SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- The Marist men's basketball team defeated Saint Peter's 64-57 in the opening round of the 2012 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Championship on Friday night at the MassMutual Center. A team effort lifted the Red Foxes, as four Marist players scored in double digits.
Freshman swingman Chavaughn Lewis (Queens, N.Y.) led the Red Foxes with 17 points, and tied for the team high with seven rebounds. Sophomore swingman Jay Bowie (Tampa, Fla.) had 14 points and seven rebounds. Junior guard Devin Price (Inglewood, Calif.) also scored 14 points, and senior point guard R.J. Hall (East Orange, N.J.) came off the bench to score 10 on 3-for-4 shooting from the field and 4-for-4 shooting from the line in 19 minutes.
Marist started slow, as Saint Peter's scored the game's first six points. The Red Foxes clawed back, and took their first lead at 11-10 when freshman swingman Manny Thomas (Brooklyn, N.Y.) came off the bench to hit a three-pointer. There were three ties and three lead changes in the first half, but Marist outscored Saint Peter's 13-6 over the final seven minutes of the first half to take a 26-21 halftime lead.
The Red Foxes ran their lead to seven early in the second half, but Saint Peter's fought back and took a 43-40 lead on a three-pointer by Lamin Fulton with 8:19 remaining. However, Lewis answered with three-pointers on Marist's next two possessions as the Red Foxes went on an 11-0 run over a span of 3:02 to take the lead for good. The Peacocks never got within four points the rest of the way.
Darius Conley led Saint Peter's (5-26) with 19 points and 13 rebounds. The Peacocks also had four double-digit scorers, as Fulton and Brandon Hall had 12 apieced, while Blaise Ffrench added 10.
Marist (14-17) will face Iona in quarterfinal action on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. The game will air live on ESPN3. Dean Darling & Ed Weir will have the call on WKIP 1450 AM and GoRedFoxes.com, and a live blog will also be available on GoRedFoxes.com.
Notes: Head Coach Chuck Martin is now 3-3 overall in MAAC Tournament play. ... Marist has now won seven of its last nine, and is 7-3 since Lewis joined the starting lineup. ... Marist had just nine turnovers in the game. ... This was the first meeting between Marist and Saint Peter's in the MAAC Tournament.