On Friday, November 23, the Marist men's basketball team turned in a program record setting performance on a national stage as they defeated the defending SEC Champion Vanderbilt Commodores 50-33 at the Old Spice Classic on ESPNU. In addition to earning the first-ever win over a Southeastern Conference opponent, the Red Foxes broke a 27-year old record for fewest points allowed in a contest during the program's span of play as a Division 1 competitor.
Competing in the 2012 Old Spice Classic in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, the Marist men's basketball team came out with monumental response on Day 2 of play at the tournament. Instead of wallowing on a sub-par performance versus West Virginia on Day 1, the Red Foxes put together 40 minutes of hard-nosed basketball and earned their first-ever win over an SEC team with a program-low 33 points allowed in its 50-33 win versus Vanderbilt. Senior Devin Price (Inglewood, Calif.) and sophomore Isaiah Morton (Vineland, N.J.) led the Red Foxes' offensive efforts with 13 points a piece.
The game began slowly on the offensive side of the ball for both teams as Morton broke the initial 0-0 deadlock with a three-pointer off of a slick pass by junior Jay Bowie (Tampa, Fla.) around the perimeter. This kick started the Red Foxes as they would notch five more points to jump out to an 8-0 lead at 15:21.
After a trey by Sheldon Jeter got the Commodores on the scoreboard at 13:59, the Red Fox defense would sink its teeth in even further and hold Vanderbilt, the defending SEC Tournament champions, to just two made baskets over the next 10 minutes. This staunchness would allow Marist's offense to go about its way and confidently run its lead up to 17 at 24-7 at 4:54.
Vanderbilt would not reach double figures until just under three minutes left to play in the first period. By the time, the Commodores would hit 11 points the Red Foxes would already have 27 points under its belt and spirits high on both ends of the court.
A three-pointer at the buzzer for Vanderbilt cut the Red Fox lead to 13 at halftime by a score of 27-14. Morton led Marist with eight points as seven Red Foxes scored in the opening 20. Though not amongst the top five scorers for Marist, Bowie led the game with eight rebounds in a gritty effort.
As a team, Marist outshot Vanderbilt 37.0 (10-27) to 20.0 (6-30) from the field and 38.5 (5-13) to 22.2 (2-9) from three-point range.
In the second half, the Red Foxes would open its largest lead of the game with an immediate 11-0 run to open play. Four Marist players would register baskets in this run as junior Adam Kemp (Sherrill, N.Y.) and Chavaughn Lewis (Queens, N.Y.) powered home dunks, while Price netted five points on a three-pointer and a layup.
Up 38-14 with 15:21 left to play, Marist's intense defense would make sure that their offense could comfortably continue along. Vanderbilt did not net a successful field goal until 12:23 when Kedren Johnson put in a layup.
Two more times in the Red Foxes would hold 24 points leads; at 7:14 (43-19) and 4:19 (46-22).
With the win within its grasp, Marist would limit Vanderbilt on the scoreboard to a mark that would go down in program history, 33 points. The program's previous mark versus Division 1 opposition was 35 points, while overall it was 34 points, set back on Nov. 26, 1985 versus Suffolk in a 69-34 win.
The Red Foxes would see the scoreboard go to zeros with the final score at 50-33. This outcome gave Marist its first-ever win over SEC competition and the first win for Head Coach Chuck Martin over a BCS-level opponent.
For the game, Marist outshot Vanderbilt 36.7 (18-49) to 23.0 (14-61) with an advantage in three-point shooting at 39.1 (9-23) to 10.0 (2-20). Individually, Morton and Price both scored in double figures with 13 points, while Bowie corralled a career-high 12 rebounds.
This was the program's third-ever win in Old Spice Classic competition.