With today’s defeat of Loyola, Marist has strung together consecutive wins for the first time this season. For Loyola, this is the second straight season they have come to Poughkeepsie at or near the top of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference and left upset by a sub-.500 Marist team. Loyola head coach Jimmy Patsos attributed the loss to the strong play of Adam Kemp and Marist, and a lack of focus from his Greyhounds.
“I think sometimes you have to ask yourself, ‘Are you doing enough?'” Patsos said. “I came in yesterday, and I asked the guys to make three free throws in a row before we left. And it took a few guys that should make it in the first try like three or four tries.”
Patsos placed specific emphasis on focus when it came to free-throws, and they were a deciding factor in this game. Loyola was 12-26 from the charity stripe, while Marist was 25-37.
“You say: ‘This is going to come down to free throws tomorrow, and they go ‘Yeah, yeah, coach, we got it.'” Patsos said, “See, they think they’re going to press ‘Reset’ on their XBOX. I’d like to say to America right now, ‘You don’t get to press ‘Reset’ on your XBOX in real life. That’s too bad. Because I knew, yesterday, we were in trouble, when I asked my team to make three free-throws in a row…and it took some guys on my team four or five times to make three in a row.”
For Marist, the story of the game was Adam Kemp notching his second double-double in a row, and eighth of the season, with his 23 point, 13 rebound performance. In the absence of Devin Price over the last two games, Kemp has contributed 52 points and 29 rebounds. Marist head coach Chuck Martin recognized the offensive adjustment the team makes when Price is out of the lineup.
“[With Price out] we shift our focus, a little bit, to Adam Kemp,” Martin said. “We added one or two sets, ‘Elbow,’ and some other things we run to go ‘high-low’ with Adam.”
Whatever adjustments Martin and the Red Foxes made have paid off thus far. While they were able to split, 1-1, the games they were without Devin Price earlier in the season, they have gone 2-0 against teams #2 and 3 in the MAAC during Price’s current stint out of the lineup, with Kemp’s contributions leading the way.
While there were seven lead changes in today’s game, none came after the 11:48 mark in the second half, when Marist rode an Adam Kemp dunk, and 1-2 performance at the foul line on consecutive possessions, into the lead and never looked back. Loyola would draw to within striking distance on multiple occasions over the following 11 minutes, but it was never quite enough for the Greyhounds today.
Coach Martin added that there was no update on Devin Price. He mentioned that the team trainers were trying to reduce the swelling in the guard’s ankles, but added that in the meantime he has been an encouraging presence in the locker room. Meanwhile, Marist can finish off the trifecta of top teams in the MAAC this coming Friday when they face Niagara in the McCann Arena.