Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Top MAAC Women's Players Thus Far

At the midway point of the conference season, this blogger selected a men's all-star team of the halfway mark.

Now, it's the women's turn. So, here's the conference's best women's players thus far:


Rachele Fitz, 6-0 senior forward, Marist (18.3 points, 8.0 rebounds)The two-time defending Player of the Year is likely to make it three straight. She leads the conference in scoring and field-goal percentage, is No. 2 in free-throw percentage and fourth in rebounding on the best team in the league.

Miriam McKenzie, 5-10 sophomore guard, Loyola (17.2 points, 7.7 rebounds)

McKenzie is one of the conference's top young players and one of its most improved. After averaging just five points per game last season, she is No. 2 in the conference in scoring this year. She is also No. 5 in rebounding and No. 7 in assists.

Michelle Pacheco, 5-8 senior guard, Manhattan (15.3 points, 4.0 rebounds, 4.9 assists)

One of the top reversals of form in the conference. Pacheco lost her starting role midway through last season, but has elevated her game significantly this year. She ranks No. 3 in scoring, No. 2 in assists and No. 2 in steals this season.

Stephanie Geehan, 6-2 senior center, Fairfield (13.3 points, 11.4 rebounds, 3.4 blocks)

Geehan, previously a role player, has turned into a go-to performer on both ends with some statistics that transcend the MAAC. She not only leads the MAAC in blocks and rebounding, but ranks No. 1 nationally in blocks and No. 5 nationally in rebounding.

Brittane Russell, 5-6 senior guard, Canisius (13.2, 3.9 assists, 3.4 steals)

There's a reason Russell leads the MAAC in minutes played. It's because she does everything well. She needs four more assists to be the only active player nationally with career totals of 1,200 points, 500 rebounds, 400 assists and 300 steals. Her steal average this season is No. 4 nationally.


Serena Moore, 6-1 junior forward, Siena (13.2 points, 7.7 rebounds)

She ranks among the conference's most-improved players, particularly on the offensive end. where she shoots .466 percent from the field (No. 3) and .723 percent from the foul line after hitting .490 percent from the line last year. She is probably the conference's most-athletic player.

Thazina Cook, 5-9 senior guard, Iona (14.2 points, 7.2 rebounds)

One of the best one-on-one players in the league, she can create her own shot almost at will. She might also be the best backc0urt rebounder in the league. Her scoring average is No. 6 and her rebounding is No. 6 in the MAAC.

Liz Flooks, 5-10 junior forward, Niagara (13.9 points, 5.2 rebounds)

Among the best, if not the best, long-range shooters in the league. Her .452 percent on treys is No. 1 and her .450 field-goal percentage overall is No. 3 in the MAAC. She is also No. 8 in scoring and No. 20 in rebounding.

Corielle Yard, 5-8 sophomore guard, Marist (14.7 points, 5.9 rebounds)

Another rising young player who ranks with the most-explosive scorers in the league. She has hit at least 30 points in a game twice this season, and ranks No. 5 in scoring, No. 13 in rebounding and No. 1 in free-throw percentage (.864) in the MAAC.

Linda Loutsenhizer, 6-0 sophomore forward, Manhattan (14.8 points, 6.5 rebounds)

Another young standout who has improved after a solid freshman season. She is No. 4 in scoring, No. 10 in rebounding and No. 2 in field-goal percentage (.457) in the league.

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Rachele Fitz, Marist.

Almost certain to win the award for the third straight season. She ranks with the best ever to play in the MAAC.

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Kayla Stroman, 5-5 freshman guard, Niagara.

She averages 8.4 points and 4.8 assists (No. 3 in the league) and is a key piece in the Purple Eagles' vastly improved season. Tough choice over Rider's 6-3 freshman center Caitlin Bopp, who averages 9.9 rebounds per game).

COACH OF THE YEAR: Kendra Faustin, Niagara.

Her team was 3-28 overall last season and 1-17 in the league. It was picked to finish ninth in this year's preseason coaches' poll. Instead, the Purple Eagles are in third place with a 7-5 conference record and riding a five-game winning streak including a a recent victory over Marist that was the Red Foxes' first league loss of the season.

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