Marist-Michigan St. Preview
All season long, Marist takes its opponents’ best shots as the
dominant team in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.
Come March, the hunted play very well as the hunters, and the
Red Foxes look to add Michigan State as another upset victim in the
NCAA tournament when the teams meet Saturday at College Park,
Marist (26-6) won the MAAC for the eighth straight season to
make the field of 64 and is trying to win a first-round NCAA game
for the third straight year. The 12th-seeded Red Foxes reached the
round of 16 in 2007 as a 13 seed and nearly duplicated the feat
last season before suffering a close loss to St. Bonaventure in the
”We knew we have our hands full, but it’s kind of nice to take
off the bull’s-eye jacket and go and see if we can pull another
upset,” coach Brian Giorgis said. ”You get labeled that because
of what you’ve done in the past, and the nice part is we have some
players from that past who have been able to experience it,
especially in the last couple of years.”
The Red Foxes, who have won 21 straight games since a 78-56 loss
at then-No. 7 Kentucky on Dec. 30, are led by forward Elizabeth
Beynnon, who averages 12.2 points. Marist enters this game 18th in
the nation in scoring defense at 52.3 points per game allowed and
has held 12 of its last 13 opponents to 50 or fewer points.
Fifth-seeded Michigan State (24-8) is also looking to rekindle
some NCAA tournament history of its own, trying to advance to the
second round for the eighth time in its last nine appearances. The
Spartans had their first-round win streak snapped last year at this
venue, losing 67-55 to Louisville.
“Getting back here is a new beginning,” said Michigan State
forward Jasmine Thomas, who is second on the team averaging 10.4
points and 5.3 rebounds.
Klarissa Bell leads the Spartans offensively with 11.1 points
and 5.9 rebounds per game. Like Marist, Michigan State also excels
on the defensive end, yielding 51.6 points per game while holding
opponents to 36.1 percent shooting overall and 26.7 percent from
“We are well aware of what they have been able to accomplish in
the past,” Michigan State forward Courtney Schiffauer said. ”They
are a great team and they always do well in the first couple rounds
of the tournament.”
The Spartans are shooting only 40.4 percent for the season but
led the Big Ten in rebounding margin with a plus-7.6 differential.
The Red Foxes have been outrebounded by 2.2 per game, with
opponents averaging 12.7 offensive boards.
The winner of this game will play the winner of fourth-seeded
Maryland and No. 13 seed Quinnipiac in the second round on