34 following a Tyler Bernardini trey.
The Quakers closed the first half with just a two point advantage at 38-36. The teams posted similar stat-lines with Marist holding better three-point and free throw percentages of 53.8 (7-13) versus 42.9 (6-14) and 69.2 (9-13) to 66.7 (6-9), respectively. They trailed in field goal percent by just 0.5 at 48.1 (13-27) to 47.6 (10-21).
Coming out in the second half, Penn showed the crowd of 2,513 at the Palestra the brand of basketball that saw them push UCLA to the edge in a 77-73 defeat in their last game. They quickly increased their lead to double digits with an early 10-0 run.
Marist fought hard the remainder of the second half to get their deficit under ten, but to no avail as the Quakers shot a blistering 61.5 percent from the field and 62.5 from long distance. Though Marist held Cousy Award nominee Zack Rosen seven points below his season average of 20 points per game it was Bernardini, who did in the Red Foxes with a career-high 30 points.
After 40 minutes of action, Penn had managed to pay back Marist for their lost in Poughkeepsie last season with an 84-71 victory.
For the game, Price led three Red Foxes in double figures with 15 points, including a career-high nine makes from the foul line. Morton and senior R.J. Hall (Bloomfield, N.J.) joined Price as they finished with 11 and 10 points, respectively. Price was also the high-man for rebounds with seven, while Morton posted a career-best six assists.
The team will take a few days off for the Christmas holiday before getting back into action with a 7 p.m. home contest versus Columbia on Wednesday, Dec. 28 at the McCann Arena.