POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. - The Canisius women's basketball team lost 54-40 at Marist College in the McCann Arena on Friday night. With the loss, the Golden Griffins drop to 8-12 overall and 5-4 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.
Senior Ashley Wilkes led the Griffs with 10 points, to go along with six rebounds and three steals. Junior Jamie Ruttle had eight points and seven rebounds while senior Ashley Durham and freshman Tiahana Mills also added eight points apiece.
"We have been putting ourselves in a big hole and it is so hard to dig out, especially against a team that tempos the game like Marist," Canisius coach Terry Zeh said. "We got back into the game with defensive intensity and getting the ball inside, but we need that from an entire 40 minutes. We battled back but it takes so much energy and everything has to go perfect to complete a comeback of that nature.'
After Canisius scored the first basket of the game, Marist scored on five of its next six possessions to go up 11-5 after a jumper from Elizabeth Beynnon. The Griffs trimmed into the lead by holding the Red Foxes without a basket for more than five and a half minutes. A 3-pointer from the wing from sophomore Kayla Hoohuli got the Griffs within one at 11-10. The Red Foxes held Canisius to three points and forced the Griffs into six turnovers during the remaining 11 and a half minutes. A 3-pointer from Leanne Ockenden in the final minute put Marist ahead 26-13 at the break.
Marist (14-6, 9-0 MAAC) extended its lead to 37-15, scoring 11 of the first 13 points in the second half. Canisius chipped away at the deficit, spurred by a couple of hustle plays from Wilkes. The senior scored back-to-back baskets, jumping a passing lane for an uncontested layup and also beating the defense down the court for a fast-break layup. The Griffs held Marist scoreless for more than seven minutes, with a 3-pointer from Ruttle and a free throw from sophomore Brooke Angelos trimming the Marist lead to 37-27.
Marist ended the scoreless streak when Sydney Coffey split two free throws and then a layup from Durham made it 38-29. After Casey Dulin and Ruttle traded jumpers, the Griffs got a stop but couldn't convert on the offensive end and Ockenden drained a 3-pointer from the right wing to put Marist up 43-31. Mills finished a layup and then made a 3-pointer from in front of the Canisius bench to get it to a seven-point game. That would be as close as the Griffs could get as Marist made 9-of-10 free throws after the Mills' 3-pointer to put the game away.
Dulin led all players with 12 points while Beynnon had 11 points. Marist shot 39.1 percent from the floor and held the Griffs to 26.3 percent while forcing 17 Canisius turnovers.
Canisius wraps up the weekend at Manhattan College in the Draddy Gymnasium on Sunday afternoon. Tipoff in Riverdale, N.Y. is set for noon.
Notes: Marist defeats Canisius for the 10th consecutive meeting... Durham saw her nine-game streak of games with 11 points or more come to an end... Ruttle returned to the starting lineup after coming off the bench in the last three games... Wilkes is now shooting 51.7 percent from the floor in the last four games... Canisius held a 42-29 advantage on the glass... The Griffs outscored the Red Foxes 22-12 in the paint, outscoring its opponent in the points in the paint category in back-to-back games for the first time this season... Canisius had 11 turnovers in the first half and forced Marist into nine second-half turnovers.