Friday, January 23, 2009

Marist Women's Streak Ends

After a difficult win at Siena on Sunday, Marist women's coach Brian Giorgis reasoned that maybe that was just the kind of game, the kind of wake-up call, his team needed.

But, the Lady Red Foxes didn't need what came next: a 73-65 loss in overtime to Fairfield Friday afternoon on their home court before a crowd of 2,205 in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

The outcome ended Marist's streak of 35 consecutive victories against MAAC opponents, a streak of 37 straight home-court victories, an 14-game winning streak against all opponents this season, surely will drop the No. 20-ranked program out of the Top 25 poll, and created at least a little optimism around the league that the Red Foxes might be vulnerable in this season's league post-season tournament.

It's not as is Marist's recent play has come against bad teams. Siena, which won at Manhattan Friday night, has won four of its last five games with its only loss in that stretch against Marist.

And, Fairfield, right now, holds sole possession of second place in the conference with a 6-2 record and stands 11-8 overall. The Lady Stags' victory Friday ended a streak of 11 straight losses in the series with Marist, dating back to Feb. 7, 2003.

Friday's game, according to reports, was competitive throughout as neither team could earn more than a three-point edge in the second half. Marist needed a basket by its 6-foot-1 junior center Rachele Fitz with 59 seconds left to tie the game at 62. Fairfield took the only shot in the remainder of regulation, and missed.

But the winners scored the first two buckets in the extra session on a jumper by Stephanie Geehan and a layup by Shireyll Moore for a 66-62 advantage.

Two free throws by Elise Caron brought Marist to within 66-64 with 1:43 left, but Lauren Groom answered with a layup to give the winners a four-point lead with 1:17 left and Marist never got closer than three again.

Fairfield forward Baendu Lowenthal led the winners with 21 points and 10 rebounds, while teammates Geehan and Groom added 15 and 14, respectively.

Fitz's 23 points led all scorers, while Marist teammate Julianne Viani added 17 points, but was only 6-of-18 shooting.

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