POUGHKEEPSIE, New York – The Marist’s men’s basketball team opened Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference play with a 63-58 win over Siena at McCann Arena on Friday night thanks, in part, to Junior guard David Knudson’s five steals in the game.
Marist led Siena for the first ten minutes and a half minutes of the game, but never by more than six points. Siena took its first lead of the game from a corner three-pointer by Nico Clareth to make the game 16-15 with 9:27 left in the half. Knudsen’s fourth steal of the first half resulted in a three-point play as Marist expanded its lead back to six at 24-18. The Saints fought back and brought the game to 31-31 at half.
With the score tied at 33 apiece early in the second half, junior forward Ryan Funk caught fire. Funk scored the game’s next 12 points, which included three three-pointers, as Marist took a 45-33 lead. The Red Foxes’ lead reached as large as 14, but the Saints would not go away, cutting Marist’s lead to four with 5:46 left in the half. With 44.7 seconds left in the game, Siena’s Roman Penn sunk both shots at the line to cut Marist’s lead to 60-58. Tobias Sjoberg went one for two from the line to give Marist a three-point lead with 29 seconds to go. The Red Foxes then got stops on the final two possessions, and Junior guard Brian Parker hit two free throws to seal the victory.
Parker led all scorers with 18 points. Funk finished the night with 17 and had all of the Red Foxes’ three pointers in the game (4). Knudsen finished with 13 points.
This is the fourth time Marist has opened MAAC play against Siena in Poughkeepsie. Marist has won all four.
The 58 points the Red Foxes allowed were their lowest total in their last 47 games, dating back to a 71-58 win over Rider on Feb. 23, 2016.
“I thought we guarded extremely well,” head coach Mike Maker said. “We did a really good job on Nico Clareth, who’s a handful. He’s one of the marquee players in our league. That assignment went to Isaiah (Lamb) and David (Knudsen), and they did a phenomenal job on him.”
The Red Foxes will continue their three-game conference opening home stand against Manhattan on Tuesday, Jan. 2. Tip-off at McCann Arena is set for 7 p.m., and tickets are available at MaristTickets.com.