Marist College scored the first 17 points of the game en route to defeating the Canisius College women's basketball team 81-52 in the Koessler Athletic Center on Friday evening. With the loss, the Golden Griffins fall to 12-14 overall and 6-9 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.
Sophomore Jamie Ruttle led Canisius with 13 points while sophomore Jen Morabito had 10 points in 33 minutes for the Griffs. Freshman Kayla Hoohuli pulled down six rebounds while sophomore Courtney VandeBovenkamp had a team-high four assists.
"We had not been able to practice until about 40 minutes on Thursday night, and I think that showed in our effort tonight, especially at the start of the game," Canisius coach Terry Zeh said. "Illness has really been affecting our team, and we were struggling just to get up and down the floor.
"I'm not saying that we would have beaten Marist if we were are 100 percent, but that wasn't an accurate representation of the ability of our basketball team tonight."
Marist held Canisius scoreless for the opening seven and a half minutes of the game as Canisius missed its opening nine shots and turned the ball over four times in that opening stretch. Marist would go up by as many as 24 points - 35-11 - after two free throws from Kelsey Beynnon. The Griffs closed the half on an 11-2 run, getting two 3-pointers from Hoohuli and a 3-pointer from junior Ashley Wilkes just before the halftime buzzer, and trailed 37-22 at the break.
The Griffs held Marist without a basket for the opening two and a half minutes of the second half, but couldn't cut into the Marist lead. Beynnon drained back-to-back 3-pointers to extend Marist's lead to 19. The Griffs never got closer than 16 in the second half as Marist put the game away with runs of 13-3 and 13-0.
Beynnon scored a career-high 26 points on 10-for-12 shooting in 27 minutes. Leanne Ockenden also had a career high with 18 points. Natalie Gomez had nine assists in 19 minutes as Marist totaled 28 assists on 32 made baskets. The Red Foxes shot 55.2 percent from the floor and made 14 3-pointers in the game, shooting 48.3 percent from behind the arc.
Canisius continues its four-game homestand on Sunday when the Golden Griffins host Fairfield University in a Jesuit Basketball Spotlight contest. Game time in the KAC is set for 2 p.m.
Notes: Canisius lost in the KAC for the second time in the last nine home games... The Griffs fall to the Red Foxes for the eighth consecutive meeting overall and for the eighth straight year in the KAC... Canisius had 12 assists on 16 baskets (75 percent) and came into the game ranked third nationally on assisted basket percentage... Morabito and Ruttle each reached double digits for the 15th time this season.