MAAC Squads To Debut On ESPN3 This Week
Three Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference basketball games will be broadcast on ESPN 3 this week, on Thursday (Dec. 5) and Friday (Dec. 6), and will feature the MAAC’s two newest members, Monmouth University and Quinnipiac University.
On Thursday, Dec. 5, the Monmouth University men’s team will host intrastate rival Rider University at 7 p.m. It will be the first conference game as a member of the MAAC for the Hawks, who are currently 3-4 and riding a two-game win streak. Deon Jones is averaging 18.3 points per game for the Hawks, while backcourt mate Drew Nicholas is scoring at a 14.6 clip.
Coach King Rice has relied on a number of younger players, including freshman guard Josh James, a two-time MAAC Rookie of the Week selection. James averages 9.3 points and leads the team with 28 assists.
Rider, a long-time rival of Monmouth’s, is 2-4 and coming off a trip to the West Coast, where it advanced to the championship game of the Cable Car Classic with a 97-93 OT win over Rice. The Broncs fell to North Dakota State in the championship game. Anthony Myles averaged 25.0 points in the two Cable Car games and was named to the All-Tournament team.
Coach Kevin Baggett looks to Myles and 6-7 forward Daniel Stewart (14.8 points, 5.3 rebounds) for leadership. Both were preseason second team All-MAAC selections. Freshman point guard Jimmie Taylor averages 11.7 points, and soph guard Zedric Sadler contributes 9.6 points.
Rider leads the overall series with Monmouth, 25-13.
On Friday, Dec. 6, Quinnipiac University will host a doubleheader with both games on ESPN3. The Quinnipiac women’s team will host Marist College at 6:00 p.m., followed by the men’s team facing cross-state rival Fairfield University at 8:30.
The Quinnipiac women’s squad, which compiled a 30-3 mark and advanced to the NCAA Tournament last season, is 3-4 in the early going this year. Coach Tricia Fabbri looks to veterans Jasmine Martin, a junior guard, and senior forward Brittany McQuain, a pair of preseason All-MAAC second team selections. Martin is averaging 15.4 points, while McQuain has the potential to be a dominating force up front, and averages 13.7 points and 9.1 rebounds.
The Bobcats will host Marist College, which has dominated the MAAC over the past decade, winning eight consecutive conference titles, and nine of the last 10. The Red Foxes have faced a challenging slate in the early going and have compiled a 3-4 record, but have won three of their last four games. They are led by seniors Leanne Ockenden, last year’s MAAC Defensive Player of the Year, who averages 17.4 points per game, and Emma O’Connor, who contributes 14.0 points. Sophomore Madeline Blais has been steady up front and averages 14.9 points and 4.6 rebounds per outing.
In the nightcap of the ESPN3 doubleheader will be the Quinnipiac men hosting Fairfield in its first ever conference match, beginning at 8:30. Coach Tom Moore’s Bobcats are off to one of their best starts in recent history at 4-2, with their two losses coming by a total of nine points (at La Salle, and against Boston University on a shot in the final seconds). Five Bobcats are scoring in double figures led by guard Zaid Hearst and forward Ike Azotam, who both average double-doubles. Hearst is scoring at 16.0 per game, and has grabbed 10.8 rebounds per outing, while Azotam is averaging 14.2 points and 10 rebounds per contest.
Cross-state rival Fairfield has played a rugged schedule in the early going that has included games with defending national champion Louisville, as well as Richmond and Providence. Coach Sydney Johnson’s Stags have looked to Marcus Gilbert (13.0) and Maurice Barrow (9.7), last year’s MAAC Sixth Man of the Year, in the early going. Amadou Sidibe, the co-Rookie of the Year last season, contributes six points and 5.6 rebounds per game.
The Fairfield women’s team holds a 4-2 edge all-time in the series between the two schools. The Stags’ men’s team won the only meeting with Quinnipiac, a 72-60 decision in the first game of the 2011-12 season.
To find out more about the MAAC Squads head to: http://www.maacsports.com/ViewArticle.dbml?SPSID=87906&SPID=10446&DB_LANG=C&ATCLID=209330199&DB_OEM_ID=17400