POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. – After Saturday night’s performance, the Marist men’s basketball is even more of a believer in the saying “there’s no place like home.” Playing in the friendly confines of McCann Arena, the Red Foxes won their seventh home game and eighth overall on the season as they held a double digit lead for nearly 25 minutes of their 80-69 win over Canisius. Sophomore Jay Bowie (Tampa, Fla.) spearheaded the offensive attack with a career-best 23 points scored on 10 of 12 shooting from the field.
Marist jumped out to an 11-point lead at 17-6 by the 14:30 mark of the first half. A well-balanced attack struck the Red Foxes out to this lead as Bowie had six points, freshmen Isaiah Morton (Richland, N.J.) and Chavaughn Lewis (Queens, N.Y.) had four and freshman Manny Thomas (Brooklyn, N.Y.) added three.
With a strong hold on the lead, the Red Foxes would never let the Golden Griffins get closer than six for the remainder of the half and the game.
Bowie continued to be the headliner in the first half as the sophomore forward converted seven of his eight attempts from the field on the way to 15 points at the break. He had twice scored 15 points to set his previous career-high.
Aside from Bowie’s sharpshooting, junior Devin Price (Inglewood, Calif.) got the crowd at McCann Arena on their feet with an explosive dunk past two Canisius defenders at the 3:49 mark. After receiving the ball via a handoff beyond the foul line, he accelerated down the right block, rose strong to the basket, drew a foul and finished with an emphatic dunk.
At the halftime intermission, the Red Foxes staked themselves to a 12 point lead at 42-30 on the strength of 45.7 (16-35) shooting from the field and 88.9 (8-9) shooting from the foul line. Also of note, seven of the eight Red Foxes who saw more than 2 minutes of playing time registered baskets in the first half.
Similar to the first half, Marist found immediate success on the offensive side of the ball in the second half as they quickly increased their 12 point lead to 17 at 58-41 within 6:18 of play. Morton had a principal role in this 16-11 run as he scored a team-best five points, including a three pointer at 13:42 to give the Red Foxes their largest lead of the game.
After his hot first half, Bowie continued knocking down shots for the Red Foxes in the second half as he went 3-4 from the field and 2-2 from beyond the arc.
Lewis tried to match Price’s first half SportsCenter worthy dunk with a rim-shaking basket of his own late in the game as he took a lead pass from Morton near mid-court following an Adam Kemp (Sherrill, N.Y.) steal and sped to the basket before drawing contact and finishing with a thunderous dunk at 2:25. With his successful “And One” free throw, the freshman had scored three of his team-high 11 second half points.
Canisius tried to cut into the Marist lead throughout the second half with 59.1 percent shooting, but it went for naught as the Red Foxes answered with 51.9 percent shooting. The visiting Golden Griffins were only able to shave one point off of the Marist halftime lead by the time the game went final at 80-69.
Overall for the game, Canisius was ahead just once for 32 seconds from 18:45 to 18:13 in the first half.
Statistically, the Red Foxes shot 48.4 percent from the field versus 46.8 for Canisius and 87.5 percent (14-16) from the line versus the Golden Griffins 87.0 percent (20-23). Canisius held the lead from three point range at 38.5 (5-13) to 28.6 (6-21) for Marist.
Individually, Bowie led Marist with a career-high 23 points on 10-12 shooting from the field, 2-3 from three point range and 1-1 from the foul line. He finished with five rebounds, but nearly as important, he limited the #4 MAAC rebounder Canisius’ Chris Manhertz to just five boards during the game.
Lewis, in his second career start, finished with 15 points on 5-11 shooting. He was joined by Price as Red Foxes in double figures, as he finished with 12 points.
As a whole, Marist had seven players score five or more points and grab three or more rebounds.
With the win, the Red Foxes improve to 8-15, 3-9 in the MAAC, while Canisius falls to 4-19, 1-12 in the MAAC.
The Red Foxes will next be in action on Thursday, Feb. 9 when they travel to Jersey City to take on the defending MAAC Champion Saint Peter’s Peacocks. The game is slated for an 8:30 p.m. start.