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MARIST WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Red Foxes hang on to beat Canisius to end 2013

POUGHKEEPSIE – Well, that got interesting in the end.

But, as usual, it ended with a familiar result – the Marist College women’s basketball team won its 33rd consecutive Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference game on Tuesday afternoon, hanging on to outlast Canisius, 57-49, at McCann Arena.

This was a game that Marist led by 16 points, 47-31, late in the game before Canisius put on a furious rally.

Sophomore Madeline Blais had a game-high 12 points and five rebounds for the Red Foxes. Senior Emma O’Connor had 12 points alongside teammate Leanne Ockenden. O’Connor had six rebounds and three steals while Ockenden matched a career-high eight rebounds with an additional four assists. Senior Casey Dulin recorded six rebounds for the Red Foxes.

Canisius scored the first basket of the game, taking an early 3-0 lead, but never led again. An O’Connor three-pointer tied it up moments later, followed by two made free-throws by Blais to put Marist up 5-3 with just under 18 minutes to play. The Griffs and the Red Foxes went basket-for-basket over the next two minutes for a 9-8 Marist advantage four minutes in. The Red Foxes went on an 8-0 run to take a 17-8 lead with a little under 14 to play.

Canisus’ Jen Lennox broke the silence with a layup to make it 17-10. Marist doubled the Griffs’ scoring over the final 12 minutes with an 18-9 run fueled by four points from Sydney Coffey and Ockenden, and threes from Dulin and O’Connor. In her return to the court, red-shirt junior Tori Jarosz ended the first half with an electric block to secure Marist’s 35-19 edge heading into the locker room.

The Red Foxes opened up the second half with four quick points from O’Connor and Ockenden to make it 39-21 with 18 and a half minutes to play. The teams matched baskets for the next five minutes, posting a 47-26 score in favor of Marist with just over 13 minutes to play.

Following a scoreless three minutes, Crystal Porter hit a jumper for the Griffs followed by a three from Lauren D’Hont to bring Canisius within 16 with eight minutes left in the second half. Dulin hit two free-throws with seven minutes remaining, the last baskets Marist would score until the two and a half minute mark. The Griffs went on a 13-0 run, as Kayla Hoohuli and Tiahana Mills combined for 11 points. O’Connor hit a layup with under three minutes to play to keep the Red Foxes up by nine. Three consecutive free-throws by Canisius made it 53-47 with under two minutes to play. Free-throws by Dulin, Fogarty, and Blais in the final minutes secured the victory as Marist defeated the Griffs, 57-49.

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