The Red Foxes entered their meeting with the St. Peter’s University Peacocks tonight in the midst of an 8 game losing streak, and without leading scorer Devin Price, as well as team captains Jay Bowie and Dorvell Carter. However, they were able to reach an oasis in the desert of defeat in the form of a 59-48 victory over the Peacocks. Adam Kemp reached his career high in rebounds tonight with 18, coupled with his 8 point effort, as the Red Foxes were able to out-rebound Saint Peter’s 43-30.
Marist head coach Chuck Martin noted that in the midst of this losing streak he has to change his approach to the way he prepares his team.
“For me, I just go back to what I think I do well: teach,” Martin said, “Eventually, if you do a good enough job teaching these guys get it, the staff gets it, and we come around.”
Despite the losing streak being broken, Martin acknowledged the work the team has ahead of it, if it wants to match some of the pre-season expectations that were set for a team that looked like it could compete with some of the top teams in the MAAC.
“We need to get sharper offensively,” Martin said, “The offense, at times, isn’t as clean as I’d like it to be. We do a decent job, I think, on the first two passes defensively, and then by the 3rd, 4th, 5th, there’s a breakdown defensively. So we have to be able to defend for 35 seconds, the entire shot clock, and at the end not give up offensive rebounds.”
The students showed well on Professor Martin’s exam, with multiple career highs being reached tonight: Kemp’s rebounding high, point guard Isaiah Morton’s 7 rebounds, and Chavaughn Lewis’s 4 assists. In addition to these career highs, the team never fell behind to a St. Peter’s team that fell into sole possession of last place in the MAAC with this loss today. Chavaughn Lewis led the team with 19 points, and it was his 12th game in a row scoring in double digits. Lewis made note of the changes he made to his game that led to the spike in his scoring totals.
“I went threw a slump in the beginning of the season,” Lewis said “I just changed my mindset, became more relaxed, and played more aggressively.”
Lewis’s production was a welcome relief for the Foxes who needed somebody to fill in the void that Devin Price (14.6 points per game) left for them to fill, as he missed this game with a sprained ankle. However, there has been another Red Fox that has stepped up in the midst of this team’s slump. Anell Alexis, who has not received much playing time this season, has averaged 11.5 points in his last two performances, and coach Martin acknowledged the value of what Alexis has contributed.
“He’s been great,” Martin said, “I wish I could take credit for it, I wish the staff could take credit for it, but he just hung in there, waited for his opportunity, and clearly took advantage of it.”
Marist takes their show on the road to Fairfield next, as they face the Stags on January 24th. In the meantime, the team will be closely monitoring the progress Price makes. Martin acknowledged that Price will continue to try and put more pressure on his ankle in the coming days, and was hopeful that he would return to the team soon, but until then his status remains “day-to-day.”