Monday, November 15, 2010

Good, Bad in MAAC Women's Openers

MAAC women's teams, like their male counterparts, also got off to a tough start in non-league contests over this past weekend.

Women's teams went 3-9 in non-league play over the opening weekend of play with only Marist, Manhattan and Fairfield earning victories.

But, there were some bright spots including the emergence of some new, young talent from throughout the conference. The best of the newcomers include:

- Manhattan's 6-foot-0 freshman forward Monica Roeder who had 20 points and 5 rebounds in the Jaspers' 63-34 victory over St. Francis of N.Y. on Friday night. Roeder's offense came mostly on 6-of-7 accuracy from beyond the 3-point stripe.

- Katie Gattuso, a 6-2 freshman center for Niagara, had 7 points and 9 rebo0unds in the Purple Eagles' 73-57 loss to Illinois-Chicago on Friday night. Teammate Kayla Stroman, who certainly made her mark on the league a year ago as the MAAC's Rookie of the Year, opened her sophomore campaign with an 18-point, 9-rebound effort.

- Aziza May, a 5-3 freshman point guard at Saint Peter's, began her college career with a 4-point, 5-assist effort in her team's 65-48 loss to Sacred Heart. May's assists were the only ones credited to any Peahens' player in that contest.

- Laura Vegtra, a 6-2 sophomore forward, made her debut in the starting lineup for Fairfield a big one, getting 12 points and 8 rebounds in the Stags' 65-48 victory over Quinnipiac on Friday. Vetra, a native of Latvia, only scored 14 total points last season.

They weren't alone in turning in strong individual performances. Others included:

- A 12-point, 4 assist performance by Iona's Anda Ivkovic in Iona's 72-40 loss to Charlotte in the opening round of the WNIT on Saturday. It was the senior standout's first game back after suffering a mid-season knee injury last seasson.

- Brandy Gang, a 6-2 junior forward who previously was a reserve at Marist, had 19 points in a starting role in the Red Foxes' 82-61 victory over Grambling State on Saturday. Through two games, Gang and preseason MAAC Player of the Year, senior guard Erica Allenspach, are each averaging 12.5 points per game for Marist.

- Junior guard Ai Heller, previously a role player for Rider, led the Broncs in scoring in both its losses to date (53-48 against Bucknell and 95-21 against Penn State). She is averaging 10.0 points per game thus far.

- Miriam McKenzie of Loyola, a preseason first-team all-conference pick, had 11 points and 15 rebounds in a 64-57 loss to La Salle.

And, then, there was the not-so-good results, including:

- Rider's 21 points in its loss to Penn State on Sunday was the program's all-time low for points scored in a game. Its previous low was a 25-point effort in its final contest last season, a first-round MAAC tournament loss to Siena. Against Penn State the Broncs had 37 turnovers.

- Canisius also struggled to take care of the ball, committing 27 turnovers in a 60-54 loss to Kent State in its season opener on Friday night.

- Iona recorded only four assists against 25 turnovers in its 72-40 loss against Charlotte.

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