POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. – On the strength of a 26-6 run in the second half the Marist men’s basketball team (6-7) cruised to a 20-point victory versus Columbia (7-5) on Wednesday evening. Junior Devin Price (Inglewood, Calif.) led a quartet of Red Foxes in double figures with 22 points.
From their opening possession, the Red Foxes looked to put on a show for the nearly 1,500 fans at the McCann Arena as they began with a thunderous alley-oop dunk connection from Price to Adam Kemp (Sherrill, N.Y.).
Columbia immediately answered with a 4-0 run to take the lead at 4-2 at 17:57. This would be the largest lead for the Lions, who came into the game on a seven-game winning streak.
After recapturing the lead, Marist slowly built on their advantage over the next five and a half minutes. Following three consecutive three-point plays, an “and one” by Price and two treys, one by freshman Chavaughn Lewis (Queens, N.Y.) and one by Price, the Red Foxes were staked to a 12-point lead at the 8:56 mark of the first half. This offensive prowess by Price was the norm for this half as he completed the opening stanza with 15 points on 6-8 shooting and two three-pointers.
Columbia was able to cut into the Marist lead, which twice grew to 13 points, on the strength of a 17-7 run to close the half.
At the break with the score Marist 36-33, the Red Foxes were ahead in both field goal and three-point shooting percentages at 48.4 (15-31) to 43.8 (14-32) and 44.4 (4-9) to 25.0 (2-8), respectively.
Coming of the break, the Lions were able to recreate some of the offensive success that they had down the stretch in the first half. Within 3:27 they had retaken the lead at 40-39 following three baskets by Mark Cisco down low near the hoop.
After this mark in play, the Red Foxes would surge ahead with strong efforts on the both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball to the tune of a 26-6 run. The action from 16:33 until 6:40 would be highlighted by three three-pointers, four blocks by Kemp, two charges drawn by freshman Manny Thomas (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and a stretch of 6-7 shooting from the field. Lewis led the way offensively with 10 points as Marist pushed its lead to 19 at 65-46.
The Red Foxes would continue their efficient play down the stretch for the final six and a half minutes and finish with a 20-point victory of 79-59.
Price was the high-scorer for Marist with 22 points on 8-14 shooting and three three-point baskets. He was joined in double figures by Lewis with 18 points, Kemp with 12 and Thomas with 10. Kemp led the squad with nine rebounds and six blocks, a mark that ties his career-high. Price was the leading distributor with four assists in his 38 minutes of playing time. Thomas continued his fearless play on defense as he drew three charges on Columbia players, all in the second half.
As a team, the Red Foxes outshot the Lions 51.7 (30-58) to 39.7 (25-63) from the field, on the strength of 55.6 percent shooting in the second half. Marist also led in three-point shooting at 52.9 (9-17) to 21.4 (3-14).
The team will be off for a few days before restarting the MAAC portion of their schedule with a home matchup versus Saint Peter’s on Monday, January 2. The contest is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the McCann Arena.