POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. - Senior forward Brandy Gang (Hartville, Ohio) tied her career-high, which she set on Sunday at Niagara, with 21 points and the Marist women's basketball team opened the game on an 18-4 run and never looked back in a 79-65 Senior Day victory over Iona Thursday Night at McCann Arena. The game was the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) National Game of the Week and was broadcast live on ESPN3.
Gang shot 7-12 from the floor, and 3-4 from three-point range. Leanne Ockenden (Syracuse, N.Y.) scored 17 points, on a career-high five three-pointers and Casey Dulin (Milford, Conn.) joined them in double-digits with 13 points. Kristina Danella (Manalapan, N.J.) came off the bench to score nine points and had a game-high nine rebounds, with seven of those coming on the offensive glass. Emily Stallings (Newburgh, N.Y.) had a career-high four assists and Natalie Gomez (Andover, Mass.) had six helpers and three steals. The Red Foxes committed a season-low four turnovers in the game, while forcing Iona into 18.
Corielle Yarde (Reading, Pa.) started the Red Foxes (21-7, 16-1 MAAC) off quickly with a three-pointer on their first possession just 16 seconds into the game. Overall, Marist held Iona (11-17, 7-10 MAAC) scoreless for the first six minutes as they build a 13-0 lead. Gang followed Yarde with layups before Dulin scored eight straight points on two of her own layups intertwined with four free throws.
Marist built their lead to 20 at 34-14 with 6:27 remaining in the first half on a pair of free throws from Stallings, but the Gaels would go on a run from there to close the opening period. Over the final six minutes Iona outscored the Red Foxes 16-5, holding them to just an Emma O'Connor (Lynbrook, N.Y.) layup and Yarde's second three-pointer, to cut to within 39-30 at the break.
Gang led all scorers at the end of the first half with 12 points. Dulin was second with eight and Yarde was right behind her with six points.
The second half belonged to Ockenden who, after sitting out most of the first half due to foul trouble, exploded for 14 points, including hitting four of her three-pointers.
After the Gaels closed to within three points at 44-41, the Red Foxes went on a quick 15-3 run, that took just two and half minutes, to expand their lead to 59-44 with 13:26 left. Gang scored the first five points of the streak on a her third three-pointer of the game and a mid-range jumper from the baseline. Kelsey Beynnon (Burlington, Vt.) hit two free throws before Ockenden and Danella hit back-to-back shots from downtown to bring the lead to double-digits. Gang closed the run with two free throws of her own.
Two more three-pointers by Ockenden gave the Red Foxes their largest lead of the night at 77-53 with 5:02 remaining.
The Red Foxes will conclude the regular season on Sunday with a 4 p.m. game at Loyola (Md.). The team has already clinched the top seed for the MAAC Tournament next weekend in Springfield, Mass. They will play a quarterfinal game Friday afternoon at 1:30. The opponent has yet to be determined.
Notes - The win gave Marist the outright MAAC Regular Season Championship... The Red Foxes have won 30 consecutive home games versus MAAC opponents and have gone undefeated each of the past three season in home MAAC contests... Marist leads the all-time series against Iona 29-9 and has won 26 straight... Head Coach Brian Giorgis is a perfect 24-0 in his career versus the Gaels.