Men’s Basketball Supports LGBTQ+ Community on Pride Night

Last Thursday, members of the Poughkeepsie community came together to support the LGBTQ+ community at Pride Night during Marist’s home basketball game against Iona.

Justin Corcoran, the academic advisor of Student Athlete Enhancement, described Pride Night as a collaboration between the Center for Student Athlete Enhancement and the LGBTQ+ Sub-Committee of the Diversity Council, as well as the on-campus group Fox Pride.

“The idea behind it was a message of inclusion,” Corcoran said, “but really it comes down to the idea of visibility.” The men’s team ran through their warm-ups donning shirts with the phrase “Marist Ally”, and President Yellen gave a quick speech before the game began. There were also tables at both entrances at which fans could write their signatures and pledge to be an ally, and to respect people of all races, genders, and sexual orientations.

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“We want to show that we support student athletes of all backgrounds,” Corcoran said. Corcoran is also involved in Athlete Ally, a national organization that promotes equality for student athletes of all backgrounds. Marist recently launched its own chapter of Athlete Ally, and while it is still in its infancy, the organization plans to gain prominence through workshops and events like Pride Night.

Marist’s first Pride Night was held last February during a men’s basketball game against Iona (7-13, 5-4 MAAC). While Marist (8-13, 3-6 MAAC) fell to their divisional rivals in that matchup, the outcome of this game was far different. The Red Foxes dominated the floor for most of the game; they led the Gaels by 14 points at halftime. Iona managed to trim the Red Fox lead down to single digits as the second half came to a close. Rickey McGill was able to knock down two crucial free throws, and a clutch three-pointer from Ben Perez cut the Gaels’ deficit to just two points. However, Iona’s scoring run came too late, and they did not have enough time to build a lead from their late-game momentum. In the end, the scoreboard read 78-74, and Marist walked away with their eighth victory of the season. 

Marist held the lead for the entire second half, and they were able to secure a victory through solid team play and accurate shooting. While Isaiah Lamb led the team in scoring with 15 points, four other Red Foxes were able to put up double-digits in the scoring column. Darius Hines and Aleksandar Dozic both scored 14 points, and Ryan Funk put up 11 points, six of which came from the free-throw line. The Red Foxes also shot a remarkable 45 percent from beyond the three-point line. Their accuracy from the field made up for their shaky ball security. Marist turned the ball over 16 times, and they allowed Iona to score 23 points off of turnovers. 

This was Marist’s first home victory against Iona since 2008. “We’re really happy,” Marist head coach John Dunne said. “It’s been a while since we’ve beaten Iona here, so I’m really proud of the guys.” Marist will host the Fairfield Stags this Saturday, and Dunne wants promote strong team play in the team’s next outing. 

“We’re understanding it takes all of us to win, whether you start, finish, come off the bench,” he said. “Hopefully we can improve upon this on Saturday.”