NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. - Kelsey Beynnon (Burlington, Vt.) scored a game-high 16 points, on 8-11 shooting, and the Marist women's basketball team used a 13-0 run midway through the first half on their way to a 73-61 victory at Iona on Friday night.
Beynnon also tied a career-high with six rebounds, all in the first half, and had one of Marist's six blocks. Corielle Yarde (Reading, Pa.) finished one rebound shy of a double-double with 14 points and nine rebounds and Casey Dulin (Milford, Conn.) had 15 points. Leanne Ockenden (Syracuse, N.Y.) added 11 points, hitting three three-pointers. Freshman Natalie Gomez (Andover, Mass.) scored a career-high seven points.
With Marist (14-6, 9-0 MAAC) leading 13-12 with 11:55 left in the first half, Gomez started a 13-0 run with a three-pointer from the corner. After a layup from Brandy Gang (Hartville, Ohio) off of a feed from Dulin, Gomez hit a fall-away jumper, while being fouled, and completed the three-point play. A couple of possessions later, Dulin used a three-point play of her own to extend the Marist lead to double digits at 24-12. Beynnon followed with a layup on the next trip down the court to finish the run.
That basket started a string of six straight points for Beynnon, wrapped around a couple of Iona (10-10, 6-3 MAAC) baskets, that extended the Red Foxes lead to 30-17 with 5:24 left in the first half. She then hit a short jumper at the buzzer that bounced around the rim before falling through to send the Red Foxes into the half up by 13 at 39-26.
Beynnon led all scorers at the half with 10 points, on 5-6 shooting, and had already tied her career-high with six rebounds. Dulin was right behind her with nine points. Yarde had three blocks in the opening period.
The offense sputtered a bit at the beginning of the second half, and the Gaels cut the lead to within eight at 43-35 just four and a half minutes into the period.
Marist responded with three-pointers by Kristina Danella (Manalapan, N.J.) and Yarde, surrounding a short jumper by Beynnon to bring the lead back to double digits at 51-35 with 12:21 left.
Just a few minutes later, Iona again closed within nine, but the Red Foxes answered right back, again from downtown. This time it was Ockenden who, after a Dulin layup, hit a wide open trey off of a pass from Dulin. Then, just 23 seconds later, after an Iona miss, Ockenden dribbled down the floor and nailed another three-pointer to give Marist their largest lead of the game at 65-48 with 6:44 left and essentially put the game out of hand.
Marist will stay on the road to play at Siena on Sunday afternoon in a 2 p.m. contest.
Notes - The Red Foxes wore a black stripe on the right shoulder of their uniforms, in memory of the three students who were tragically killed in an off-campus fire last week... Marist has won 33 straight games in the MAAC... The Red Foxes are now 28-9 all-time against Iona and head coach Brian Giorgis is a perfect 23-0 in his career against the Gaels... The two teams will meet again in Marist's final home game of the season on Feb. 23.