By Connor Giblin
WEST POINT – In its first action since the COVID-19 pandemic canceled the 2020 MAAC Basketball Championships before the semifinals, the Marist women’s basketball program defeated Army West Point 83-55 in the Red Foxes’ 2020-21 season opener at Christl Arena on Saturday afternoon.
Marist goes to 1-0, and has won three consecutive season openers for the first time in program history. Army, who previously defeated MAAC foes Iona and Rider, falls to 2-2.
Junior guard Sarah Barcello led four Red Foxes in double figures with 15 points off a trio of three-pointers. Sophomore guard Trinasia Kennedy posted a career-high 14 points along with three assists and three rebounds. Senior forward Willow Duffell and freshman forward Caitlin Weimar, the latter of whom got the start in her first-career game, chipped in 12 points in the frontcourt.
The Black Knights’ Alisa Fallon led the team with 10 points, almost nine points below her season average. Liz Layne added nine points.
Marist opened the game on an 11-0 run through the first five minutes, as Duffell and Weimar sank a pair of shots, and Barcello launched a three.
After calling a timeout, Army ended the quarter on a 14-2 stretch with the help of four three-pointers.
With the score 17-16 Marist and two and a half minutes gone by in the second quarter, the Red Foxes were able to corral two offensive rebounds that turned into an Allie Best three-pointer.
Best connected with Duffell on back-to-back possessions, with the latter converting underneath twice to push the edge to 26-19 at the 4:21 mark.
Junior guard Kendall Krick lofted a pass to the low post for Weimar to make a right-handed layup to out the Red Foxes up 31-22 at the half.
Marist boosted its lead to 36-24, the largest of the day at the time, when Barcello drilled a step-back three from the left wing with 7:47 remaining in the third quarter.
The advantage ballooned to 16 points, 47-31, when freshman guard Emma Wax (nine points, two steals) buried her first-career bucket from beyond the arc.
As the Red and White broke through a press defense, Kennedy raced from the timeline and down the left lane to hit a contested layup to make it 61-41 just 1:22 into the fourth quarter.
Freshman guard Anabel Ellison score her first triple as a Red Fox with 5:46 to play, extending the edge to 69-43.
The sophomore class scored the final six points of the ballgame, including Samantha Bailey’s first-career three-pointer.
Marist welcomes Canisius to McCann Arena in the 2020-21 MAAC opening games on Friday, December 11th and Saturday, December 12th. Tip off times for both matchups will be at 5 p.m.