EDISON, N.J. - The Marist women's basketball team had a league-high five players named to the 2012 All-Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Preseason Teams on Thursday, as announced by the conference. This is the sixth consecutive year the Red Foxes had three or more players selected to be on the Pre-Season All-MAAC teams.
Junior guard Leanne Ockenden (Syracuse, N.Y.) was named to the First Team while senior forward Elizabeth Beynnon (Burlington, Vt.) was the Red Foxes' lone member on the Second Team. Junior guard Casey Dulin (Milford. Conn.), redshirt sophomore forward Tori Jarosz (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.) and redshirt senior Kristina Danella (Manalapan, N.J.) were all named to the Third Team.
Ockenden's selection to the First Team, which puts her in the running to be named the Preseason Player of the Year, comes after she was named to the All-MAAC Third Team following last season. She is the Red Foxes best three-point threat, leading the team with 60 made field goals from beyond the arc last season, while taking the most attempts (178) in the MAAC. She finished fourth on the team in scoring, with 8.8 points per game and third with a .434 field goal percentage. She repeatedly drew the toughest assignments on the defensive end, shutting down opponent's leading scorers, and was second on the team with 54 steals, an average of 1.6 per game. Ockenden set a career high with 18 points in a contest at Canisius on Feb. 17 and hit a personal-best five three-pointers against Iona.
Beynnon enjoyed a breakout year in her junior season. Setting career highs in nearly every statistical category including points per game (8.6), her 137 rebounds and 15 blocked shots ranked third on the Red Foxes while she was fourth on the team with 38 steals. Her .486 field goal percentage was good for third in the MAAC. She set a career-high with 26 points on 10-12 shooting from the field and 4-5 from beyond the three-point arc at Canisius on Feb. 17, earning her MAAC Player of the Week honors. Beynnon had arguably her best performance in the MAAC Semifinals, recording her first career first double-double with 23 points and a career-high 16 rebounds to help Marist avoid an upset versus Niagara. That performace led to her being named to the All-tournament Team.
Dulin jumped into the spotlight last year when she took over the starting point guard role after Kristine Best (Commack, N.Y.) went down with a season-ending injury. Dulin went on to lead the Red Foxes with 1.9 steals per game while finishing third on the team in scoring with 9.4 points per game while averaging 3.0 assists per game. She was also second on the team, grabbing 4.1 rebounds per game and shot 80% (100-125) from the free-throw line. In the MAAC Quarterfinals versus Saint Peter's, she established a career-high with 20 points and was later named to the All-Tournament Team.
Danella was a key player off the bench last season for the Red Foxes while also making six spot starts. She shot 28-73 from behind the three point line, good for a team-high .384 percentage. She also led the Red Foxes from the charity strike shooting an impressive 90.9% (60-66). She averaged 6.5 points per game and 3.4 rebounds per game for the whole season, but those numbers inflated to an average 11.5 points and 5.0 rebounds in games in which she started.
Jarosz was selected to the Third Team preseason despite not playing a regular season game with the Red Foxes. The transfer from Vanderbilt, who had to sit out last season per NCAA rules, showed her skills in Red Foxes Red/White opening scrimmage. Unofficially, Jarosz led all scorers with 30 points and controlled the glass with seven rebounds.
The Red Foxes will open their season versus Vermont on Friday, Nov. 9 at 6 p.m. in McCann Arena. The contest will be aired on ESPN3. The MAAC Preseason Awards Shows will also be hosted that day from McCann Arena. The Coaches' Preseason Poll will be announced along with the Preseason Player of the Year, and the Red Foxes will raise their MAAC Championship banner in a pregame ceremony.
Katie Sheahin, Loyola
Lily Grenci, Siena
Damika Martinez, Iona
Kayla Stroman, Niagara.
Leanne Ockenden, Marist
Jamie Ruttle, Canisius
MyNeshia McKenzie, Rider
Elizabeth Beynnon, Marist
Kara Marshall, Loyola
Monica Roeder, Manhattan
Lauren Gatto, Niagara
Katelyn Linney, Fairfield
Casey Dulin, Marist
Caitlin Bopp, Rider
Aleesha Powell, Iona
Tori Jarosz, Marist
Kristina Danella, Marist
Visit GoRedFoxes.com to purchase season tickets for the 2012-13 basketball season. The Marist Ticket Office can be reached at (845) 575-3553.