HARTFORD, Conn. - A frigid shooting performance by the Marist men's basketball team in the first half served as the deciding factor in a road setback on Saturday for the Red Foxes. Sophomore Chavaughn Lewis (Queens, N.Y.) led the Red Foxes with a game-high 16 points.
Three Red Foxes scored in double figures for Marist in defeat; junior Adam Kemp (Sherrill, N.Y.) and sophomore Manny Thomas (Brooklyn, N.Y.) each contributed 10 points in addition to Lewis' 16. All three players tied for the team lead with six rebounds each.
Cold shooting marred the Red Foxes' offensive effort in the first half as they only mustered a 17.6 field goal percentage (3-17). Nine converted free throws helped the team stay in the game over the opening period of play. Kemp was the team's leading scorer with six points on a successful field goal and four free throws.
Tight defending by Marist kept the Hawks from pulling away as the hosts were never able to put together a larger ran than an early 6-0 run from 17:45 to 16:05. Throughout the rest of the half, every attempt by Hartford to stretch their lead was quelled by a made Red Fox free throw or field goal.
At the half the score was 26-15. Hartford outshot Marist 40.7 (11-27) to 17.6 (3-17) from the field and 20.0 (2-10) to 0 (0-7) from three-point range.
The second period began with renewed hope for Marist's offense as Lewis connected on three baskets in the team's first four possessions. The sophomore wing would extend his individual success to five makes on seven attempts over the first 4:38 of action.
Unfortunately, for the Red Foxes, Hartford's Mark Nwakamma nearly matched Lewis shot-for-shot with four conversions in the Hawks' first seven possessions.
The shot-for-shot storyline would continue throughout the majority of the second half as neither team was able to string together more than a 4-0 run until Marist went on a 10-2 run from 4:57 to 2:01 to turn a 49-35 game into a two possession, 51-45 contest.
51-45 would be the closest the Red Foxes would close the margin to over the final minutes of play as Hartford locked down defensively and allowed just a single free throw to fall for Marist.
After 40 minutes of play, the game went final by a score of 56-46 in favor of the Hawks, who moved to 7-5 on the season. With the defeat Marist fell to 4-8.
For the game, Hartford outshot Marist 42.3 (22-52) to 29.8 (14-47) from the field and 20.0 (3-15) to 8.3 (1-12) from distance. The Red Foxes held an advantage at the foul line 68.0 (17-25) to 60.0 (9-15) and in caused turnovers as they forced 18 Hawk errors.
The Red Foxes will be away from competition for nine days to celebrate the holiday season before closing their non-conference schedule with a home contest versus the College of Charleston on Dec. 31. Opening tip is scheduled for 4 p.m.