Between a degrading 34-point loss at Army and an eight-game losing streak that included double-digit slip-ups against Hartford and Manhattan, Marist has had little to vaunt as far as success on the hardwood.
Just three seasons removed from a 1-29 finish, five from the program’s last winning season, the Red Foxes mercifully gave their fans something to smile about for the first time in years. Sophomore swingman Chavaughn Lewis sunk the shot of the college basketball season on Thursday night, sinking a 65-footer against Iona to force double overtime. Marist fended off the reigning MAAC regular season champ, 105-104, in the second extra session.
The Red Foxes had dropped 12 of their previous 13 games entering Thursday’s action, their last three losses decided in the game’s final minute. Then, thanks to no other reason but good karma, Marist’s luck turned in a big way against arguably its stiffest opponent in league play. For the first time since the team’s conference opener against Manhattan in December — when the Jaspers went scoreless over the game’s final three minutes — the Red Foxes were on the positive end of a backbreaking finish.
No, one shot alone isn’t a tonic for five straight seasons of subpar play in Poughkeepsie. But if this is the only highlight Marist produces the rest of the way, consider it worthwhile. In a season that’s left much to be desired, one fling from a rising second-year star may well have made an otherwise rocky campaign seem somewhat fulfilling.