Today was senior day at the McCann Arena and it was a day that will likely never be forgotten by the members of the team graduating this May. The Red Foxes overcame the Fairfield Stags by a final score of 73-60 in front of a crowd of over 1,600 fans. Marist (10-20, 6-12) has now won five of their final seven games to close out the regular season.
Marist broke the 0-0 tie at the 17:49 mark of the first with an old school 3 point play from Adam Kemp and never relinquished the lead. Kemp shooting free throws would be prove to be a central theme for the rest of the game.
The Red Foxes as a team shot a whopping 44 free throws, 20 of which were taken by Kemp. Chavaughn Lewis also frequented the charity stripe in this game as he attempted 13 free throws. Kemp and Lewis shot a combined 15-33 from the line.
Despite their struggles at the free throw line, the duo of Kemp and Lewis had strong games overall. Both players have been on fire the last month, a trend that continued on Sunday against Fairfield. Lewis finished with 24 points/6 rebounds/3 steals and Kemp posted his tenth double-double of the year with 14 points/11 rebounds.
After the game Coach Martin acknowledged his team’s struggle to hit free throws but also offered up a lot of positives he took away from this match up.
“Obviously we have to shoot the ball better from the free throw line,” Martin said. “I’m concentrating on the other things. We shot 53% from the field, 38% from the three point line. We held a really good, really efficient Fairfield team under 40% [shooting] and under 35% from the three point line.”
Martin also emphasized several times how proud he was of his seniors today and how happy he was to get a win for them in their final game in Poughkeepsie. All three seniors were in the starting lineup today (Price, Carter and Martin) and all three had positive impacts.
For Jesse Martin it was his first career start. Martin’s lone stat was a foul but he played very solid defensive and received a nice ovation from the crowd for his efforts. Team captain Dorvell Carter played 13 minutes registering 5 points and 2 rebounds. Carter’s fellow captain Devin Price was back in the starting line-up after coming off the bench the last two games while returning from an ankle injury.
Price has been lights out since his return shooting a combined 12 for 16 from the field. Against Fairfield he notched 8 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals. The performance was made even sweeter for Price by the fact that his family flew in from Inglewood, Calif. to watch him play his final home game.
“I’m glad they were able to come out here to see me play and to see the team win,” Price said. “Obviously I’m in a better mood when we win, so it’s just a great day. Winning makes the whole day better.”
Marist closed out the weekend with two big wins over MAAC opponents but they can’t afford to celebrate too long with the conference tournament a mere 5 days away. The Red Foxes are the #8 seed and will face #9 Siena for the second time in less than a week in the opening round of the tournament Friday night at 7:30 p.m.