POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. - Marist plays its final home game in 2012 as it hosts the Boston University Terriers of America East Saturday night at 7 p.m. in McCann Arena. With a win, the Red Foxes will finish undefeated at home in non-conference play for the first time since the 2006-07 season when Marist went a perfect 12-0 in Poughkeepsie for the entire season. Overall, Marist is 105-13 (.890) over the past nine-plus season when playing at McCann, including four one-loss seasons.
Last Time Out
For the second straight game against a top-15 opponent, Emma O'Connor (Lynbrook, N.Y.) scored 18 points, but it was not enough as Marist fell short of their upset bid at 12th-ranked Oklahoma, 68-55, on Sunday afternoon.
O'Connor, who tied her personal best in scoring that she set just nine days ago against second-ranked Connecticut, played a career-high 38 minutes on Sunday, adding five rebounds and two steals.
Elizabeth Beynnon (Burlington, Vt.) had 13 points in 35 minutes and Leanne Ockenden (Syracuse, N.Y.) was also in double figures with 10 points and also contributed a team-high six rebounds in 37 minutes of action.
Natalie Gomez (Andover, Mass.) played a career-high 34 minutes and had a personal best six steals.
The 68 points tied a season-low for Oklahoma, who came in averaging 80 points-per-game, and their 42% from the field and 26% from three-point range were both well below their season average.
SCOUTING THE TERRIERS
Boston University enters the game at 6-3 on the season and has won its past three games, including a home victory over #16/17 St. John's on Friday, Dec. 1, 66-49. The Terriers are currently ranked 21st in the CollegeInsider Mid-Major poll, the same poll in which Marist is ranked eighth.
The Terriers are led by the 2012 America East Player of the Year Chanell Alford who comes in averaging 19.1 PPG. She is complemented offensively by Mo Moran (10.8 PPG) and Rashidat Agboola (9.9 PPG). Agboola also leads in the team in rebounding grabbing 9.2 RPG. Whitney Turner averages 6.8 RPG and is in the top-20 in the country with 23 blocks on the season. Alford ranks third in the country with 3.63 three-point field goals per game while the Terriers as a team are third with 9.0 three-pointers per game. Moran is also fifth in the nation averaging 7.3 assists per gane.
HISTORY LESSON - MARIST VS. BOSTON UNIVERSITY
Saturday will be the ninth meeting between these two teams, with the series tied at four wins apiece.
Marist had won three straight meetings before falling 49-36 last season in Boston.
In last season's contest, Kristina Danella (Manalapan, N.J.) led the Red Foxes with 12 points. Corielle Yarde (Reading, Pa.) had nine points and 11 rebounds. Yarde also added a team-high three blocks and Danella had two to go along with four steals as Marist played well defensively as a team with eight blocks and ten thefts. It was the second-lowest scoring total for Marist under Head Coach Brian Giorgis as the Red Foxes shot just 20% from the field.
MARIST VS. AMERICA EAST
Saturday is the last of three regular season games for the Red Foxes against opponents from America East. Marist defeated Vermont, voted fourth in the America East preseason poll, at home in the season-opener before falling at Hartford on Nov. 13.
The Red Foxes are 20-12 all-time, including this year's two matchups, against the current members of America East. Besides for the three teams on this year's schedule, they have also beaten Albany, New Hampshire and Stony Brook. Marist has have never faced three teams out of the conference: Binghamton, Maine and UMBC.
MUCH DESERVED CONTRACT EXTENSION
Murray on contract: "Brian has established our program as a consistent Top-40 team in the country. I'm thrilled with the idea of him spending his entire collegiate coaching career here at Marist. He's a special coach, and a special person. And I am excited that he will provide the Hudson River Valley excellent women's college basketball for many years."
Giorgis on contract: "I can't thank Marist College enough for offering me this extension and having the faith in me to lead this program into the next decade. We may not be a BCS program, but the support by both the administration and community is comparable or better than any BCS program in the country. I am truly humbled and appreciative of what Marist College has done for me during my tenure here and I thank God every day for bringing me here to Marist to be a part of this special community. I am truly blessed."
Marist is 1-16 all-time versus ranked opponents when the matchup has come during the regular season.
After not playing a ranked opponent in for the past two seasons, the Red Foxes have already played three top-25 teams this year, falling to #14/12 Purdue (71-50), #2 UConn (81-39) and #12 Oklahoma (68-55).
Their one win however came in their last game prior to this season when they beat #21 Nebraska 63-60 in the 2009-2010 season.
After using eight different lineups all of last season, Head Coach Brian Giorgis has already used four different starting lineups this year.
Casey Dulin has started all but one game as she was not in the starting five versus Princeton due to back spasms. Natalie Gomez has started each game but the first two as the point. Kristina Danella, Kristine Best and Sydney Coffey have all also made one start.
Coffey made her first career start in just her third career game, becoming the fastest player to join the starting lineup in Giorgis' tenure.
RANKED AMONGST THE MID-MAJORS
After receiving one vote in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Preseason Poll, the Red Foxes moved up to as many as seven votes after the first weekend of games.
Marist has been ranked all season in the top 10 of the CollegeInsider.com Mid Major poll. The Red Foxes currently sit at #8. They have reached as high as #7, and are the only team from the MAAC in the Top-25.
Also making the list is Princeton at #7, who Marist defeated 56-45 on Nov. 17 in Poughkeepsie when the Tigers were ranked 4th. Hartford, who beat Marist in the second game of the season, is right behind the Red Foxes at #10. Marist also defeated Hofstra, who sits just outside the Top-25, on Wednesday 85-70. Boston University, who comes to McCann Arena on Saturday, Dec. 8, sits at #21.
Beynnon has proven to be an accurate shooter in her two seasons as a starter. After finishing second in the MAAC last season with a .486 field goal percentage, Beynnon is shooting at a .459 clip so far this season. She holds two of the top-ten spots for single game field goal percentage in Marist history. Against Wake Forest on 11/24, Beynnon hit an incredibe eight of nine (.889) shots from the field, good for a tie for fourth all-time. She knocked herself down a peg as last year, when she was known as Kelsey, she shot 10-12 (.833) from the field versus Canisius on Feb. 17 which is now tied for 9th all-time.
O'CONNOR FINDING HER STRIDE
After never reaching double digits in scoring in her first two-plus seasons, O'Connor has scored at least 10 points in four of Marist's past five games. That includes a career-high 18 points against #2 UConn on Nov. 23, which she also tied on Dec. 2 at #12 Oklahoma. She has already surpassed her scoring total from last season.
OCKENDEN ALREADY INTO THE BOOKS
With her four three-pointers against Hofstra, Ockenden put herself into the Yop-10 all-time at Marist for three-pointers made. She currently sits at 108 for her career, putting her ninth all-time at Marist. She sits 8 treys behind Nina Vecchio (116) for eighth. Jean-Marie Lesko holds the top spot on the chart with 249 made three-pointers.
TALE OF TWO DULINS
After shooting .286 in the Red Foxes first five games, Dulin has gone 13-27 (.481) the past three games, upping her field goal percentage to .396 on the season. She has also recorded 12 assists while committing only five turnovers in those three games, in which the Red Foxes have averaged 73.6 points. In her first five games, Dulin only had eight asists and committed 19 turnovers.
DANELLA OFF THE BENCH
After starting the first game this season, Danella, a fifth-year senior, has proven to be even more valuable off the bench. She leads the team in rebounding (4.4 RPG) and is second on the team in three-pointers made (11) while averaging 18.8 minutes per game.
EARLY MORNING COFFEY
Following her performance on Nov. 17 versus Princeton, in just her third carere game, freshman Sydney Coffey was named the MAAC Rookie of the Week.
On defense, Coffey was in charge of covering 2012 All-American Niveen Rasheed and held her to just 3-17 shooting for the game and forced her into five turnovers. Offensively, Coffey scored 13 points for the Red Foxes while more than doubling her previous career-high with 31 minutes.
It was the first weekly award of Coffey's young career and first on the season for the Red Foxes.
THE BIG 5-0-0
With the first two wins of this season, 66-45 over Vermont and 56-45 over Princeton. the Marist women's basketball program now stands at 500 wins since becoming a Division I program in the 1981-1982 season
Of those 500 wins, 253 belong to Giorgis.
ALL TO FAMILIAR AT 1-1
This season marks the third straight year, and eighth time in Head Coach Brian Giorgis' 11-year career, that the Red Foxes have started off with a 1-1 record.
FIVE NAMED PRESEASON ALL-MAAC
On Thursday, Nov. 1, the Red Foxes had a league-high five players named to the 2012 All-Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC).
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 and is now up for MAAC Preseason Player of the Year, which will be announced during Friday's Award Show.
Senior forward Elizabeth Beynnon (Burlington, Vt.) was selected to the Second Team.
Giorgis on his three captains: "I am very happy that we have three members of our team that are capable of being quality leaders," Giorgis said. "Elizabeth, Casey and Leanne all started for us last year and were a big reason for our success. We will count on their veteran leadership this season both on and off the court to lead us in our challenging upcoming season."
MARIST SELECTED TO FINISH FIRST
For the sixth consecutive season, the Red Foxes were picked to finish first in the MAAC Preseason Coaches' Poll, announced Friday at the MAAC Preseason Awards Show which was held at McCann Arena and aired on ESPN3.
Marist was the unanimous choice, with all 10 of the first-place votes.
YET ANOTHER TOUGH SCHEDULE
The Red Foxes continue their recent trend of playing some of the nation's best competition in the non-conference portion of their schedule.
This season's slate featuring teams from five of the six power conferences and five of the 11 teams played in last year's NCAA Tournament while four others participated in the Women's National Invitation Tournament (WNIT).
Included in the non-conference schedule are four teams that are ranked in the top 20 of the USA Today/ESPN Coaches' Poll. Leading that group is the University of Connecticut (#2), followed by Kentucky (#7), Oklahoma ((#14) and Purdue (#18).