ALBANY, N.Y. - The Marist men's basketball team earned a hard-fought victory on the road versus MAAC rival Siena by a score of 76-74. In a game with 11 ties and six lead changes, a well-rounded team effort on both sides of the ball allowed the Red Foxes (9-20, 5-12 MAAC) to come back and defeat the Saints (7-22, 4-13 MAAC) on Siena's Senior Night.
Though the night was billed as Siena's O.D. Anosike's final home game, it was his counterpart in the low-post, Adam Kemp (Sherrill, N.Y.) who finished with the top accolades. The junior center registered game-high totals of 24 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks. This was Kemp's third 20-plus point and 10-plus rebound effort of the past month.
Three more Marist players finished in double figures to augment Kemp's output. Senior Devin Price (Inglewood, Calif.) notched 18 points off the bench with a 5-8 showing from the field and 4-6 shooting from three-point range. Chavaughn Lewis (Queens, N.Y.) and Jay Bowie (Tampa, Fla.) rounded out the squad's leading scorers with 17 and 10 points, respectively.
After a close game in Poughkeepsie just over a month ago on Jan. 27, this matchup promised to be another nail-biter. The back-and-forth tone was set early as Marist quickly jumped out to an early 4-0 lead only to see Siena fire back with seven unanswered points.
The Saints slowly built out from that 7-4 lead at 15:32 to their largest advantage of the game at 19-12 with 9:51 on the first half clock.
Down seven, the Red Foxes quickly came back with back-to-back three-pointers by Price from the wing at 9:34 and 8:40. The senior would notch his third consecutive successful trey less than two minutes later at 6:42 to tie the game at 23-23.
With the score 31-31, sophomore point guard Isaiah Morton (Vineland, N.J.) scored his only basket of the game on a layup at 1:44 to put the Red Foxes ahead at 33-31.
Lewis' third made field goal in a 2:32 span of play would give Marist its largest lead of the first half at 35-31 with 1:09 remaining.
A 5-0 run by the Saints made it a 36-35 game going into the break.
In the opening five minutes of the second half, the teams played to five tied score situations.
After trailing 47-45 at 13:37, Marist would go on a 7-0 run that would put the Red Foxes in the driver seat for the remainder of the game. The whole array of Marist's offense was on display during that short run as Price knocked down a three-pointer, Kemp took an alley-oop from Price for a thunderous dunk and Lewis used his speed and agility to slash to the hoop for a layup.
Siena cut down Marist's lead to one at 52-51 at 11:03. With the momentum seemingly fading away from them Bowie put the Red Foxes on his back and converted back-to-back three-point plays, an "and one" and a long range trey.
The hosts challenged throughout the rest of the second half and twice tied the game, at 68-68 and 70-70, but Marist stayed composed and made the necessary plays to pull away and hold on for the 76-74 victory.
For the game, Marist outshot Siena 53.7 (29-54) percent to 48.3 (28-58) from the field and 38.5 (5-13) percent to 28.6 (4-14) from three-point range.
With the win, Marist clinched a spot in the 8-9 game of next week's MAAC Tournament. The exact seeding is still up for grabs based on Sunday's slate of conference games.
The Red Foxes will close out their regular season on Sunday, March 3 with their final home game of the year, a 2 p.m. meeting with Fairfield. Prior to the tip-off, Marist will recognize the five members of its senior class: head manager Greg Fahey, manager Austin Drakes, Jesse Martin (Columbia, Md.), Dorvell Carter (Bronx, N.Y.) and Devin Price (Inglewood, Calif.). The Senior Day contest will also be broadcast on ESPN3 and WatchESPN.com.