Friday, January 31, 2014

Many MAAC Men, Women Among D-I Stat Leaders

Who says scoring in college basketball is down?

That's certainly not the case in the MAAC, not when two of its players are among the top four scorers on the Division I level nationally.

Niagara's Antoine Mason remains atop the national scoring list, despite being "held" to 18 points by an effective Siena defense Thursday night in the Saints' 66-62 victory over the Purple Eagles.

He still has a considerable lead over national No. 2 Greg McDermott of Creighton.who averages 25.0 ppg.

Next is Tyler Haws of Brigham Young University (24.2 ppg.), followed by the MAAC's Billy Baron, the standout senior guard at Canisius, who checks in at 24.0 points per contest.

And, an interesting perspective on the two from Siena coach Jimmy Patsos.

"Antoine Mason is a great player, but I still think that Billy Baron is the best player in our league," said Patsos, after Thursday's contest.

"Antoine can really score. He's a junior, and it's going to be interesting to see how much better he gets because you know he's going to work hard between now and next year. He's the guy who's going to be the next `best' player in this league."

Those two aren't the only MAAC players finding a spot among the national leaders in a variety of categories.

Manhattan's senior forward Rhamel Brown ranks second nationally in blocked shots with 3.7 per contest.

And, Ike Azotam, the powerful senior forward at Quinnipiac, is second in rebound average at 11.6 per contest.

The MAAC women's players, too, are numerous among the national leaders.

Iona's junior guard Damika Martinez is No. 5 nationally among Division I scorers at 24.4 ppg.

And, plenty of her teammates join her among national leaders.

The Gaels' sophomore forward Joy Adams is No. 4 nationally in rebounding at 13.9 per contest.

Sabrina Jeridore, a senior center at Iona, is No. 5 in blocked shots per contest with 3.6 per game.

And, women from the MAAC take up two of the top three spots in three-point field goal accuracy.

Iona's junior guard Aleesha Powell leads all Division I players in that category, connecting on 51.7 of her long-range attempts. And Madeline Blais of Marist isn't far behind. Her 51.2 percent three-point accuracy is third-best nationally.

And, Gillian Abshire of Quinnipiac, the standout point guard, averages 6.8 assists per contest which is the eighth-best average in the country among Division I players.

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