Women's Basketball Hosts Manhattan Sunday In Play 4Kay Breast Cancer Awareness Game
POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. - Marist plays its second of three straight home games Sunday afternoon when Manhattan visits McCann Arena for a 2 p.m. game. It is the annual Play 4Kay Breast Cancer Awareness Game and Marist will be wearing pink uniforms to honor the fight against the disease. Fans can watch the game on the Red Fox Network and listen on the radio on WKIP 1450 AM - Poughkeepsie. Geoff Brault will be providing play-by-play and Kristy Nix will be the color analyst. The pregame show will begin at 1:45 PM.
SCOUTING THE JASPERS
Manhattan enters Friday at 6-18 overall and 3-10 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 12.0 PPG. Toni-Ann Lawrence is second on the team with 9.2 PPG and Shayna Ericksen leads Manhattan with 6.9 RPG and 21 blocks. Allison Skrec runs the point for the Jaspers, leading the MAAC with 92 assists.
HISTORY LESSON - MARIST VS. MANHATTAN
This will be the 43rd meeting all-time between the Red Foxes and Jaspers, and second of this season. Back on Jan. 25, Emma O'Connor set a new career-high with 20 points as Marist eased to 60-39 win. Marist shot 52% (13-25) from the field in the second half and had 18 assists on 20 made field goals overall. The defense held Manhattan to 31.3% shooting from the field, including just 28% in the second half while forcing 25 turnovers for the third time this season.
The all-time series is even at 21 wins apiece. Manhattan 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 used a 17-0 run during the first ten minutes of the game and ran away with a 68-41 victory Friday night in a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) game at McCann Arena. The game was broadcast nationally on ESPNU.
Kristina Danella scored a game-high 16 points off the bench, 12 of which came in the second half, and was a perfect 3-3 from three-point range.
Leanne Ockenden finished with 14 points, including four three-pointers in the first half.
Emma O'Connor (Lynbrook, N.Y) was also in double figures with 10 points while making a career-high five steals.
Marist had 18 assists to only 10 turnovers while making 13 steals and forcing 20 Niagara turnovers.
NAILING THEIR FREE THROWS
After Marist's 96% (23-24) effort from the free throw line on Jan. 20 at Niagara, and Sunday's 91.7% (11-12) performance, the Red Foxes rank third 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 31st, Casey Dulin (81.9%) is 70th and Sydney Coffey (79.7%) is 114th.
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 134-152 (.882).
STRONG TO THE BASKET
Marist has gone to the charity stripe 32 times (1.3/game) this year with the opportunity to complete a three-point play and have completed 24 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 such opportunities. Emma O'Connor is also 3-4 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, but Kristine Best has started 11 of the past 12 games at the point guard position. Kristina Danella has also made three starts, 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 #9 this week. 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 #6, 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 #12. 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).