RIVERDALE, N.Y. - Marist concludes its three-game road trip with a 4 p.m. matchup on Friday with Manhattan at Draddy Gymnasium, the site of the Red Foxes' lone MAAC loss in the past three seasons. The 48-44 Jaspers' victory last Feb. 4 ended Marist's 34 game winning streak against MAAC opponents, the second longest streak in MAAC history. Friday's game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN3 with Dean Darling and Phyllis Mangina providing the commentary. Fans can also listen to the game on the Red Fox Network as well as WKIP 1450 AM - Poughkeepsie with Geoff Brault giving the call. The pregame show will begin at 3:45.
- Friday is the third of three games this season the Red Foxes will be on the ESPN Family of Networks. Previously, Marist defeated Vermont in the season-opener and fell at #7/6 Kentucky, both on ESPN3. The Red Foxes will also host Niagara on ESPNU on Feb. 15.
- Marist is 9-0 this season and 24-1 in the past two seasons when scoring at least 60 points.
- The Red Foxes are looking to start 7-0 in the MAAC for the eighth consecutive season. Overall, Marist has won 16 straight conference games, including the postseason, dating back to last Feb. 4 at Manhattan.
- Marist is currently 40th in the NCAA RPI rankings. The next highest team from the MAAC is Fairfield at 104th.
- Sydney Coffey was named the MAAC Rookie of the Week for the second time this season following her performances at Canisius and Niagara.
- Kristina Danella is just 24 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.
- Junior Leanne Ockenden has already proven to be one of the best sharpshooters in Marist history. She is already in the top-10 at Marist for three-pointers made, currently tied for seventh all-time with Melissa Hauser at 119. She sits 11 behind Nancy Holbrook (130) for sixth. Jean-Marie Lesko holds the top spot on the chart with 249 made three-pointers.
SCOUTING THE JASPERS
Manhattan enters Friday at 5-12 overall and 2-4 in the MAAC. The Jaspers have won conference games against Saint Peter's and Loyola, while falling to Rider and Siena by seven points each, Iona (76-46) and Fairfield (76-50).
The Jaspers are led offensively by Monica Roeder who is their only player averaging double figures, scoring 11.7 PPG. Shayna Ericksen is second on the team with 9.2 PPG and leads Manhattan with 7.4 RPG and 33 steals and 18 blocks. Allison Skrec runs the point for the Jaspers, leading the way with 52 assists.
HISTORY LESSON - MARIST VS. MANHATTAN
This will be the 42nd meeting all-time between the Red Foxes and Jaspers, and first of two this season as Manhattan will visit Poughkeepsie in three weeks on Feb. 17.
Manhattan leads the all-time series 21-20 and is the only MAAC team to defeat the Red Foxes since the 2009-10 season. Head Coach Brian Giorgis is 17-5 against the Jaspers, including two wins in the MAAC Tournament in 2004 and 2007. Last season, Marist took the first matchup at McCann Arena by a 61-41 score before Manhattan won at Draddy Gymnasium, 48-44.
Last Time Out
Marist received a well-rounded team effort, defeating Niagara 71-51 on the road Sunday afternoon in a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) game.
Elizabeth Beynnon (Burlington, Vt.) finished with a game-high 17 points, leading three players in double figures.
Sydney Coffey (New Hope, Minn.) had a career-high 16 points including going a perfect 9-9 from the free throw line.
Emma O'Connor (Lynbrook, N.Y.) just missed her first career double-double, scoring 14 points and adding eight rebounds.
Casey Dulin (Milford, Conn.) had eight points to go along with five assists and four steals.
As a team, the Red Foxes were 23-24 (96%) from the free throw line and had 17 assists on 22 made field goals while only committing 10 turnovers. The defense had 10 steals and forced 18 Niagara turnovers.
NAILING THEIR FREE THROWS
After Marist's 96% effort from the free throw line on Sunday at Niagara, the Red Foxes rank fifth in the country in free-throw percentage (.793).
Even though she has only played at Marist for 1+ seasons, Danella already qualifies to rank first all-time in program history in free throw percentage, having gone 107-122 (.877).
After using eight different lineups all of last season, Head Coach Brian Giorgis has already used six different starting lineups this year.
Casey Dulin has started all but two games as she was not in the starting lineup versus Princeton due to back spasms and against Iona due to an excused absence from practice. 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 five and Sydney Coffey has made two starts.
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.
For the first few weeks of the season, Marist had been ranked in the top 10 of the CollegeInsider.com Mid Major poll, but have 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, are also ranked, sitting at #23 and #9, 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).