MAAC Women’s Hoops Set to Tip-Off Conference Play Tonight

EDISON, NJ – The 2016-17 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Women’s Basketball conference schedule is set to tip-off tonight when Manhattan College hosts Marist College at 7:00 p.m. from Draddy Gymnasium.

The Jaspers and Red Foxes will be the only teams in action this evening. Manhattan College is off to a (3-2) start through their first five games, earning victories over Holy Cross, Yale, and Brown. The Jaspers are allowing 59.6 points per game and have limited opponents to 36.5% shooting from the field, which both rank as the third-lowest marks in the MAAC respectively. Manhattan leads the conference as a team in both total blocks (27) and blocks per game (5.4).

Manhattan has been led by juniors Amani Tatum and Kayla Grimme, who are tied for the team-lead in scoring, averaging 9.2 points per contest. Tatum leads the MAAC with 5.0 assists per game and ranks third in the league with 3.2 steals per game. Grimme leads the league in blocks (19) and blocks per game (3.8). Grimme’s 3.8 blocks per game is tied for the sixth-most in the nation. The junior is averaging 7.8 rebounds per game, the third-most per game in the conference.

Marist is (1-6) through their first seven games of the season. The Red Foxes earned their first win of the season in their last outing on November 24. Marist defeated North Carolina A&T, 69-64 in the Savannah Invitational. The Red Foxes were led by freshman guard Rebekah Hand, who scored a career-high 28 points and recorded 12 rebounds for her second-career double-double. Marist received a pair of 13-point performances from freshman guard Hannah Hand and sophomore guard Claire Oberdorf en route to victory.

Rebekah Hand has been named the MAAC Women’s Basketball Rookie of the Week twice this season (November 21 & November 28). Hand is averaging 14.6 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 3.1 assists per game through her first seven colligate contests. Hand ranks sixth in the MAAC in scoring and second in rebounding.

Conference play will continue on Thursday, December 1 with two games on the schedule. Siena College will take on Fairfield University at 7:00 p.m. from Loudonville, NY. Saint Peter’s University will host Quinnipiac University at 7:00 p.m. from Jersey City, NJ.

Three games will follow on Friday, December 2. Niagara University will take on Monmouth University at 7:00 p.m. from Niagara University, NY. Iona College will host Manhattan College at 7:00 p.m. from New Rochelle, NY and Canisius College will take on Rider University at 7:00 p.m. from Buffalo, NY. On Saturday, December 3, Quinnipiac will host Siena at 7:00 p.m. from Hamden, CT in the only game of the day.

Teams will return to the court on Sunday, December 4 for a full slate of conference action with four contests on the schedule. The first three games of the day will tip-off at 2:00 p.m. Canisius will host Monmouth from Buffalo, NY. Niagara will face Rider from Niagara University, NY and Marist will take on Saint Peter’s from Poughkeepsie, NY. The final game of the day between Fairfield and Iona will tip-off at 7:00 p.m. from Fairfield, CT. Conference play will resume on Friday, December 30.

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 Women’s Basketball Championship Game will take place on Monday, March 6 at 5:00 p.m. and will air live on ESPNU with the winner earning the leagues automatic bid to the NCAA Championship.

For all up-to-date information on the 2017 MAAC Basketball Championship, visit maacsports.com/basketball.

Sam Cassell Jr. & Peter Kiss Take Home MAAC Men's Basketball Weekly Awards

Player of the Week

Sam Cassell Jr., Iona

Gr., 6-4, G, Baltimore, MD / Connecticut / Notre Dame Prep

Graduate guard Sam Cassell Jr. led the Iona College men's basketball team to the 2016 GCI Great Alaska Shootout championship earning MVP honors for his performance in the three games in Anchorage. Cassell averaged 17.7 points, 4.7 assists, 3.3 rebounds and 1.0 steals. He played 108 minutes and had 14 assists to just two turnovers in the three contests. Cassell was named player of the game in the Gaels opening win over Drake scoring 15 points with seven assists, four rebounds and two steals. He scored a team-leading 18 points in a 22-point rout on day two vs. defending Big Sky champion Weber State and earned CBS Sports Network's Moose Hat. In the championship game vs. Nevada, Cassell helped the Maroon & Gold avenge a loss from six-days earlier with 20 points and five assists in route the MVP award. He hit two big three-pointers down the stretch, including one that broke a 59-59 tie with 5:38 remaining and another with 3:35 left to give Iona a four-point advantage.

The Gaels became the first Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference program to win the nation’s oldest regular-season college basketball tournament, which completed its 39th edition. Cassell was the third MVP for the Gaels joining Jeff Ruland in 1979 and Steve Burtt Sr. in 1981.

Rookie of the Week

Peter Kiss, Quinnipiac

Fr., 6-5, G, New York, NY/Notre Dame (MA)

Kiss had a breakout performance at the AdvoCare Invitational, helping the Bobcats to three solid showings on their way to a 1-2 Thanksgiving weekend. He had 18 points on 8-13 shooting in a loss to No. 11 Gonzaga, and followed that up with 19 points on 7-11 shooting (4-4 on threes) in a 90-79 loss to Seton Hall. Kiss shot 5-5 in the second half as the Bobcats cut a 15-point lead down to two before the Pirates pulled away late. He capped off the weekend with 11 points in an 80-77 win over Indiana State, giving him double figures in all three games of the tournament.

Don't miss the upcoming week of MAAC Men's Basketball

Iona's Alexis Lewis & Marist's Rebekah Hand Earn MAAC Women's Basketball Weekly Awards

Player of the Week

Alexis Lewis, Iona

So., G, Pittson, PA/Holy Redeemer

Sophomore Alexis Lewis continues her torrid scoring streak, by scoring 20-plus points in back-to-back games. The sophomore guard registered her second and third career double-doubles over the two-game stretch.

Against Navy on November 21, Lewis played 38 minutes, scored 21 points, and pulled down a career-high 14 rebounds, eight of which were offensive. Lewis shot 40.9% from the floor, hitting a pair of triples. She also dished out three assists, while swiping a season-high two steals and blocking a career-high three shots.

Against North Texas of November 26, Lewis played a career-high 39 minutes en route to scoring a career-high 24 points on (11-of-20) shooting. Lewis also gathered 10 rebounds, her fourth career double-digit rebounding performance.

Over the course of the week, Lewis played an average of 38.5 minutes, scored an average of 22.5 points per game, while shooting 47.6% from the field. She pulled down 12.0 rebounds, while dishing out 2.0 assists per game. Defensively, Lewis averaged 1.5 steals and 1.5 blocks per game.

Rookie of the Week

Rebekah Hand, Marist

Fr., G, Argyle, TX/Liberty Christian School

Freshman guard Rebekah Hand has been named the MAAC Women’s Basketball Rookie of the Week for the second week in a row. Hand takes home the honor for the second time in her career.

Hand averaged 19.7 points, 7.7 rebounds, three assists, 1.0 blocks, and 1.0 steals per game in a three game week for the Red Foxes. Hand averaged 37.7 minutes per game and finished with shooting percentages of 38.6 from the field, 37.0 from three-point range and an 88.2 percent shooting clip from the free-throw stripe.

In Hand’s first game of the week at the Savannah Invitational against ECU, she scored 21 points on (6-of-17) shooting, grabbed six rebounds, and dished out three assists. In the Red Foxes next game, Hand scored 10 points and pulled down five rebounds against currently unbeaten SEC opponent Auburn.

In Hand’s most impressive outing of the week, the freshman guard scored 28 points, the most by a freshman in the last 18 years of the program’s history, and grabbed 12 rebounds. The double-double was Hand’s second of the year and helped propel the Red Foxes to their first victory of the season. Hand was named to the Savannah invitational All-Tournament team at the events conclusion.

Don't miss the upcoming week of MAAC Women's Basketball

Marist College To Compete in 2017 AdvoCare Invitational

The AdvoCare Invitational eight-team field for the 2017 tournament – to be held Thursday, Friday and Sunday, Nov. 23, 24 and 26, at HP Field House at ESPN Wide World of Sports near Orlando, Fla. – will include Long Beach State, Marist, Missouri, Nebraska, Oregon State, St. John’s, UCF and West Virginia.

  • West Virginia is ranked No. 19 in the Associated Press poll (Nov. 21).
  • Oregon State and West Virginia reached the 2016 NCAA Championship
  • Long Beach State participated in the 2016 NIT

The family-friendly tournament is a weekend-long affair at the Walt Disney World Resort, where participating teams practice, play and enjoy the Walt Disney World Resort Theme Parks. Travel packages are available for fans and include resort accommodations at the team hotel, game tickets, theme park tickets and much more. Visit AnthonyTravel.com/AdvoCare-Invitational or call 888-632-6951 to make your reservation today.

Xavier won the 2015 AdvoCare Invitational. Previous winners also include Kansas in 2014, Memphis in 2013, Gonzaga in 2008 and 2012, Dayton in 2011, Notre Dame in 2010, Florida State in 2009, NC State in 2007 and Arkansas in 2006.

Additional information, including travel packages, can be found on the AdvoCare Invitational web site.

The AdvoCare Invitational is one of 11 college basketball events owned and operated by ESPN Events, a division of ESPN.

ESPN Events

ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a large portfolio of collegiate sporting events worldwide. The roster includes three Labor Day weekend college football games; FCS opening-weekend game; 13 college bowl games, 11 college basketball events and two college award shows, which accounts for approximately 250-plus hours of programming, reaches almost 64 million viewers and attracts over 700,000 attendees each year. With satellite offices in Albuquerque, Birmingham, Boca Raton, Boise, Dallas-Fort Worth, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Montgomery and St. Petersburg, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans.

ESPN Events also manages the Big 12 Corporate Partner Program.

Collegiate Football

AdvoCare Texas Kickoff (Houston); AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl (Houston); Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl (Atlanta); Birmingham Bowl (Alabama); Boca Raton Bowl (Florida); Camping World Kickoff (Orlando, Fla.); Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (Boise); Gildan New Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque); Hawai’i Bowl (Honolulu); Las Vegas Bowl (Nevada); Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth); MEAC/SWAC Challenge (Baton Rouge, La.); Montgomery Kickoff Classic (Montgomery, Ala.); Popeyes Bahamas Bowl (Nassau); Raycom Media Camellia Bowl (Montgomery, Ala.); St. Petersburg Bowl (Florida); The Home Depot College Football Awards (Atlanta) and Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth)

Collegiate Basketball

AdvoCare Invitational (Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla.); College Basketball Awards Presented by Wendy’s (Los Angeles); Gildan Charleston Classic (South Carolina); Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic (Honolulu); Jimmy V Men’s Classic presented by Corona (New York City); Jimmy V Women’s Classic presented by Corona (Uncasville, Conn.); NIT Season Tip-Off (Brooklyn, N.Y.); PK80 (Portland, Ore.); State Farm Armed Forces Classic (Honolulu); State Farm Champions Classic (New York City); Tire Pros Invitational (Orlando, Fla.) and Wooden Legacy (Orange County, Calif.)

For more information, visit the official website, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube pages.

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ESPN Media Contact: Rachel Margolis Siegal at 860-766-2798 or rachel.m.siegal@espn.com

Fairfield will take on Michigan State in the First Round of the 2016 NCAA Volleyball Championship
Wright, Mroz, Perry & Dretzka Earn Swimming and Diving Weekly Awards

Men’s Swimmer of the Week

Neil Perry, Manhattan

Jr., Elkridge, MD/Loyola Blakefield

Perry won four different events in the Jaspers’ 168-90 win over Monmouth on Saturday. He took first in the 50-yard freestyle (21.82) and 100-yard freestyle (51.46), posting a margin of victory of more than a second in both events. Perry was also victorious in the 200-yard individual medley, finishing nearly two seconds ahead of the field in a time of 2:05.82. His fourth win came while swimming the anchor leg in the 200-yard medley relay.

Men’s Diver of the Week

Travis Wright, Canisius

Jr., 5’9”, Derby, NY/Lake Shore

The men’s diving team finished with the top two slots in the one and three-meter, with Travis Wright winning each event. Wright swept the men’s diving events with scores of 340.05 in the one meter and 341.25 in the three meter event.

Women’s Swimmer of the Week

Fiona Dretzka, Siena

Jr., 5’8”, Northglenn, CO/Legacy

Fiona Dretzka scored four total first place finishes in the Saints’ victories over Manhattan and Monmouth on Saturday. Dretzka began the meet with a win the 200 medley relay as she swam first for the winning Siena team. Next, Dretzka took the 100 backstroke (1:00.08) before winning the 200 backstroke (2:13.67). Dretzka ended her day with a victory in the 200 IM (2:16.98). Siena soundly defeated both Manhattan (176-80) and Monmouth (189-60).

Women’s Diver of the Week

Vivian Mroz, Canisius

So., 5’7”, Denver, CO/Bronxville

Sophomore Vivian Mroz won both the one and three-meter women’s diving events with scores of 234.00 and 265.50 respectively. The Blue and Gold swept both the men’s and women’s diving events against Binghamton on Saturday.

Rampado, Daniels Earn Student-Athlete of the Week Awards

Victoria Rampado, Niagara

Redshirt-Junior | Forward | 6’ 2’’ | Niagara Falls, Ont./ A.N. Meyer

Rampado leads the Purple Eagles in both scoring and rebounding, averaging 18.6 points per game and 6.8 rebounds per game. Rampado is the only Purple Eagle to score in double-digits in every game so far this season. She also has a team-high four blocks. At Cleveland State on November 23, Rampado set a career-high in assists with six and she scored a season-high 24 points against No. 6/5 Maryland on November 20.

Prior to the season, Rampado was named to both the Preseason All-MAAC First Team and the Preseason All-Big 4 First Team. Rampado, an education major, is also a two-time member of the MAAC All-Academic Team.

Chaise Daniels, Quinnipiac

Junior | Forward | 6’ 9”| Meriden, CT./Hillhouse/Putnam Science

Daniels made the winning basket with 24 seconds left as the Quinnipiac men’s basketball team defeated Indiana State 80-77 to close out the AdvoCare Invitational in Orlando on Sunday. Daniels had a strong tournament overall, tallying nine points, 10 rebounds and four blocked shots against No. 11 Gonzaga on Thursday, and then recording his second career double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds against Seton Hall on Friday. He closed out the tournament by scoring all 12 of his points against Indiana State in the second half, including the game-winner, giving the Bobcats the lead back after the Sycamores hit a three-pointer to go ahead 77-76 with 44 seconds left.

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