Tuesday, February 16, 2010

New & Notes From Around the MAAC

Tidbits from around the conference ...

- There might be a challege for the MAAC's women's Player of the Year award after all.

Marist's 6-foot-0 forward Rachele Fitz is the defending two-time winner, and will likely add a third straight trophy to her collection.

But, Fairfield's 6-2 senior center Stephanie Geehan is making a nice late-season push.

Geehan's most-recent game was one of the most-dominant performances this blogger has seen in person in some time.

She had 32 points, 15 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 blocks and 3 steals in a 51-50 victory at Siena on Monday night. Her performance included a game-winning 3-pointer from the corner with 23 seconds remaining..

Consider those totals. She scored 63 percent of her team's points and had 47 percent of its rebounds in the contest.

Here's how Geehan stacks up with Fitz so far:

Geehan: 14.1 points, 11.5 rebounds, 3.3 blocks per game.
Fitz: 17.7 points, 8.1 rebounds per game.

Geehan leads the conference in rebounding and blocked shots and ranks No. 5 and No. 4 nationally in those two categories.

Fitz leads the MAAC in scoring, in field-goal percentage (.570) and free-throw percentage (.865). She is also fourth in rebounding.

- Canisius senior guard Brittane Russell recently became the first player in conference history, and the first active player on the Division I level, to have 1,200 points, 500 rebounds, 400 assists and 300 steals over her career. She is a sure-thing first-team all-conference selectee.

- The Canisius women's team continue to extend its NCAA record for consecutive games with a 3-pointer, now at 479 games through Monday's contests.

- League coaches predicted that Rider's 6-6 senior guard Ryan Thompson would be this season's Player of the Year for men. He won't be that, not with mostly a season that hasn't lived up to expectations both for him and his team. And, he probably needs to continue a late-season surge to get first-team votes. But, Thompson has been terrific of late. In the Broncs' last six games he is averaging 23.4 points and 6.7 rebounds per contest.

- Jamal Barney, a 6-3 junior swingman, has returned to the Loyola men's team. Barney, the conference's leading scorer last season, left the team for an undisclosed reason in early January and was away from the program for six games. He returned recently and has come off the bench in three games. He is averaging 3.7 points in 10 minutes per contest since his return.

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