Friday, December 13, 2013

ATM: Big Game, High Ratings, Big Point Totals,

Time for another installment of news and notes from around the league, otherwise known as "ATM," or ... Around The MAAC.

- There's a big non-conference game, involving one of the MAAC's newest members, coming up.

That takes place Sunday when the Quinnipiac women travel to play at UAlbany of the America East Conference, a 2 p.m. contest at Albany's on-campus SEFCU Arena. Barring something unexpected, your Hoopscribe will make the trip (and, provide a report), greatly anticipating a first view of Quinnipiac since that program joined the MAAC.

UAlbany is currently 9-0 thus far, one of just two mid-major level teams still unbeaten (BYU is the other).

And, the Great Danes are ranked No. 4 in the mid-major poll, done by, which considers teams from 22 conferences.

UAlbany already knocked off one MAAC "giant," Marist, by a 69-59 score in Albany on Nov. 14, and, now, gets a shot at another one.

Quinnipiac checks in at No. 24 in the mid-major Top 25 poll, even with its 4-5 overall record. But, the Bobcats' losses have all been to strong opponents: Lousville, Tennessee-Martin, St. John's, St. Joseph's and Marist, in its first MAAC conference game.

Albany is led by Shereesha Richards, a 6-1 forward who is on her way to becoming one of the best players ever to play for the Great Danes. She is averaging 23.5 points and 10.0 rebounds thus far. That ranks her 12th nationally in scoring and 31st in rebounding.

Quinnipiac counters with a trio of high-caliber players. Jazmine Martin, a 5-6 junior guard, averages 15.1 ppg. Brittany McQuain, a 6-0 senior forward, averages 12.2 points and 9.1 rebounds per contest. And, 5-9 junior guard Gillian Abshire averages 7.4 assists per contest, the seventh-best average nationally.

- Qunnipiac isn't the only MAAC team to crack the mid-major Top 25. Marist, which knocked off the Bobcats, 69-63, on Dec. 6, are rated No. 15 nationally.

And, Iona, currently 6-2 overall, is also getting votes in the poll, enough to check in at No. 33 nationally.

- In case you missed it, Damika Martinez of the Iona women's team recently scored a school-record 42 points in the Gaels' 83-67 victory over Columbia on Monday.

The outburst topped the school's previous best of 38, scored by Maria Johnson during the 1978-79 season before the MAAC even came into being.

Martinez's total was the sixth-best single-game output on the Division I level nationally this season and elevated her scoring avverage to 26.7 ppg., which is third-best nationally.

Big point totals are nothing new for the dynamic 5-foot-7 junior guard. She has led the MAAC in scoring each of the past two seasons, the only player in league history to lead the conference in scoring as a freshman and in her first two years in the league.

- Another Iona player, men's standout Sean Armand, became that school's all-time leading three-point shooter in a victory over Marist on Nov. 23.

When Armand hit the final one of four treys made in that contest his career total for made three-pointers reached 264. That surpassed the school's previous record of 263, reached in the 2005-06 season by Steve Burtt Jr.

Armand now stands at 276 career three pointers, but isn't likely to approach the MAAC career record for treys.

That's currently held by former Saint Peter's standout Keydren Clark, who had 435 made treys in his career.

Armand, though, could challenge the No. 2 spot on that list. That's currently at 362 treys by former Marist sniper Will Whittington.

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