Women's Basketball Seeks History In Regular Season Finale At Fairfield
FAIRFIELD, Conn. - Marist seeks its third undefeated MAAC season in the past six years when it travels to Fairfield for the regular season final Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. Fans can listen to game on the Red Fox Network as well as on the radio on Rock 93.3 FM. Geoff Brault will be providing play-by-play. The pregame show will begin at 1:45 PM.
SCOUTING THE STAGS
Fairfield enters Sunday with a 17-11 overall record and an 11-6 mark in the MAAC. Sitting at second in the MAAC for much of the season, the Stags dropped behind Iona into third after their loss at Loyola on Friday night. Fairfield has lost two of their past three after winning three straight.
The Stags are led offensively by Katie Cizynski who comes in averaging 12.1 PPG and 8.5 RPG, both tops on the team. Felicia DaCruz runs the point for Fairfield and leads the team with an average of 3.4 assists per game, which is good for fourth in the MAAC. Alexys Vazquez leads the MAAC with 64 made three-pointers, shooting 39.8% from beyond the arc.
HISTORY LESSON - MARIST VS. FAIRFIELD
This will be the 40th meeting all-time between the Red Foxes and Stags and the second of this season. Back on Jan. 6 in Poughkeepsie, in the second MAAC game of the season, Marist held off a late Fairfield charge for a 61-56 win. Fairfield pulled to within one with less than four minutes left, but the Red Foxes closed on a 6-2 run. Kristina Danella scored 16 points off the bench and Emma O'Connor has 12 points.
Marist leads the all-time series 24-15 and has won the past six matchups. They are 20-3 under Head Coach Brian Giorgis including wins in the 2005 MAAC Semifinals and the 2010 and 2012 MAAC Championship Game. The Red Foxes won all three games last year, 59-47 on the road, 60-54 in Poughkeepsie and 61-35 in the MAAC Championship game. The 35 points was the fewest allowed in MAAC Championship Game history.
LAST TIME OUT
Marist sent off its four seniors in style, rolling to a 79-50 win over Saint Peter's Friday night on Senior Night in McCann Arena.
Kristina Danella (Manalapan, N.J.) became the first Marist player to record a double-double this season with a game-high 20 points and 10 rebounds.
Elizabeth Beynnon (Burlington, Vt.) had 16 points and a game-high five points while also collecting six rebounds.
Madeline Blais (Exeter, N.H.) set new career-highs with nine points and seven rebounds.
Marist set a new season high with 30 made field goals while tying a season-high with 44 rebounds. The Red Foxes also dished out 21 assists.
NAILING THEIR FREE THROWS
The Red Foxes not only lead the MAAC, but rank sixth in the country in free-throw percentage at .785.
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 151-170 (.883).
STRONG TO THE BASKET
Marist has gone to the charity stripe 41 times (1.5/game) this year with the opportunity to complete a three-point play and have completed 32 of those chances.
Elizabeth Beynnon leads the way with 10 "And One" opportunities, completing the task eight times. Sydney Coffey is a near-perfect 8-9 and Casey Dulin and Kristina Danella have converted six and five such opportunities, respectively. Emma O'Connor is also 4-5 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 also used eight different starting lineups this year.
Casey Dulin has started all but three games while Emma O'Connor has also missed three games due to injury 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 12 of the past 14 games at the point guard position. Sydney Coffey and Kristina Danella have each made four 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 #7 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 #4, who Marist defeated 56-45 on Nov. 17 in Poughkeepsie when the Tigers were also 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
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).