NEW YORK, N.Y. - With strong defending and clutch shot-making down the stretch, the Marist men's basketball team earned a come from behind victory on the road at Columbia (2-1) by a score of 67-62. Down two points at the half, the Red Foxes outscored the Lions 40-33 in the second half to get the five point victory, their first of the season. Sophomore Chavaughn Lewis (Queens, N.Y.) led Marist (1-2) with 19 points. Senior Devin Price (Inglewood, Calif.) was a close second in scoring with 16 points and four three-pointers.
The game began with back-and-forth action as neither team pulled ahead by more than three points until the 10:44 mark of the first half when the host Lions stretched their lead to five points. The Red Foxes quickly cut the lead back down to one at 13-12, as Lewis sunk a free throw and Price made a three-pointer following a Jay Bowie (Tampa, Fla.) offensive rebound.
Columbia would go on an 8-2 run to go up by seven with 6:27 left in the half. Once again, Marist would bend, but not break as on the next possession T.J. Curry (Brooklyn, N.Y.) would set up Price, who calmly drained a three.
After the Lions ran the score up to 27-19 with 3:39 in the half, the Red Foxes responded with the game's longest scoring run at 8-0 as Isaiah Morton (Vineland, N.J.) kick started the offense with the first of two straight three pointers by Marist. Price followed up Morton with his third trey of the half. Lewis capped the run with a jumper at 1:54.
A layup by Columbia's Mark Cisco with 21 seconds left closed the first half scoring at 29-27.
Though down on the scoreboard, the Red Foxes were outshooting the Lions 40.7 (11-27) to 38.5 (10-26) from the field. Price was the only player in double figures as the senior had 11 points on 4-9 shooting with three three-pointers.
In the second half, Columbia would make the first basket and hold a four point lead at 31-27; this would be the largest advantage that the hosts would have in the final frame.
After a Lewis layup, Bowie would find a cutting Adam Kemp (Sherrill, N.Y.) for an alley-oop dunk to tie the game at 31.
Ties would be the story of the second half as seven times the two squads would be even on the scoreboard.
With the score 55-55 at the 4:13 mark, four consecutive points by Lewis would give the Red Foxes a lead that they would not relinquish for the remainder of the game.
Down the stretch, five Marist players would register points, including clutch free throws by Bowie and Curry in the final 10 seconds. After Bowie put the Red Foxes up 65-62, a Devin Price blocked shot of Grant Mullins' game-tying attempted three pointer would set up Curry's chances at the line. Two conversions by the sophomore point guard would make the game final at 67-62
For the contest, Marist outshot Columbia 44.4 (24-54) to 37.3 (19-51) from the field and 40.0 (8-20) to 33.3 (4-12) from three-point range.
Lewis (19) and Price (16) were the only two Red Foxes in double-figures, though eight players registered points, six of whom had five or more points. Kemp led the Red Foxes in rebounds with eight.
The Red Foxes will next be in action in Orlando on Thursday, Nov. 22 versus West Virginia in the first round of the 2012 Old Spice Classic. The nationally televised game on ESPN2 is slated to tipoff at 12 p.m.