Brian Giorgis reflects on road win over Saint Peter's as Marist remains in top half of MAAC standings. (Photo by Ray Floriani/Daly Dose Of Hoops)
By Ray Floriani (@rfloriani)
JERSEY CITY, NJ - In a season short of some of the vintage ones of not too long ago, Marist entered the Yanitelli Center with a 7-5 MAAC record. The Red Foxes were on a two-game win streak and looking to avenge a loss to a team that defeated them back in the conference opener early December. Saint Peter’s was mired in a 10-game tailspin, looking for a breakthrough after several close calls along the way. On this night, a strong third quarter propelled visiting Marist to a 66-58 victory. The Red Foxes move to 8-6 in MAAC play, while Saint Peter’s falls to 2-11.
First five possessions:
Marist: Three-point FG, turnover, missed FG, missed FG, turnover
Saint Peter’s: Missed FG, missed FG, field goal, missed FG, turnover
Two turnovers in five possessions was not a start Brian Giorgis was looking for from an execution standpoint, but Marist led, 18-17 at the end of the first quarter. Both teams had an even 100 efficiency. Marist entered the game at 79 per game in the efficiency department. The 100 was a good offensive showing for the quarter. Upsetting to Giorgis was Saint Peter’s 100, for a team struggling offensively and averaging 79 efficiency. The Marist mentor emphasized closeouts to his defenders, who missed assignments resulting in Peacock perimeter conversions.
The second quarter saw Marist employ a better defense, taking a 33-29 lead into the half. On offense, they stayed right on the mark, finishing the half with a 100 efficiency. Saint Peter’s finished with an 88. Their second quarter efficiency was limited to a 75 by virtue of an improved defensive effort by the Red Foxes.
Marist, courtesy of two threes, won the first four minutes of the second half by a 6-4 count. That gave the Red Foxes a six-point lead and put them in a position to gain further separation.
Separation soon came their way. Marist opened the lead to 11 by the end of three quarters. The lead expanded in the final stanza as the Peacocks could not get anything going on offense. The Red Foxes, on the other hand, showed good ball movement on offense, found open cutters and knocked down several threes. They had the offense, and defense, operating on all cylinders.
Marist had four in double figures, led by Maura Fitzpatrick (17) as well as Rebekah Hand (14), Lovisa Henningsdottir (11) and Claire Oberdorf (10). Saint Peter’s placed three, Talah Hughes (16), Zoe Pero (11) and Janelle Mullen (10) in double-figure scoring. Marist led 32-18 on points in the paint. Saint Peter’s did lead on second chance points 9-8.
Offensive efficiency: Marist 110, Saint Peter’s 97
eFG%: Marist 52, Saint Peter’s 48
Free Throw Rate: Marist 14, Saint Peter’s 9
Offensive Rebound%: Marist 27, Saint Peter’s 21
Turnover Rate: Marist 12, Saint Peter’s 15
What Marist did well: Share the ball. Offensive efficiency was largely due to pinpoint passing and good ball movement. Marist had 18 assists against seven turnovers.
What Saint Peter’s did well: Care for the ball. The Peacocks committed just nine turnovers, showing an excellent 15 percent turnover rate against a good defensive team. Saint Peter’s also had 14 assists for a positive assist-to-turnover ratio.
Ball control index: What is it? A metric arrived by adding steals and assists and dividing by turnovers. Naturally, you hope for 1.00 or better at the very least. Tonight, both had impressive BCIs.
Saint Peter’s: 1.78
“I thought we did a good job adjusting defensively in the second half. They use some effective ball screen action and we did a decent job defending the screens and their three-point shooters. Offensively, they do a lot of nice things. I thought we shared the ball very well and had good scoring balance. We are tough to defend when we share the ball like that. We have a lot of young kids. They are growing and working to understand what we are doing. I was disappointed how we defended early. We scouted and from the first time knew what they like to do. Overall, I think the MAAC is a wide-open league. Yes, Quinnipiac is considered top dog, but Rider is having a remarkable year and Iona is very good. I think top to bottom you must bring your A-game every night because any of these teams can beat the other. For us, it is a case of getting and trying to stay healthy. We do not have a lot of bodies, but we are playing better. Tonight it was a little of a revenge factor from the first time we played them.” - Marist coach Brian Giorgis