The Marist women's team's chances to continue its streak of seven consecutive conference titles became a little more challenging this week with news that starting senior point guard Kristine Best will be lost for the season with a knee injury suffered in a recent practice.
Best reportedly tore her left anterior cruciate ligament at a practice on Monday and the program received that official diagnosis on Tuesday.
He coach Brian Giorgis indicate that Best, the team's point guard, would receive a medical red-shirt waiver for this season and return for 2012-13.
She had played in the team's first six games, averaging 29.3 minutes, 3.2 points, 3.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game. Best, when healthy, is a prototypical protect-the-ball, pass-first point guard who had 18 assists against just six turnovers before her injury.
Best's loss is likely to be filled by freshman guard Natalie Gomez, a highly touted recruit, who had been on the fringe of this season's Marist playing group. She has seen action in all of the team's first six games, averaging 10.8 minutes along with 1.5 points and 1.3 rebounds per contest.
“Our freshmen are going to have to grow up faster than we had wanted them to,’’ said Giorgis, when talking about the situation to reporters recently. "But, they’re up for the task. If we’re going to be the team that we hope to be, then we have to handle adversity like this.’’
Marist is off to a 4-2 start with an active three-game winning streak including a 57-51 victory over a strong Hartford squad in its last game. Against Hartford Best did not score but dished out four assists without committing a turnover. Gomez played eight minutes in that game, scored two points and did not record an assist.