Top-Seeded Women's Basketball Rolls Past Manhattan Into MAAC Semifinals
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - Four different players scored in double figures as the top-seeded Marist women's basketball team rolled to an easy 72-50 win over #9 Manhattan in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Quarterfinals.
Elizabeth Beynnon (Burlington, Vt.) led the way with 14 points and six rebounds. Leanne Ockenden (Syracuse, N.Y.) was 3-6 from three-point range and finished with 13 points and five rebounds. Madeline Blais (Exeter, N.H.) scored a career-high 13 points in 12 minutes off the bench and Sydney Coffey (New Hope, Minn.) had 11 points and tied with Beynnon for the team lead with six boards. Casey Dulin (Milford, Conn.) had six assists to zero turnovers and also had two blocks, both coming on Manhattan three-point attempts. Marist hit 10 three-pointers on the day and assisted on 20 of 24 made field goals.
After Manhattan scored first on a three-pointer, Marist (24-6) answered with 10 straight points to jump ahead by seven with 13:51 left in the first half. Ockenden started the streak with a backdoor layup on an assist from Beynnon, who followed with a pair of free throws to give the Red Foxes their first lead. After a few scoreless possessions, Coffey and Ockenden each hit three-pointers to bring the score to 10-3.
The Jaspers (8-23) hit another three-pointer, but Marist against responded with a 5-0 run. Ockenden hit her second trey and Coffey drained a pair of free throws.
Following a pair of Manhattan baskets, the Red Foxes scored the next nine points, opening a 24-10 lead with 7:07 remaining in the first half. Coffey hit her second three-pointer to start the run and Kristina Danella (Manalapan, N.J.) followed with a layup. Beynnon hit two more free throws and Emma O'Connor (Lynbrook, N.Y.) closed the run with a jumper from the free throw line.
Manhattan used an 8-0 run late in the half to pull within seven at 29-22, but a pair of Danella free throws gave Marist a 31-22 lead at halftime.
The Red Foxes opened the second period with another run, scoring seven straight points after the Jaspers opened with a three-pointer. Coffey made a free throw and a jumper, sandwiched around an O'Connor jumper, and O'Connor found Beynnon for a layup to bring the score to 38-25 with 16:02 remaining.
Beynnon traded three-point baskets with Manhattan before Marist embarked on another 12-3 run to expand its lead to 22 at 53-31 with 9:44 left. Beynnon again traded baskets with the Jaspers, making a layup off of a Dulin assist, who then hit a three-pointer of her own before finding a cutting Ockenden for an easy layup. O'Connor hit a layup in traffic and Ockenden hit her third trey of the game to close the run.
Marist did not let Manhattan get within 20 points the rest of the way, opening up a lead as large as 29 at 70-41 with 2:07 left on a Suzzette Garnett (The Bronx, N.Y.) put back layup.
The Red Foxes will play the winner of the quarterfinal game between fourth-seeded Rider and fifth-seeded Niagara. That game will be the second semifinal on Saturday, to be played at 11:30 a.m. It will follow the first semifinal which will feature #2 Iona and #6 Siena, who knocked off Fairfield, the third seed, in its quarterfinal.
Notes - Marist has now won five straight games by a margin of at least 20 points. That is the longest streak under Brian Giorgis... The Red Foxes improved to 21-0 this year when scoring at least 60 points in a game... With one more win, Marist will reach the 25-win pleateau for the seventh consecutive season... With a win on Saturday, Marist will have won 30 straight conference games, including the postseason, becoming only the third team to reach 30 consecutive wins against MAAC opponents. That last two were the Marist teams of 2006-07 through 2008-09 and 2009-10 through 2011-12.