Instead of the warm welcoming weather of Puerto Rico, the Marist Red Foxes found themselves in the eye of the storm Thursday, facing off against the Miami Hurricanes in the first round of the ESPN O'ReillyAuto Parts Tip-Off from San Juan. Miami started off the game hot with a 10-1 run and outplayed the Red Foxes on both sides of the ball en route to a 85-61 victory.
"I give all the credit in the world to Miami; they have a terrific team," Coach Matt Brady told the Associated Press. "I wasn't happy with how we played, but I think Miami played a real solid game."
The Red Foxes got off to a slow start and proved that they are a team that is still in transition. Looking a lot less comfortable in their new offense then they did against Delaware in the opener on Sunday, the new look Red Foxes looked like a team who needed more experience and time playing together. The first Marist field goal did not come until a Ben Farmer 3-pointer at the 13:06 minute mark and they continued to struggled from the field all game. After the Red Foxes staged a brief comeback attempt at the end of the first half, Miami opened up the second half strong and the Red Foxes never came closer then 17.
Lead by Senior forward Anthony King's 13 point, 4 block performance and guard Eddie Rios' 8 assists, the Hurricanes were too much to handle on both ends of the floor for the Red Foxes as they advanced to 2-0 on the season. Miami had a well balanced attack as their backcourt of Jack McClinton and fellow guard James Hurdle combined to make eight 3-point shots. Miami also out rebounded the Red Foxes 37-26, with three Hurricane players grabbing 5 boards apiece.
A bright spot for the Red Foxes came from true rookie guard Jay Gavin who had a strong second game leading Marist with 19 points. While the Red Foxes came on strong in the second half shooting 50 percent from the field, all together the Red Foxes were simply too cold shooting the basketball. Marist shot 39 percent for the game while going 7-23 from downtown. But where the Red Foxes really killed themselves was from the free throw line, shooting an embarrassing 45 percent(10-22). With the loss Marist moves to 1-1 on the young season and will face the University of Houston Friday in Puerto Rico.
WHO: Marist Red Foxes vs Houston Cougars
WHERE: ESPN O'Reilly Auto Parts, Puerto Rico
WHEN: Friday Nov. 16, 2007