SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - The Marist men's basketball team had its season come to an end with a 70-64 loss to Siena in the opening round of the MAAC Tournament on Friday at the MassMutual Center. In a close game throughout that featured 12 ties and seven lead changes, a 6-0 run to close the game in the 40th minute clinched the victory for Siena.
Sophomore Chavaughn Lewis (Queens, N.Y.) led Marist with 24 points, and added seven rebounds, five assists and two steals. Junior Adam Kemp (Sherrill, N.Y.) registered 13 points, a team-high eight rebounds, five blocks and two steals. Junior Jay Bowie (Tampa, Fla.) added 16 points - 14 of which came in the second half - and five rebounds.
The first half featured close play as the Red Foxes and Saints traded points and runs throughout the opening 20 minutes.
After Lewis scored Marist's first five points over the opening 1:23 to give the Red Foxes a 5-2 lead, Siena fired back with 9-0 run over the next 3:11 to swing the lead in its favor.
The Saints would extend their lead out to a first half high margin of seven at 17-10 at 12:58.
Marist's response would come with a mixture of inside and outside scoring success, and tight defense. From 12:58 to 10:06, the Red Foxes would rattle off a 10-0 run as Kemp scored five points and Lewis three on trey from the wing. During that span of play, Marist caused two turnovers and two missed field goal attempts.
Siena would come right back with a 7-0 run to turn the 20-17 Marist lead into a 24-20 deficit for the eighth-seeded Red Foxes.
With the game 24-24 at 7:16, the pace of offensive success would slow down over the remainder of the half; back-to-back 5-0 runs over the next 5:14 would see the game tied once again, this time at 29-29.
Siena would take a 32-31 lead into the locker rooms at the break.
The Saints would hold a lead throughout the opening 10-plus minutes of the second half, until the Red Foxes went up 49-48 at 9:27. Over that opening stretch of play in the second period, the margin was within one possession for all, but 10 seconds when Siena went up five at 14:00. Bowie starting heating up for Marist as he registered a three-pointer, two made jumpers and two free throws for a quick nine points during that run.
After a few possessions of back-and-forth play, Marist would mount its largest lead of the half at 56-52 after an "and one" by Lewis at 5:53.
An 8-2 run by Siena would tie the game up for the 10th time at 60-60 at 3:49.
With neither team wanting to see its season end, they would tie twice more in the next two minutes at 61-61 and 64-64. The 12th tie was especially exciting for Red Fox fans as Lewis drove the lane and kicked out to Bowie for the three-point swish.
Unfortunately for Marist, the Saints would force six missed Red Fox shots in the final 1:43 to allow for them the chance to close the game out on a 6-0 run and earn the bid in the quarterfinals on Saturday versus Niagara.
For the game, Siena outshot Marist 48.1 percent (22-52) to 37.3 (22-59) and 60.0 (6-10) percent to 28.6 (6-21) from three-point range.
Of note, All-MAAC award winning senior guard Devin Price (Inglewood, Calif.) finishes his career with the Red Foxes with 1,244 career points, 12th-best in the history of the Marist men's basketball program.