Women's Basketball Travels To Iona Thursday For MAAC Showdown
NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. - Marist continues its three-game road stretch with a 4:30 game Thursday afternoon at Iona. The game is the first half of a doubleheader that will also feature the Iona and Marist men's teams in a 7 p.m. matchup. Fans can watch the game on the Red Fox Network via MAAC.TV as well as listen 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 4:15 PM.
SCOUTING THE GAELS
Iona enters Thursday's game with an 11-10 overall record and a 6-4 mark in the MAAC, currently sitting in third place behind Marist and Fairfield. In their most recent outing, the Gaels went to second-place Fairfield and trounced the Stags by a 62-47 score.
The Gaels are led offensively by the 2011 MAAC Rookie of the Year Damika Martinez who leads the MAAC this year with an average of 16.6 PPG, including hitting 39.8% (41-103) of her shots from three-point range. She is complemented by freshman Joy Adams who is also in double figures with 13.1 PPG and is second in the conference with 9.5 RPG. Adams also leads the MAAC with a .502 (116-231) shooting percentage. Sabrina Jeridore is 10th in the country with 62 blocks on the season, an average of 3.0 rejections per game. As a team, Iona leads the MAAC scoring 63.1 points per game and are the best three-point shooting team in the conference, making 35.1% of their shots from beyond the arc.
HISTORY LESSON - MARIST VS. IONA
This will be the 40th meeting all-time between the Red Foxes and Gaels and the second matchup of this season. Back on Jan. 13, Marist defeated Iona 69-55 in Poughkeepsie on the back of four players scoring in double figures, including a season-high 12 points from Kristine Best.
Marist leads the all-time series 30-9 and Head Coach Brian Giorgis is a perfect 25-0 in his career against Iona, including victories in the 2007 and 2008 MAAC Championship Games. The Red Foxes have won the past 27 meetings going back to the 2000-01 season. Last year, Marist won both regular season games, 73-61 in New Rochelle and 79-65 at home at home on Senior Day.
Last Time Out
The Marist women's basketball team had nine players score Sunday, pulling away for a 68-49 win over Saint Peter's in a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) game.
Kristina Danella (Manalapan, N.J.) and Sydney Coffey (New Hope, Minn.) tied for the team-high honors in scoring as both came off the bench to score 13 points. Danella was 8-10 from the free throw line while Coffey was 4-7 from the field.
Emma O'Connor (Lynbrook, N.Y.) was also in double figures with 12 points.
Leanne Ockenden (Syracuse, N.Y.) finished with nine points while registering five steals on the defensive end, tying her career-high for the fourth time this season.
Casey Dulin (Milford, Conn.) had seven points and a team-high eight rebounds, tying her own personal best.
NAILING THEIR FREE THROWS
After Marist's 96% (23-24) effort from the free throw line on Jan. 20 at Niagara, the Red Foxes rank fifth in the country in free-throw percentage (.787).
Three players sit in or just outside the top-100 in the country for individual free throw percentage. Kristina Danella (85.2%) sits 29th, Casey Dulin (82.9%) is 57th and Sydney Coffey (80.0%) is 103rd.
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 129-147 (.878).
STRONG TO THE BASKET
Marist has gone to the charity stripe 29 times (1.4/game) this year with the opportunity to complete a three-point play and have completed 22 of those chances.
Elizabeth Beynnon leads the way with eight "And One" opportunities, completing the task six times. Sydney Coffey is a perfect 7-7 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 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. Kristine Best has also made nine starts, Kristina Danella has made three, and Sydney Coffey has made two.
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 fallen into the lower teens for the past few weeks. However, Marist has 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 #4, 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 (25), while defeating Hofstra, who sits 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).