ESPN Announces MAAC Netflex Games for February 3
EDISON, NJ – ESPN has announced the two Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball netflex matchups for Friday, February 3. On ESPNU, Rider University will face Iona College at Alumni Gymnasium in Lawrenceville, NJ at 7:00 p.m. Saint Peter’s University takes on h-OURglass rival, Monmouth University on ESPN3 at 7:00 p.m at the OceanFirst Bank Center in West Long Branch, NJ.
Iona College and Rider University will meet for the first time in the 2016-17 season. The Gaels are currently 3-3 in the MAAC and 10-7 overall. The Broncs are 4-1 in the MAAC and 11-5 overall. Iona’s Jordan Washington, a two-time MAAC Player of the Week, is currently second in the MAAC with 18.4 points per game. Rider freshman Stevie Jordan, a three-time MAAC Rookie of the Week, leads the conference with 5.6 assists per game. The Broncs have four players who are averaging double-digit scoring.
Saint Peter’s University and Monmouth University square off for the second time this season. On January 2, the Peacocks defeated the Hawks 71-61 at the Yanitelli Center in Jersey City, NJ behind a 20-point performance from Trevis Wyche. The Peacocks are currently 3-2 in the MAAC and 7-8 overall. The Hawks are 4-2 in conference play and 12-5 overall. Reigning MAAC Player of the Year, Justin Robinson, ranks fifth in the MAAC with 17.2 points per game.
The MAAC telecast schedule will feature 10 netflex games during the 2016-17 season. The netflex format allows ESPN to pick any game on schedule for the selected date to air on the designated platform (ESPN2, ESPNU, or ESPN3). ESPN will announce which game has been selected for the wildcard telecast 21 days out. The format enables the MAAC and ESPN flexibility to showcase the best possible matchups.
The 2016-17 MAAC season culminates at the 2017 MAAC Basketball Championships, March 2-6 at the Times Union Center in Albany, NY. The 2017 MAAC Men’s Basketball Championship Game will take place on Monday, March 6 at 9:00 p.m. and will air live on ESPN/2 with the winner earning the leagues automatic bid to the NCAA Championship.
For more information on MAAC Men’s Basketball, visit maacsports.com/basketball and remember to follow the conversation on social media using #MAACHoops
Canisius' Jermaine Crumpton & Quinnipiac's Mikey Dixon Earn LifeStorage Weekly Awards
Player of the Week
Jermaine Crumpton, Canisius
Jr., 6-6, F, Niagara Falls, NY/Niagara Falls
Canisius junior Jermaine Crumpton became the first Canisius player since 1999-00 to score more than 30 points and grab 10-or more rebounds in a regulation game after he had a career-high 32 points with a career best 10 boards in the Golden Griffins’ 86-72 win at Fairfield Jan. 10. In the win over the Stags, Crumpton matched a career-high with 11 makes from the field, and the double-double effort for the Niagara Falls, New York native was the first of his career. He scored 17 of his 32 points in the game’s second half, and he had eight of his 10 rebounds after intermission. Crumpton extended his streak of games with double-figures in the scoring column to 13 on Jan. 14, when he added 13 points and five rebounds to the winning cause in the Blue and Gold’s win over Marist. For the week, he averaged 22.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per game while shooting 50 percent from the field and 87.5 percent from 3-point land.
Rookie of the Week
Mikey Dixon, Quinnipiac
Fr., 6-2, G, New Castle, De/Sanford School
Dixon shook off a mini-slump in road losses to Saint Peter’s and Siena earlier in the week to score a game-high 27 points to lead Quinnipiac to an overtime home win over Iona on Saturday. With the Bobcats down by 10 in the first half and playing their sixth game in 12 days, Dixon rose to the challenge and knocked down five straight three-pointers in a span of eight minutes, including four in the final six minutes of the first half and his first attempt two minutes into the second half to give the Bobcats a four-point lead. He also had no turnovers in 39 minutes against Iona’s trapping defenses. For the week, he averaged 16.3 points and shot 45 percent from three-point territory (9-20).
Don't miss the upcoming week of MAAC Men's Basketball
Siena's Jackie Benitez & Marist's Hannah Hand Earn LifeStorage MAAC Women's Basketball Weekly Honors
Player of the Week
Jackie Benitez, Siena
So., G, Tobyhanna, PA/Pocono Mountain West
Jackie Benitez led Siena to a 3-0 week in MAAC play. First, she led the Saints with 15 points in taking down the reigning MAAC Champions Iona. Then, she set a new career-high with 34 points against Monmouth. She is the only MAAC player to score 30 or more points twice this season. Benitez followed that up with a 20-point performance against Saint Peter’s. She averaged 23.0 points per game on 22-of-38 (57.9%) shooting from the field and 9-of-17 (52.9%) shooting from three. She shot 16-of-17 (94.1%) from the free-throw line and continues to lead the MAAC in free-throw shooting percentage (86.7%). Benitez grabbed 10 rebounds on the week and had 15 steals, including eight against the Gaels and then six against the Hawks. Her eight steals against Iona tied a MAAC season-high for steals in a game (Rider’s Stella Johnson swiped eight steals vs. Lafayette on November 14, 2016).
Rookie of the Week
Hannah Hand, Marist
Fr., G, Argyle, TX/Liberty Christian School
Hannah Hand continued her good stretch of play during a two-game week for the Red Foxes. In Hand’s first game against Rider, she scored 10 points, grabbed seven rebounds, dished out three assists, and had three steals in 38 minutes of action. In the Red Foxes second game, Hand scored 14 points and fell one rebound short of the double-double in 34 minutes of play. Hand went 3-of-5 from the field, 2-of-2 from three, and 6-of-6 from the free-throw stripe as the Red Foxes defeated Iona, 68-62. For the week, Hand averaged 12.0 points, eight rebounds, and three assists per game while shooting 40.0 percent from the field, 60.0 percent from three, and 100 percent from the free-throw line.
Don't miss the upcoming week of MAAC Women's Basketball
Rick Cole Jr. Elevated to Vice President of Athletics Administration at Iona College
NEW ROCHELLE, NY – Iona College recently announced the promotion of Rick Cole Jr. to Vice President of Athletics Administration. Cole was named the ninth Director of Athletics at Iona College history in May 2013.
“Rick Cole has served with honor and integrity as Director of Athletics at Iona College for almost four years,” said Joseph E. Nyre, Ph.D., president of Iona College. “We are very proud of the direction of the athletic department and look forward to continued academic and athletic success under Rick’s leadership.”
“I am thrilled to be able to continue to position our student-athletes for success in competition, in the classroom, in the community and in life,” said Cole. “President Nyre has played a pivotal role in our accomplishments and we look forward to continued support from the College and the Iona community.”
Anchored by its men’s and women’s basketball and cross country programs, the Maroon & Gold has captured 13 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championships since Cole’s arrival in 2013. This past fall, men’s cross country earned its 26th straight MAAC title. The women’s program has won 11 of the last 12 following its win in October. The Iona men’s basketball program earned MAAC regular season crown in 2013-14 and 2014-15. After a second place finish in the regular season, head coach Tim Cluess’ Gaels won the tournament championship in 2016. Head coach Billi Godsey led Iona women’s basketball to a regular season championship in 2013-14 and a tournament victory last year. Iona’s softball program captured a MAAC championship in the spring of 2014.
Under Cole’s direction, the Iona College athletic department has recorded record numbers in revenue generation and fund-raising. In addition to the annually successful Goal Club Hall of Fame Golf Outing, Iona hosted its “Meet the Coaches” event for the first time in Hynes Center arena in 2014 to showcase the new video boards. The baseball team hosted its inaugural “First Pitch Dinner” in 2015, attracting future Major League Baseball hall of famer Mariano Rivera to deliver the keynote address of the evening. Revenue from season ticket sales and corporate partnerships has also reached levels that have not been seen previously in his short time in New Rochelle.
Cole has looked to instill his core mission at Iona and do more than just build a great athletic program. Iona Athletics aspires to shape future leaders and build champions in athletics, academics, in the community and in life. In implementing the mission, Iona looks to instill in each of its student-athletes the understanding they should serve as role models for other students; exemplifying achievement in their sports, in their studies and service on behalf of their community.
Iona has also looked to transform student-athlete experience with the implementation of several capital and improvement projects over the last three and a half years. Most recently, the department finished renovations to its student-athlete academic center located in the Hynes East. The former varsity weight room completed a transition that more than doubles the academic study areas for Iona student athletes. The room contains improved working stations and technology for student-athletes to progress in the classroom.
The entrance into ESPN’s School Productions program began in the winter of 2016. After broadcasting six men’s and women’s basketball games in February, the program expanded to the entire 2016-17 home basketball slate and continue expansion to women’s lacrosse in the spring and men’s and women’s soccer and volleyball next fall. Not only does the project allow for expanded exposure for Iona’s athletic programs, but partners the College with the ESPN brand, serves as an opportunity for students to get hand-on professional broadcast experience at the highest levels and help to complement academic programs in Mass Communications and our Sports, Entertainment and Media Business.
Additional projects since 2013 included a rebranding of the Iona athletics marks and a partnership with Adidas to be the official supplier of athletic equipment for the department. The rebranding focused on giving the athletic programs one “Iona” to display on their uniforms and practice gear. The “Iona Gaels” word mark features a silhouette of the Celtic cross that is displayed on the official seal of Iona College. In conjunction with the rebranding, the Hynes Center arena earned a facelift and two 20’ x 14’ high-definition video boards were installed to not only support men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball contests, but numerous other campus events held in the venue throughout the year.
Cole came to New Rochelle after extensive time as an athletics administrator at Dowling College, St. John's University, Stony Brook University and his alma mater, the University at Buffalo. He received his Bachelor's degree in 1992 and Master's in Education in 1994, both from Buffalo. He currently resides in Oakdale with his wife Brooke and three children Taylor (18), Mackenzie (16) and Trey (15).
Litzell, Jackson, Persson, & Garner earn Indoor Track and Field Performers of the Week
Men’s Field Performer of the Week
Love Litzell, Manhattan
Sr., Ostersund, Sweden
Litzell took first in the weight throw at the Towson Tiger Invitational from the New Balance Armory Track & Field Center on Saturday night. He easily won the competition with a toss of 20.20 meters (66 feet, 3¼ inches), which puts him 16th on the NCAA leaderboard in the event.
Men’s Track Performer of the Week
Johnathan Jackson, Rider
Sr., Roselle, NJ
Senior Johnathan Jackson had a strong showing at the Spartan Regional Invite at the Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex on Friday. He ran an outstanding anchor leg on the 4x800m relay with a split of 1:52 to lead the team to victory and an IC4A qualifying time of 7:50.25. He also led off the distance medley relay with a great split of 3:04 as the team finished 2nd and also qualified for IC4As with a time of 10:17.74. The men finished with 341.75 points to finish in first and nearly double up second-place Southern Connecticut at the 16-team event.
Women’s Field Performer of the Week
Ellinor Persson, Manhattan
So., Taby, Sweden
In her first competition back from injury, Persson won the long jump at the Towson Tiger Invitational from the New Balance Armory Track & Field Center on Saturday night. On her first attempt, she got out to a distance of 5.75 meters (18 feet, 10½ inches), which was good enough to qualify for the ECAC Indoor Championships.
Women’s Track Performer of the Week
Tionna Garner, Monmouth
Sr., Trenton, NJ
Tionna Garner took home a pair of victories as the Hawk women won the Angry Birds Invitational for the fifth straight year. Garner won the 400m for the third time in four meets this year, this time crossing the tape in 57.26. The Trenton, NJ native also led off Monmouth’s distance medley relay team which claimed first with an ECAC qualifying time of 12:08. Garner teamed up with Amber and Brianna Stratz and senior Jenna Cupp for the DMR victory.
Four Named Preseason Honorable Mention All-Americans By Inside Lacrosse
Quinnipiac senior goalie Jack Brust was named a preseason honorable mention All-America by Inside Lacrosse's Face-Off Yearbook, the magazine announced today on its website.
Brust is coming off a strong junior campaign, which saw him help lead Quinnipiac to its best season at the Division I level, including a 12-4 final record, a perfect record in the MAAC, a MAAC Tournament title, and an NCAA Tournament win over Hartford, the program's first Division I postseason win in its first-ever appearance.
A pair of 2017 Marist men’s lacrosse captains were selected Preseason All-American Honorable Mention by Inside Lacrosse Magazine. Senior J.D. Recor and redshirt junior Brian Corrigan earned the recognition.
Recor finished 24th in the nation in assists per game (1.73) and shot percentage (.415) last season. In a regular season overtime win at no. 8 Stony Brook he tied his career high with five assists. The victory marked the highest ranked opponent ever defeated by a Marist men’s lacrosse team. Recor assisted on the game-winning goal in the final minute of the Red Foxes’ 8-7 MAAC semifinal victory over Monmouth. The helper was the 100th of his career, moving him into fourth place on the program’s all-time list. His 28-game point streak heading into the 2017 season is the 17th longest active one in the country.
In his first season as the starting goalie, Corrigan was named 2016 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year. He played in six overtime games in 2016, ranking among the top 10 in the nation in save percentage (.588; second), saves per game (11.75; seventh), and goals against average (8.14; eighth). Corrigan finished with a 9-7 overall record that included a pair of victories in overtime. He was a MAAC All-Academic Team honoree for the second straight year.
Detroit Mercy's Jason Weber earns Preseason Honorable Mention All-America status following a year in which he ranked fourth in goals against average (10.02), save percentage (.532) & saves per game (10.73.) The goalkeeper enters his senior season for the Titans.
Canisius’ Erica Evans Named Preseason All-American by Inside Lacrosse
EDISON, NJ – Canisius College Women’s Lacrosse junior midfielder Erica Evans earned Preseason All-American honors from Inside Lacrosse in its latest publication Face-Off Yearbook 2017. Evans, a two-time MAAC Midfielder of the Year (2015 & 2016) was selected to the 2017 Inside Lacrosse Preseason All-American Second Team.
Evans led the Griffs to their fifth MAAC Championship in program history in 2016 and was named the MAAC Championship MVP. The junior set a MAAC record for goals (72) and points in a season (91). Evans ranked third in the nation in goals and was tied for fifth in points last season.
The Peterborough, Ontario native scored five goals and tallied two assists in Canisius’ 17-5 victory over Monmouth University in the 2016 MAAC Women’s Lacrosse Championship game. The Griffs earned the league’s automatic bid to the 2016 NCAA Division I Women’s Lacrosse Championship, where they met No. 4 Syracuse.
Last season, Evans was named to the IWLCA All-American Third Team and became the first women’s lacrosse player from Canisius to earn All-American honors. She was also selected to the IWLCA All-West/Midwest First Team, All-MAAC First Team, MAAC All-Tournament Team, and was a three-time MAAC Offensive Player of the Week.
Wagner and Marist Picked as 2017 Preseason Water Polo Favorites
EDISON, NJ – The three-time defending Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Water Polo Champions, Wagner College and four-time MAAC Water Polo Champions, Marist College, are the 2017 MAAC Water Polo co-preseason favorite, as voted upon by the leagues 8 head coaches. Amanda Amorosa of Marist College was selected as the 2017 Preseason Player of the Year. Emily Riddle of Wagner College was selected as the 2017 Preseason Goalkeeper of the Year.
The Seahawks were selected as co-preseason favorites following a season in which they went 12-0 in the MAAC and 29-10 overall. At the 2016 MAAC Water Polo Championship, Wagner defeated Villanova University 11-2 in the semifinals before defeating Marist College 8-5 to win its third consecutive MAAC Water Polo Championship, and sixth in program history. The Seahawks will have Preseason Goalkeeper of the Year, Emily Riddle returning for her senior season. Last season, Riddle was second in the MAAC in goals against average (7.31), total saves (212), and ranked third in save percentage (.477). Riddle was selected to the Preseason All-MAAC Team along with teammate Kimberly Watson. Watson ranked third in the MAAC with 38 assists last season, and sixth with 73 total points.
Marist College is the co-preseason favorite, along with Wagner College. The Red Foxes were 9-3 in the MAAC last season and 16-18 overall. Amanda Amorosa was unanimously selected to the All-MAAC Preseason Team, and was selected as the Preseason Player of the Year. Joining Amorosa on the Preseason All-MAAC Team is the 2016 MAAC Water Polo Rookie of the Year, Katherine Tijerina. Amorosa scored 64 goals and recorded 26 assists, totaling 90 points. Tijerina ranked third in the MAAC in steals (61) and totaled 100 points on 47 goals and 53 assists for the Red Foxes.
Coming in third is Iona College. The Gaels were 8-4 in the MAAC last season and 13-15 overall. Returning for Iona is unanimous Preseason All-MAAC Team selection Hannah Schultz. Schultz was third in the MAAC last season with 81 goals.
Villanova University ranks fourth in the preseason poll. Last season, the Wildcats were 6-6 in the MAAC and 16-18 overall. Dominique Clark returns for her sophomore season and was selected to the preseason All-MAAC Team. Clark scored 51 goals last season for the Wildcats.
Virginia Military Institute comes in fifth in the preseason poll. Last season, VMI finished 3-9 in the MAAC and 10-17 overall. Junior Shelby Barkley was named to the preseason All-MAAC Team. Barkley scored 64 goals, and 17 assists, totaling 81 points.
St. Francis Brooklyn comes in at sixth on the preseason poll. The Terriers were 3-9 last season in MAAC play and finished with an overall record of 10-17.
Siena College finished seventh in the preseason poll after finishing with a 1-10 conference record and a 3-23 overall record.
Rounding out the poll is La Salle University. This will be La Salle’s inaugural season with Water Polo as a varsity sport.
Preseason All-MAAC Team
*Hannah Schultz, Iona
*Amanda Amorosa, Marist
Katherine Tijerina, Marist
Shelby Barkley, VMI
Dominique Clark, Villanova
Emily Riddle, Wagner
Kimberly Watson, Wagner
Preseason Player of the Year
Amanda Amorosa, Marist
Preseason Goalkeeper of the Year
Emily Riddle, Wagner