BUFFALO, N.Y. - Freshman Sydney Coffey (New Hope, Minn.) finished one rebound shy of her first career double-double, finishing with 12 points and nine rebounds as Marist held Canisius to just nine first half points and held on for a 51-41 victory Friday night in a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) game.
Elizabeth Beynnon (Burlington, Vt.) had a team-high 14 points and also added five rebounds. Casey Dulin (Milford, Conn.) was also in double figures with 12 points, shooting 8-11 from the free throw line. Leanne Ockenden (Syracuse, N.Y.) had only four points but had six rebounds, three assists and for the second consecutive game tied her career-high with five steals. As a team, Marist shot 23-31 from the free throw line while making 15 steals for the second straight game. The defense forced Canisius into 22 turnovers and just 13-50 shooting from the field.
The Marist (10-6, 5-0 MAAC) defense held Canisius (6-10, 3-2 MAAC) without a point until the 12:03 mark of the first half and without a field goal until the 9:32 mark. The Red Foxes scored the game's first 12 points on two layups each by Dulin, Beynnon and Coffey and layups by Ockenden, Beynnon and Coffey.
After a Canisius free throw, Madeline Blais (Exeter, N.H.) nailed a three-pointer to extend the lead to 15-1.
The Golden Griffins held Marist to only one field goal over a six minute stretch, but could only close to within 10 at 17-7. A Coffey three-pointer with 5:34 left broke the drought and kick-started an 8-2 run for the Red Foxes to end the half. Blais followed Coffey's trey with a steal on the defensive end and Natalie Gomez (Andover, Mass.) found Beynnon for a breakaway layup. Blais added two more free throws and Dulin hit one of two from the charity strip to close the run.
At the midway point, Marist held Canisius to just nine points on 2-24 shooting from the field and 0-9 from three-point range. The Red Foxes were 11-14 from the free throw line and were led by seven points each from Beynnon and Coffey.
The second half started just as slow as the first as both teams combined for just three field goals over the first five minutes.
Canisius closed to within eight points at 30-22 with 13:10 remaining, but layups by Dulin and Beynnon brought the advantage back up to 12 for the Red Foxes at 34-22 with 11:23 to go.
The lead again shrunk to eight with 3:43 left and the score 40-32, but Coffey hit three out of four free throw shots and Dulin scored four consecutive points on a layup and a 1-2 from the charity stripe to extend the lead back to 13 at 47-34 with 1:45 remaining in the game.
Kristine Best (Commack, N.Y.) and Dulin combined to hit three of four free throws the rest of the way and the defense only allowed three made field goals to keep Canisius from a late run.
The Red Foxes wrap up their two-game swing to the Buffalo area with a 2 p.m. game at Niagara on Sunday afternoon. It is the first time the two teams have met since their MAAC Semifinals overtime thriller last March.