Rider Visits McCann Arena For Friday's White-Out Pack The House
POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. - Marist plays its third straight home game Friday night when Rider makes its annual visit to McCann Arena for a 7 p.m. game. It is the annual Pack the House promotional game with this year's theme being a White Out. While it is no longer an NCAA-sanctioned promotion, Marist is looking to continue the success that led the department to being crowned National Champions in 2011. 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 6:45 PM.
SCOUTING THE BRONCS
Rider enters Friday with a 13-12 overall record and 8-6 mark in the MAAC. The Broncs have won their past two games and six of their past eight. They are a rarity, with eight of their 13 wins coming away from their home court.
The Broncs are led by MyNeshia McKenzie and Sironda Chambers who come in averaging 13.9 PPG and 13.1 PPG, respectively, ranking fifth and seventh in the MAAC. McKenzie also ranks second in the conference in rebounding, collecting 9.6 boards per game and Caitlin Bopp is fourth with 8.5 RPG. Bopp also nearly averages 2 blocks per game, having registered 47 so far on the season.
HISTORY LESSON - MARIST VS. RIDER
This will be the 48th meeting all-time between the Red Foxes and Broncs, and second of this season. Back on Jan. 4, in the first MAAC game of the season for both teams, Leanne Ockenden tied her career-high with 18 points, going 4-4 from three-point range and leading three players in double figures in scoring as Marist defeated Rider 62-47 in Lawrenceville.
Marist leads the all-time series 34-13 and Head Coach Brian Giorgis is 20-1 in his career against the Broncs. The Red Foxes have won the past 19 meetings going back to Giorgis' first season back in 2002-03. Last season, Marist won both games, 82-56 at Rider, and 76-54 in McCann.
LAST TIME OUT
Marist clinched at least a share of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) regular season championship and the top seed at next month's MAAC Championships with a 66-47 win Sunday afternoon at McCann Arena.
The regular season title is the 10th straight for Marist.
Four Red Foxes were in double figures in scoring, led by freshmen Sydney Coffey who finished with a team-high 14 points and added two assists and two blocks while making her third career start.
Casey Dulin and Elizabeth Beynnon (Burlington, Vt.) both scored 11 points, while Dulin tied her personal best with three three-pointers.
Leanne Ockenden (Syracuse, N.Y.) had 10 points while registering team-highs with seven rebounds and six assists. She also had three steals and tied a career-high with three blocks.
As a team, Marist had 18 assists while only making nine 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).
Two players sit in the top-100 in the country for individual free throw percentage. Kristina Danella (85.6%) sits 30th and Sydney Coffey (79.7%) is 99th.
Casey Dulin (82.4%) is two free throws shy of qualifying for the minimum requirement. If she were to qualify, she would be sitting at 64th.
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 137-156 (.878).
STRONG TO THE BASKET
Marist has gone to the charity stripe 35 times (1.4/game) this year with the opportunity to complete a three-point play and have completed 26 of those chances.
Elizabeth Beynnon leads the way with nine "And One" opportunities, completing the task seven times. Sydney Coffey is a near-perfect 7-8 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 seven different starting lineups this year.
The only two players that have stayed locked in the starting five are Leanne Ockenden at guard and Elizabeth Beynnon at forward.
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 13 games at the point guard position. Kristina Danella and Sydney Coffey have each made three 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 fallen into the lower teens for the past few weeks. However, Marist has jumped back up to #10 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, is 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
On Wednesday, Dec. 5, Marist Director of Athletics Tim Murray that head women's basketball coach Brian Giorgis has signed a contract extension through the 2020-21 season.
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.
Junior guard Casey Dulin (Milford. Conn.), redshirt sophomore forward Tori Jarosz (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.) and redshirt senior Kristina Danella (Manalapan, N.J.) were all named to the Third Team.
The trio of senior forward Elizabeth Beynnon (Burlington, Vt.) and junior guards Casey Dulin (Milford, Conn.) and Leanne Ockenden (Syracuse, N.Y.) will lead the 2012-13 Marist squad.
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).