Canisius Visits McCann Arena For MAAC Women's Basketball Matchup
POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. - Marist plays host to Canisius Friday night at McCann Arena in a 7 p.m. matchup. Friday is Friends of Jaclyn night at McCann Arena. Friends of Jaclyn pairs collegiate and high school teams to adopt a child who is dealing with pediatric brain tumors. On Friday, the Red Foxes will recognize Jaclyn, who is a freshman at Marist, as well as Nina Triplo, whom the women's basketball team adopted back in 2010. Fans can watch and listen to the game on the Red Fox Network as well as on the radio on WKIP 1450 AM - Poughkeepsie. Geoff Brault will be providing play-by-play alongside color analyst Kristy Nix. The pregame show will begin at 6:45.
SCOUTING THE GOLDEN GRIFFINS
Canisius enters Friday's game with a 8-11 overall record and a 5-3 mark in the MAAC. The Golden Griffins have conference wins over Loyola, Siena and Saint Peter's and have twice beaten Rider.
The Golden Griffins are led offensively by Ashley Durham who is their only player in double figures, averaging 11.1 PPG. Ashley Wilkes is the team's leading rebounder, grabbing 6.7 RPG while also blocking 1.2 shots per game. Tiahana Mills dishes out 3.1 assists per game. Jen Morabito is the Griffs' three-point threat, hitting 38.8% (31-80) of her shots from beyond the arc.
HISTORY LESSON - MARIST VS. CANISIUS
This will be the 40th meeting all-time between the Red Foxes and Golden Griffins and the second one of this season. Two weeks ago in Buffalo, Marist took a 51-41 decision. Freshman Sydney Coffey finished one rebound shy of her first career double-double, finishing with 12 points and nine rebounds as Marist held Canisius to just nine first half points. Elizabeth Beynnon had a team-high 14 points and Casey Dulin was also in double figures with 12 points, shooting 8-11 from the free throw line.
Overall, the Red Foxes have won the past nine meetings going back to the 2008-09 season including a 78-65 victory in the 2009 MAAC Championship game. Las season, Marist won both matchups, 69-57 at home, and and 81-52 rout on the road. Canisius is the last team to beat the Red Foxes in the MAAC Tournament, defeating Marist 60-59 in the 2005 MAAC Championship game.
Last Time Out
Marist used a timely defense and a strong, balanced offensive attack, with five players registering in double figures, to come away with a hard-fought 75-64 win over Siena Monday night at McCann Arena.
Kristina Danella (Manalapan, N.J.) led the Red Foxes with 17 points, including going 8-8 from the free throw line for the second time in eight days, and tied for the team lead with five rebounds.
Leanne Ockenden (Syracuse, N.Y.) finished with 13 points, going 3-6 from three point range, had five rebounds and tied her career-high with five steals - the fourth time she has met that total this year.
Sydney Coffey (New Hope, Minn.) was also in double figures with 10 points.
NAILING THEIR FREE THROWS
After Marist's 96% effort from the free throw line on Jan. 20 at Niagara, the Red Foxes rank fifth in the country in free-throw percentage (.788).
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 119-135 (.881).
STRONG TO THE BASKET
Marist has gone to the charity stripe 28 times (1.5/game) this year with the opportunity to complete a three-point play and have completed 21 of those chances.
Elizabeth Beynnon leads the way with eight "And One" opportunites, completing the task six times. Sydney Coffey is a perfect 6-6 and Casey Dulin and Kristina Danella have each converted four and three three-point plays, respectively. Emma O'Connor is also 2-2 on the season.
Last season, in 34 games, the Red Foxes went 33-45 in these situations, attempting 1.3 three-point plays per game.
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 did not start 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 seven 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
Marist had been ranked in the top 10 of the CollegeInsider.com Mid Major poll, but had into the lower teens for the past few weeks. After this past weekend, Marist jumped back up to #10. 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 #5, who Marist defeated 56-45 on Nov. 17 in Poughkeepsie when the Tigers were ranked 4th. Boston University, who beat the Red Foxes, are also ranked, sitting at #11. Marist also fell to Hartford, while defeating Hofstra , who both sit just outside the Top-25, and have been in and out of the rankings.
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).