POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. - Marist continues its home-stand with the second of three straight games at McCann Arena when it hosts Loyola at 7 p.m. on Friday night. All Christian Youth Organization (CYO) players who wear their jerseys to the game will receive a free ticket. The game can be heard on the Red Fox Network as well as WKIP 1450 AM with Geoff Brault on play-by-play and Kristy Nix providing color commentary. A live webstream is also available via subscription on The Red Fox Network.
- Marist is 6-0 this season and 21-1 in the past two seasons when scoring at least 60 points.
- The Red Foxes have won 30 consecutive home games against MAAC opponents dating back to the 2008-09 season. Overall, Marist is 81-10 in conference home games under Brian Giorgis, with five of those losses coming in his first season in 2002-03.
- Marist is currently 48th in the first NCAA RPI rankings of the 2012-13 season. The next highest team from the MAAC is Iona at 139th.
- As a team, Marist is eighth in the country in free-throw percentage (.780).
- Kristina Danella is just 46 points away from reach 1,000 for her career. The first 616 of her points came in her freshman and sophomore seasons when she was at UMass.
- Emma O'Connor has already nearly doubled her offensive output from a year ago, when she only scored 60 points. She has scored at least 10 points in six of her past eight starts including a career-high 18 points against #2 UConn on Nov. 23 and on Dec. 2 at #12 Oklahoma.
- Junior Leanne Ockenden has already proven to be one of the best sharpshooters in Marist history. She is alredady in the top-10at Marist for three-pointers made, currently sittiing at eighth all-time with 117. She sits three behind Melissa Hauser (117) for seventh. Jean-Marie Lesko holds the top spot on the chart with 249 made three-pointers.
SCOUTING THE GREYHOUNDS
Loyola enters Friday's game with a 6-7 overall record and a 1-1 mark in the MAAC. The Greyhounds, who were picked to finish third in the conference preseason poll, fell at Fairfield last Friday before defeating winless Saint Peter's at home on Sunday.
The Greyhounds are led by the MAAC Preseason Player of the Year Katie Sheahin who is second in the MAAC with an average of 15.4 PPG. Sheahin is also second in the conference with 3.5 assists per game and fifth in steals with 2.3 per game. She also leads Loyola, grabbing 5.2 RPG. Forward Alyssa Sutherland is second on the team with a7.7 PPG while shooting at a .453 clip. Nneka Offodile has a team-high 12 blocks on the season.
HISTORY LESSON - MARIST VS. LOYOLA
This will be the 43rd meeting all-time between the Red Foxes and Greyhounds and the first of two scheduled matchups this season. Marist will travel to Baltimore on Feb. 24.
Marist leads the all-time series 30-12 and Head Coach Brian Giorgis is 21-3 in his career against the Greyhounds including victories in the 2003 MAAC Semifinals and the 2006 and 2011 MAAC Championship. The Red Foxes have won the past 12 meetings going back to the 2006-07 season. Last year, Marist won both regular season games, 70-62 at McCann Arena and 67-60 on the road.
This will be the final visit to Poughkeepsie for Loyola as a member of the MAAC. The school announced earlier this fall that, following the 2012-13 academic year, all athletic programs will become affiliated with the Patriot League.
Last Time Out
Led by 16 points off the bench by Kristina Danella (Manalapan, N.J.), the Marist women's basketball team held off a late Fairfield charge for a 61-56 win Sunday afternoon in a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) game at McCann Arena. Marist moved over .500 with the win and improved to 2-0 on the MAAC.
Danella, who was a perfect 7-7 from the free throw line, also had four rebounds and a block and two steals on the defensive end.
Emma O'Connor (Lynbrook, N.Y.) joined Danella in double figures with 12 points, shooting 4-6 from the field and 3-4 from beyond the three-point arc.
Ockenden finished with nine points as did freshman Sidney Coffey (New Hope, Minn.).
As a team, Marist had 13 steals while forcing 20 Fairfield turnovers.
After using eight different lineups all of last season, Head Coach Brian Giorgis has already used five 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. Emma O'Connor has not started the past two games due to a wrist injury. Natalie Gomez started 10 consecutive games from Nov. 17 through Jan. 4. Kristina Danella has also made three starts, Kristine Best has made two and Sydney Coffey has 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, but has dropped to #13 in this week's poll. The Red Foxes have reached as high as sixth and are the only team from the MAAC in the Top-25.
Also making the list is Princeton at #8, who Marist defeated 56-45 on Nov. 17 in Poughkeepsie when the Tigers were ranked 4th. Hartford and Boston University, who have both beaten the Red Foxes, sit just ahead of Marist at #9 and #10, respectively. Marist also defeated Hofstra, who sits just outside the Top-25 and has been in and out of the rankings, on Nov. 28, 85-70.
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."
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 TOO FAMILIAR
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.
Also for the second straight year, Marist finished non-conference play under .500 with a 5-6 record. Last year, the Red Foxes went on to win 20 of their next 21 to claim their seventh straight MAAC Championship.
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' Preseason Poll. Leading that group is the University of Connecticut (#2), followed by Kentucky (#7), Oklahoma ((#14) and Purdue (#18).