LEWISBURG, Pa. - In a back-and-forth battle, the Marist men's basketball team suffered a 71-65 loss at Patriot League power Bucknell on Wednesday night. There were nine lead changes and 14 ties in the contest.
Five Red Foxes scored in double digits, led by senior guard Devin Price (Inglewood, Calif.) and junior forward Jay Bowie (Tampa, Fla.) with 13 apiece. Sophomore swingman Chavaughn Lewis (Queens, N.Y.) scored 12 on the strength of 8-for-9 shooting from the free-throw line and added a team-high eight rebounds and three assists.
Freshman center Eric Truog (Chagrin Falls, Ohio) had career highs of 10 points and five rebounds in 23 minutes off the bench. Sophomore guard T.J. Curry (Brooklyn, N.Y.) had a season-high 10 points, as he shot 4-for-6 from the field and 2-for-3 from three-point range.
The back and forth manner of the game was abundantly clear from the beginning as 10 times the score was tied and five times it flipped between the teams during the first half. After an initial 13-7 lead in Bucknell's favor, the Red Foxes fought back to tie it with a pair of Truog baskets and a Price fast-break layup.
With the Bison re-taking the lead at 15-13, Marist rattled off a 7-0 run to go up five at 20-15 by the 10:08 mark. The visitors quickly expanded their lead to a game-high six points at 24-18 after a Lewis layup at 8:30.
Bucknell then flexed its muscle over the next 3:03 of play with a 9-0 run to make the score 27-24.
Some shot-for-shot action closed the half with Marist tying game up for the 10th time with eight seconds remaining as Truog converted his fourth field goal with a basket in the paint.
The teams went into the locker room with identical 37-point totals as well as with nearly identical statistics. Marist held slight advantages in field goal percentage at 40.6 (13-32) to 39.4 (13-33) and in foul shooting at 88.9 (8-9) to 80.0 percent (8-10). Both squads went 3-8 from three-point range in the first half.
Coming out after the break, Bucknell jumped out to a seven-point lead at 46-39 with a 9-2 run to begin play.
The Bison would hold this lead until the 10:42 mark when Price knocked down a free throw to make it 49-49. Marist would continue its streak of efficient scoring by taking the lead and stretching its advantage to 56-51 at 8:51. This five-point lead came courtesy of a 13-2 run overall; Bowie was the Red Foxes' leading scorer during this span with seven points.
After opening their season with a road win over Purdue, the veteran Bucknell squad was unfazed by Marist's late lead and calmly tied the game up for the 14th time at 4:48.
From that point in play through the final whistle, the Bison would hang on to the slimmest of leads (four times by two), but nonetheless never allow the Red Foxes to get that 15th tie or 10th lead change.
Forty minutes of hard fought basketball would go into the books with a final score of 71-65
For the game, Bucknell outshot Marist 41.1 (23-56) to 36.7 (22-60) from the field and 33.3 (4-12) to 27.8 (5-18) from three-point range. The Red Foxes outshot the Bison at the line with a near perfect 94.1 percent (16-17) performance; Bucknell shot 70.0 (21-30).
Marist fell to 4-7, while Bucknell improved to 11-1 for the first time in school history. The Red Foxes will be back in action on Saturday, when they travel to Hartford for a 3:30 p.m. tip-off.