By Connor Giblin
LEWISTON – Freshman forward Caitlin Weimar recorded a double-double with a career-high 19 points and 11 rebounds, sophomore forward Trinasia Kennedy notched 11 points and four assists, and Marist Women’s Basketball pulled away late to take a 67-45 victory over Niagara on Saturday afternoon at the Gallagher Center.
The win boosts Marist’s MAAC record to 8-2, and the Red Foxes are the only team in the conference with 10 total wins on the year. The Purple Eagles drop to 1-3, and have an identical conference mark.
After scoring just 20 points in the first half of Friday’s overtime triumph, Marist scored 17 points in the opening quarter. Though the Red Foxes led after the first three quarters, the Purple Eagles never trailed by more than 10 points at each of those points in time. That changed when Marist held Niagara off the scoreboard for the first 4:15 of the fourth quarter, outscoring the home team 17-4 in the frame to complete the regular season sweep.
Senior captain Allie Best had 10 points along with a game-high seven assists, four steals, and zero turnovers. Classmate and co-captain Willow Duffell chipped in with nine points and five rebounds.
Sydney Faulcon paced Niagara with a career-high 14 points. Angel Parker was the only Purple Eagle in double figures with 13 points.
Marist jumped out to a 10-2 lead in the first 3:40 of the game, highlighted by five layups.
Best sandwiched a three between quick 4-0 Niagara spurts to give Marist a 13-6 advantage.
From the end of the first to the opening minutes of the second quarter, Niagara went on an 8-2 for its first lead at 20-19. Parker had a pair of layups in the process.
Weimar converted three consecutive makes underneath the basket to return the Red Fox edge to five around the midpoint of the stanza.
With the score 25-23 in the visitors’ favor, Marist rattled off a 9-0 run in three minutes, featuring four points from Trinasia Kennedy and a fastbreak layup from freshman guard Anabel Ellison, made possible when classmate Emma Wax went behind her back after getting the defensive rebound.
After leading 36-29 at halftime, senior captain Willow Duffell re-entered after sitting with two early fouls and skated through the paint to sink a layup and draw a foul. She later completed the nostalgic three-point play.
The Purple Eagles got to within five at 41-36 halfway through the third, but the Red Foxes’ lead returned to 10 following a Best layup and Kennedy three.
Duffell and Weimar secured baskets in the paint, but Parker’s three before the buzzer resulted in a 50-41 advantage for Marist heading into the fourth quarter.
Marist held Niagara to two points in the first 8:28 of the final stanza, going on a 13-2 run.
Marist travels home and prepares for four home contests in a five-game span.
Up first, the Red Foxes host fellow defending MAAC regular season champion Rider on Friday, January 29th and Saturday, January 30th.