Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Marist Women Capture Tourney Title

Just when teams might have been thinking the waters of MAAC women's basketball were becoming relatively safe the "shark" of the contest has made its presence known again.

That, of course, would be Marist which showed some signs of having cracks in its proverbial armor earlier this season.

And, then, it went to Las Vegas for the Dual in the Desert Tournament and, you could say, ran the table.

It won the event against somem pretty high-powered opponents, including a 78-70 victory over Houston in Monday's championship game. The Cougars fell to an 8-2 overall record. Marist is now 9-2.

To get to Monday's championshiop contest the Red Foxes had to beat first-round opponent Louisville and, then, second-round for and 19th-ranked Nebraska.

Senior guard Erica Allenspach, the MAAC's Preseason Player of the Year, played up to that billing in leading Marist over Houston by scoring a career-high 34 points and adding eight rebounds. Allenspach also scored 20 points against Nebraska in Sunday's game, and was named the event's Most Valuable Player.

"She played the way most people felt she could play," Marist head coach Brian Giorgis said. "She led us in everything. (She) just did a tremendous job."

Allenspach said the three-day tournament performance said a lot about how ready her team is to compete for another championship in league play.

"A lot of people got a lot of experience in this tournament," she said. "And it shows we can play with anyone."

And, that's not good news for the rest of the MAAC.

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