ALBANY, N.Y. – The Marist men’s basketball team fell in a hard fought contest to Siena at the Times Union Center on Friday night by a score of 66-55. On a night, where the Red Foxes (7-13, 2-7 MAAC) had a difficult time converting field goals especially early on, the team had multiple chances to tie or take the lead in the second half versus the Saints (10-10, 5-5 MAAC). Freshman Chavaughn Lewis (Queens, N.Y.) led the visiting Red Foxes with a team-high 21 points.
In the early goings on of the game, both teams were plagued by tough shooting percentages. At the first media timeout at 13:39, the teams had combined for just nine points. Shortly after the timeout, Siena was able to start heating up and consequently extend their lead. By 9:14, the Saints had staked themselves to a 12 point lead at 17-5.
Faced with the same deficit with 5:29 to play, junior Devin Price (Inglewood, Calif.) put the team on his back and scored 11 of the Red Foxes’ next 13 points from the 5:03 to 1:49 mark, including eight straight. Nine of his points were via the three pointer. On the strength of Price’s play, the Red Foxes cut the Saints’ lead to five points at 32-27.
A quick 4-0 run closed the half with the score in Siena’s favor 36-27. Statistically, the Saints held an advantage in field goal percentage at 55.6 (15-27) to 26.7 (8-30). Each team netted five treys, while Marist led the free throw category with a perfect six for six showing at the line.
Individually, Price led the way with 11 points on the strength of 3-4 shooting from distance. Off the bench Lewis contributed eight points with two three pointers and two free throws.
Recognizing the energy and efficiency brought off the bench by Lewis and his fellow freshman T.J. Curry (Brooklyn, N.Y.) down the stretch in the first period, the duo began the second half on the floor for Marist. Within five minutes, they were leaving their mark on the game. Curry scored seven of the team’s first 11 points over the opening 7:36 of play.
By that point at 12:34, a once 10-point Siena lead was down to five at 43-38. From there, Lewis took the scoring baton and helped Marist cut into the lead even further with seven straight points. With 8:35 left to play in the second half, Siena was ahead by just two at 47-45.
Following a made Siena basket a thunderous dunk by sophomore Adam Kemp (Sherrill, N.Y.) put the deficit back to two at 49-47 with 7:39 to play.
Regrettably for Marist, the cold stretch of shooting that doomed them in the first half re-appeared down the stretch as the Saints were able to slowly put distance between themselves and the Red Foxes with a 12-3 run over the next 6:39.
A gutty effort by the Red Foxes in which the second half starting five played all but six combined minutes, unfortunately went final with the score in Siena’s favor at 66-55.
Lewis led the team with 21 points in 32 minutes off of the bench. The freshman filled up the rest of the box score with a career-tying seven rebounds, six free throws, three treys, two assists and a block. He was joined in double figures by Price (11) and Curry (11).
Curry’s output was a career-high as he nearly doubled his previous high of six points. He also set career-highs with 28 minutes played, five rebounds and four free throws made.
Kemp led the team with eight rebounds in a career-high 39 and a half minutes played.
As a team, Marist was outshot on the floor at 49.0 (24-49) to 28.3 (17-60), but held advantages in three-point percentages at 43.8 (7-16) to 40.0 (6-15) and free throws at 77.8 (14-18) to 63.2 (12-19).
The Red Foxes will be back in action on Sunday as they continue on the road with a 1 p.m. meeting at Fairfield at Webster Bank Arena at Harbor Yard.