Marist falls to Niagara in Metro Atlantic quarterfinals
| Occasions Herald-Report
Marist has escaped his dropping paths this season, however that does not imply it was time for the Purple Foxes to measurement a championship banner.
“We weren’t prepared,” stated downcast head coach John Dunne after a 67-62 loss to Niagara within the Metro Atlantic quarterfinals Thursday night time in Atlantic Metropolis, NJ.
The knockout section turned out to be a bit intimidating for the younger purple foxes. They got here out slowly, trailed 19 factors, staged a livid comeback within the last six minutes, then spoiled a last-second inbounds play that would have resulted in a 3-point tie.
“I am extraordinarily disenchanted for my workforce as a result of they’ve invested quite a bit in it,” stated Dunne. “I used to be actually trying ahead to the semi-final recreation (in opposition to Iona and Corridor of Fame coach Rick Pitino). I’m disenchanted for the Marist group, and I need to work laborious and produce them some event victories. So we’re going to get all the way down to work, and we are going to get there sooner or later. ”
The Purple Foxes have gone one-and-done within the MAAC event six years in a row and eight instances up to now 9 seasons, together with the final three underneath Dunne. Misplaced within the early begin, nonetheless, Marist posted his first successful season (12-9) because the 2007-08 marketing campaign.
“It sucks we have misplaced,” stated Matt Herasme of Chester, who scored 12 factors. “We may simply have folded, 19 within the second half. However the coach challenged us in a day trip and we responded effectively. It simply wasn’t sufficient. & mldr; We simply have to study from it and enhance. ”
Jordan Jones scored 14, Raheim Sullivan 12 and Hakim Byrd 11 for Marist, who shot 25% within the first half and 41% within the second, making it a recreation.
Raheem Solomon scored 17 factors off the bench to steer Niagara. Star Kobi Nwandu scored 15 and Nicholas Kratholm scored 10 for the Purple Eagles (9-10). All-star Marcus Hammond was held to 5 factors.
The groups break up into two video games throughout the common season. This time round, Niagara got here out extra bodily in his man’s protection and rocked the Purple Foxes, who missed 12 of their opening 14 makes an attempt and trailed by a dozen simply 11 minutes into the sport. Niagara went within the half simply 28-20 as a result of the Purple Eagles struggled on the sector as effectively, taking pictures 29 p.c.
“We got here out a bit slowly,” Jones stated. “I feel they got here out with extra vitality & mldr; there actually is not a lot to say. We tried to run our enterprise they usually simply had extra vitality than us. ”
Niagara discovered its shot early and infrequently to begin the second half, climbing to a 49-30 lead with 12:40 left. Marist began to play extra aggressively on offense, attacking the lane and sending the ball to three factors. Even with that, Marist was nonetheless lagging behind by 13 with 4:34 to go.
Rookie choice Ricardo Wright hit a jumper (his solely bucket in 11 makes an attempt), Herasme sank a 3, Sullivan hit two fouls and Byrd did the identical and all of the sudden Marist misplaced 62-58 with 2:44 to left.
Marist missed his subsequent 4 pictures and trailed 65-60 with 19 seconds left. Sullivan dodged a defender within the lane for a layup with 8.8 seconds left. The Purple Foxes received the turnover they wanted as Jones and Tyler Saint-Furcy trapped Hammond within the again courtroom and he dropped the ball out of bounds with 6.3 seconds remaining.
On a play meant for Byrd to twist up on the alternative facet and Wright to twist up on the close to facet, every past the arc, the efficiency was thwarted on quite a lot of counts. Byrd used a display to open, however the inbounder Herasme could not spot him quickly sufficient as Hammond, along with his lengthy arms, jumped in entrance of him six instances, inflicting a delay and a countdown of almost 5 seconds. . With no time to spare, Herasme fired a left hand move in the direction of Wright, however his teammate Saint-Furcy had pushed his defender away and likewise headed for the ball, bumping with Wright. The robust move slammed Wright’s proper arm and out of bounds. On the Marist sideline, a annoyed Dunne rushed onto the pitch, withdrew, slapped his hip, crossed his arms, after which bowed his head in dismay, his arms on his knees. Niagara handed the ball to Solomon, who was fouled and hit two foul pictures to finish issues.
“I feel over the previous few weeks we have actually turn out to be a workforce within the truest sense of the phrase,” stated Dunne. “I am very, very pleased with them, however we’re not right here. We aren’t but on the championship degree. If we need to get to that time the place we will compete for a championship, there are issues we have to enhance on and that begins with getting all the way down to enterprise and desirous to be a championship workforce.
“There are guys of excellent character (within the workforce) and I feel they are going to come again robust,” he added.