POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. – Brandy Gang matched her career-high with 19 points and No. 24 Marist routed Manhattan 60-42 on Friday night for its 20th straight victory.
The Red Foxes blew out the Jaspers in front of former star Rachele Fitz, who became the first women's basketball player in school history to have her jersey retired.
A three-time MAAC player of the year, Fitz finished her career as Marist's all-time scoring (2,447) and rebounding (1,066) leader. She helped lead Marist to its first two NCAA tournament victories as a freshman with the team's incredible run to the regional semifinals. The team had a 116-21 record during her career.
The Red Foxes (24-2, 15-0 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) scored 22 of the game's first 26 points to take early command and coasted the rest of the way.
Monica Roeder scored 14 points to lead Manhattan (19-7, 11-4).
Marist has the second-longest winning streak in the country, trailing only No. 1 Baylor, which has won 21 straight games. The Red Foxes are just two wins shy of tying the school record of 22 consecutive victories set in the 2007-08 season.
Manhattan is having its own stellar season, winning 11 of its last 13 games — with the lone losses during that run coming against Marist. Even with Friday's defeat, Manhattan already has set a school record for regular-season wins.
The Jaspers' stingy defense led the country in scoring defense coming into the game, allowing a paltry 49.4 points.
Marist had no problems scoring against Manhattan, almost equaling the Jaspers' average by the end of the first half. Gang's jumper midway through the second half gave Marist 50 points.
The Red Foxes are equally strong on defense, coming into the game tied for fourth in the country by allowing just 50.3 points.
Before the near sellout crowd had settled in, Marist had forced Manhattan into five turnovers and five missed shots as the Red Foxes jumped out to a 15-3 lead. Gang, who took over for Fitz in the starting lineup this season, got the run started with a 3-pointer 10 seconds in, and Kate Oliver's 3 made it a 12-point game less than 4 minutes later.
The onslaught continued as the Red Foxes extended their advantage to 28-8 on back-to-back 3-pointers by Leanne Ockenden and Erica Allenspach. Marist led 39-16 at the half.
Gang had 14 points by the break and finished 8 for 9 from the field — matching her career total.
Marist extended its lead to as many as 29 points in the second half.