POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. - The Marist men's basketball team fell in a home conference matchup versus the Fairfield Stags, who moved into a tie for second place with a 60-49 decision. A poor shooting first half proved troublesome for the Red Foxes (11-17, 5-11 MAAC), who held Fairfield (17-11, 12-4 MAAC) to just four points over the final 7:40 of the game. Freshman Chavaughn Lewis (Queens, N.Y.) led Marist with 19 points scored.
The action started out slow as the teams managed just eight points over the first 4:05 of play. A three pointer by Fairfield's Derek Needham gave the Stags an early 8-3 lead at 15:16 before freshman Isaiah Morton (Richland, N.J.) responded two possessions later with a trey of his own.
Following a Lewis layup at 12:00 made the game 10-8 Fairfield, the Stags then ran off 13 unanswered points until a Morton foul shot at 1:44 halted the run. With two made free throws, Marist cut the score to 23-10.
Going in to the locker room at halftime, Marist found itself trailing 28-12. While 47.8 (11-23) percent shooting by Fairfield helped them in their lead, 16.0 (4-25) percent shooting by the Red Foxes put them in the 16 point deficit.
Individually, sophomore Jay Bowie (Tampa, Fla.) played a productive 14 minutes as he hauled in seven rebounds. Morton and Lewis each scored five points a piece.
Coming out in the second half, the Red Foxes found their offensive stroke as they started out by shooting seven of nine from field, including four of four from long range. Junior Devin Price (Inglewood, Calif.) highlighted the run which cut the lead to 41-31 at 14:03 with three pointers off of assists by Morton and Lewis.
Over the next 6:23 Fairfield took its turn in getting hot, as the Stags lengthened their lead out to 20 at 56-36 with a 15-5 run.
Marist buckled down defensively from that 7:40 mark and held Fairfield to just four points to close the game, though unfortunately the offense was only able to muster up 13 points in response.
When the final horn sounded Fairfield had earned a 60-49 victory.
For the game, the Stags outshot Marist from the field 49.0 percent to 32.7 and from three-point range 46.2 percent to 36.0.
Lewis led players from both teams with a game-high 19 points on 7-14 shooting, including 4-5 from three point range. The freshman also finished with six rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block. Sophomore Adam Kemp (Sherrill, N.Y.) and Bowie tied for the team lead with eight rebounds each.
Marist will next be in action on Thursday, Feb. 23 when they host Siena at the McCann Arena. The second game of an ESPN3 doubleheader is scheduled for a 9 p.m. tipoff.