ESPN Announces MAAC Netflex Games for January 6

EDISON, NJ – ESPN has announced the two Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball netflex matchups for Friday, January 6. On ESPNU, Monmouth University welcomes Iona College to the OceanFirst Bank Center at 7:00 p.m., while Marist College hosts Rider University at McCann Arena on ESPN3. Tip-off time is still to be determined.

Monmouth and Iona meet for the first time since the 2016 MAAC Men’s Basketball Championship Game last March. The Hawks are currently 2-0 in the MAAC and 7-2 overall and are on a six-game winning streak. The Gaels are 1-1 in conference play and a hold a 5-3 overall record. Iona became the first MAAC school to win the GCI Great Alaska Shootout, the nation’s oldest regular-season college basketball tournament back in November.

The Red Foxes and Broncs will square off for the first time this season. Marist is 1-1 in the MAAC and 4-6 overall while Rider is 1-1 in the MAAC and 4-3 overall. The Red Foxes and Broncs split the season series in 2015-16

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, visits maacsports.com/basketball and remember to follow the conversation on social media using #MAACHoops

Jordan Washington Named Player of the Week, Isaiah Reese Takes Home Rookie of the Week Honors

Player of the Week

Jordan Washington, Iona

Sr., 6-8, F, Jamaica, NY/ Pathways/Indian Hills (IA)

Senior Jordan Washington carried Iona to two non-conference wins this week, on the road at reigning NEC tournament champions and preseason-favorite Fairleigh Dickinson Wednesday and at home over CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major No. 11, and MAC preseason No. Ohio University Saturday. Washington averaged 24.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists while shooting 67.9% (19-for-28) from the field and 83.3% (10-for-12) from the free throw line. Washington just missed a double-double vs. the Knights on the road, tallying 18 points and grabbing nine boards while matching his career-best with two assists in just 17 minutes of action. He followed it up with his second 30+ point effort at Iona, registering an even 30 points, converting on 13-of-18 (72.2%) shot attempts. Washington was tasked with guarding reigning MAC Player of the Year Antonio Campbell who was limited under his season average (19.8 ppg/11.0 rpg) with 16 points and nine rebounds. Washington also played a career-best 32 minutes in the thrilling four-point win which saw the Gaels come back from a 12-point first half deficit to the Bobcats.

Rookie of the Week

Isaiah Reese, Canisius

Fr., 6-5, G, Miami, FL/DME Academy

Canisius freshman Isaiah Reese averaged 16.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.5 steals per game last week as the Golden Griffins went 2-0 in non-league action to even their record at 5-5 for the year. In the win at Boston University Dec. 7, Reese scored a career-high 16 points off the bench after he went 7-for-9 from the field and 2-for-2 from 3-point land while also dishing out three assists to go with two steals. In the win over St. Francis Brooklyn Dec. 10, he posted a career-best 17 points after going 6-for-11 from the floor and 3-for-5 from 3-point land. He also grabbed seven rebounds, which is a new career-high. He ended the week shooting 65 percent from the field, 71.4 percent from 3-point range and he went a perfect 2-for-2 from the free-throw line.

Monmouth Ranked 9th, Iona 23rd in College Insider Mid-Major Top 25

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

Rider's Robin Perkins & Marist's Rebekah Hand Earn MAAC Women's Basketball Weekly Awards

Player of the Week

Robin Perkins, Rider

Sr., G, Willingboro, NJ/Trenton Catholic

Robin Perkins averaged 21.0 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 3.0 steals per game in the Broncs’ third and fourth-straight wins, all on the road. She shot 43.8 percent (14-of-32) from the floor and 38.9 percent (7-of-18) from long range, while also burying 7-of-8 free-throws (87.5%). Against Lehigh on Thursday night, she went for 19 points, five rebounds, and five steals as the Broncs took a 75-68 victory. She then followed up the performance with 23 points, including 5-of-11 shooting from long range against Towson. On the year, Perkins is averaging 16.8 points per game on 44.2 percent shooting from the floor, 37.5 percent from long range and 85.7 percent from the free-throw line.

Rookie of the Week

Rebekah Hand, Marist

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

Rebekah Hand has earned her fourth consecutive MAAC Rookie of the Week award. The freshman led the Red Foxes in scoring in the team’s only game of the week. Marist took care of business at home and defeated the Boston University Terriers behind Hand’s offensive efforts. Hand scored 17 points on 5-of-16 shooting from the field, hit three triples, and went 4-of-6 from the free-throw line. Hand also grabbed four rebounds, dished out two assists, and had a steal in 35 minutes of action.

Rider's Robin Perkins Named Met Women's Basketball Player of the Week

NEW YORK (Dec. 13, 2016) --- Robin Perkins of Rider and Calli Balfour of Adelphi have been named Women’s Division I and Divisions II-III Players of the Week, respectively, by the Met Basketball Writers Assn.

The designations, for games played Dec. 5-11, are unique in that they encompass players from 74 Met area schools across Divisions I, II and III.

A 5-10 senior guard from Willingboro, NJ, Perkins --- who also was named the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference player of the week --- averaged 21.0 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.0 steals in road wins over Lehigh and Towson for the Broncs (7-2), who have tied the best nine-game start to a season in program history (1993-94, 1982-83).

Perkins first tallied 19 points, five rebounds and five steals in a 75-68 win over Lehigh, then followed with 23 points, including 5-of-11 shooting from long range, against Towson.

On the year, she is averaging 16.8 points per game (3rd MAAC) on 44.2% shooting from the floor, 37.5% from beyond the arc and 85.7% from the free-throw line (2nd MAAC).

A 6-foot senior forward from Hopewell Junction, NY, Balfour averaged 24.5 points on 40% shooting from the floor, while adding 6.5 steals per game, in a pair of victories last week for the Panthers (8-2).

She posted 19 points and seven rebounds in an 80-54 win over Saint Rose, then erupted for a game-high 30 points in a 66-53 victory over Pace. In the latter game, Balfour hit 12-of-21 from the floor and swished a career-high four three-pointers.

Players receiving MBWA Women’s Division I Honorable Mention for the week: Ashunae Durant, Hofstra; Madison Hovren, Army; Akina Wellere, St. John’s.

Players receiving MBWA Women’s Divisions II-III Honorable Mention for the week: Elesha Dieudonne, Medgar Evers; Tu’ziah Hall, NJCU; Jacqueline Kennedy, Baruch; Alyssa McDonough, FDU Florham; Christina Pasaturo, Staten Island; Maria Simmons, Rutgers Newark; Tianna Smith, Bloomfield.

Jordan Confessore Named Associate Commissioner for Men’s Basketball

EDISON, NJ – Jordan Confessore has been promoted to Associate Commissioner for Men’s Basketball, effective January 1. Confessore previously served as the Assistant Commissioner for Women’s Basketball and served in that role since June of 2015 after being hired as the Director of Basketball Operations in August 2012. Confessore will replace Ruben Perez Jr., who will be leaving the MAAC to pursue new career opportunities.

Confessore will serve on the MAAC senior management staff and will be responsible for conference scheduling of men’s basketball and assist the Commissioner in managing MAAC’s membership in the Collegiate Officiating Consortium, LLC. She will oversee the scheduling of the MAAC broadcast package for men’s basketball, conduct in-season operations, and oversee the officiating bureau. Confessore will also assist with the basketball tournament marketing and operations in coordination with host arenas and member schools.

“I look forward to working with Jordan Confessore to improve the MAAC Basketball brand with her promotion to Associate Commissioner for Men’s Basketball,” notes MAAC Commissioner Rich Ensor.

Ensor added, “Jordan, as a former college basketball player at Ithaca College, is knowledgeable about basketball, the challenges of scheduling 11 teams in a balanced and competitive manner, and issues related to officiating and game management. She has been an integral member of the senior management team at the MAAC, and her success as Tournament Manager for the 2015 NCAA Sweet 16 Women’s Basketball Regional in Albany, NY will serve the league well as we prepare for the NCAA Men’s Basketball First & Second Rounds in Buffalo, NY this coming March.”

Confessore served as the Tournament Director for the 2015 NCAA D1 Women's Basketball Regional in Albany, NY. She served as the event manager for the annual MAAC Honor Roll Dinner and also oversees the MAAC's scholarship programs and student-athlete internship programs. Confessore will serve as the Tournament Director for the upcoming 2017 NCAA D1 Men’s Basketball First & Second Rounds in Buffalo, NY.

Confessore said, “I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the MAAC women’s basketball coaches and am excited to continue on the men’s side to help improve the MAAC Basketball brand. I want to thank Commissioner Ensor for the opportunity. I look forward to this new position at the MAAC and will continue to promote the conference to the best of my ability.”

Confessore joined the MAAC staff after serving as an Account Executive/Group Sales Manager at the Gazelle Group. In that role she acted as an on-site company representative, working with coaches, student-athletes, and administrators, for various Division 1 college basketball tournaments. She also served as a Sports Marketing Department Intern and a Sports Information Intern at Rutgers University.

Confessore holds her degree in Sports Media from the school of Sports Management and Media at Ithaca College, where she was a four-year women's basketball player. She also served as a Woman in Sports Careers Executive Board Member while attending Ithaca College.

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

Marist Sweeps Weekly Swimming and Diving Awards

Men’s Swimmer of the Week

Miguel Madeira, Marist

So., 6’3”, Miami, FL/Ronald Reagan

Madeira took the top spots in the 200- (1:41.40) and 500-yard freestyle (4:33.21) when the Red Foxes finished first out of four teams at the H2ounds Invitational. He placed second in the 100-yard event (46.61 seconds) to put up three season best times. Madeira also competed on four Marist relay teams, anchoring the 400- and 800-freestyle squads to first place finishes. He also anchored Marist's first place 200-yard freestyle relay team (1:25.01). Competing in seven total events, he had a hand in 209 points. Marist scored 1,054 points to defeat host Loyola along with Iona and Saint Peter’s and reach 100 MAAC wins all time.

Women’s Swimmer of the Week

Meredith Wurtz, Marist

Sr., 5’9”, Lafayette Hill, PA/William Penn Charter

Wurtz took first place in the 50- (23.85 seconds) and 100-yard freestyle (51.89 seconds) when Marist finished second in the four-team field at the H2ounds Invitational. Her times were season bests. Wurtz also anchored four Marist relay teams, including the 400- (3:32.86) and 800-yard (7:37.05) freestyle relay that touched first. The Red Foxes finished behind only host Loyola and ahead of MAAC opponents Iona and Saint Peter’s to extend their regular season conference winning streak to 40 dating back to 2009.

Men’s Diver of the Week

Raislan Aiken, Marist

Fr., 5’6”, Glens Falls, NY/Glens Falls

Aiken notched his first career win on the 1-meter board and was selected Diver of the Meet when the Red Foxes reached 100 MAAC wins all time at the H2ounds Invitational. He racked up 271.72 points for the victory and finished in second at three meters by .25 points with a final mark of 247.95 points. Marist finished atop the field out of four teams at the invitational, scoring 1,054 points to defeat host Loyola along with Iona and Saint Peter’s.

Women’s Diver of the Week

Megan Berardelli, Marist

Jr., 5’3”, Blue Bell, PA/Wissahickon

Berardelli was a double winner at the H2ounds Invitational when Marist extended its MAAC regular season winning streak to 40 dating back to 2009. She racked up first place scores of 244.95 points on the 1-meter board and 256.13 points at three meters before she was named Diver of the Meet. The Red Foxes finished second at the invitational behind only host Loyola. They finished ahead of MAAC opponents Iona and Saint Peter’s.

Monmouth's Julie Laszlo Named NFHCA All-American

CHANDLER, AZ – Monmouth University field hockey’s Julie Laszlo (Rotterdam, Netherlands/Rotterdams Montessori Lyceum) has been named to the Longstregth / National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) All-America Third Team, the organization announced Wednesday. The defender, who is one of 14 juniors to be honored, becomes the second Hawk all-time to be named an All-American joining Trish O’Dwyer who earned the distinction in 2014.

“We are really proud of Julie’s accomplishments this year, especially after her season last year was cut short due to injury.” Commented head coach Carli Figlio, the 2016 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Coach of the Year. “She has dedicated herself to becoming the best player she can be and has worked tirelessly to achieve it. We are so happy to have her recognized for her efforts.”

Laszlo, the MAAC Player and Defensive Player of the Year, was named to the All-Mid-Atlantic First Team last week. The Netherlands native, who was the fifth Hawk all-time to be named a league player of the year and the fourth-straight defensive player of the year honoree, returned to start all 20 games in 2016, compiling eight defensive saves from the backline, which ranked fourth nationally, and helped the defensive corps record 10 shutouts, a new program record. Laszlo also contributed on the offensive end recording a team-leading 48 points on 16 goals, including three game-winners, and 16 assists. She finished the year ranked third in the country in assists per game (0.80) and ninth in the nation in points per game (2.40). Laszlo was named the MAAC Player of the Week a league-high seven times during the year, while also being named to the All-MAAC Championship Team and the ECAC All-Star First Team.

Laszlo and the Hawks finished the season with a 17-3 record and capped off their most successful season to date with the MAAC Regular Season and Tournament Championship, while making their second appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

Manhattan Leading Nation In Community Service, Six MAAC Institutions Rank In Top 20

RIVERDALE, NY – Manhattan College student-athletes have been recognized by the NCAA as the national leaders in community service hours for the month of November. The Jaspers’ ranking was determined based on volunteer hours submitted via the Helper Helper app, which coordinates and tracks community service activity among Division I programs.

“I’m so thrilled for our student-athletes,” Alison Fitzgerald, Assistant Athletic Director for Compliance & Life Skills and moderator of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), said. “They’ve worked hard all semester, and I’m glad their receiving this well-deserved honor as first in the nation. They should all be incredibly proud of themselves.”

“Being a part of Manhattan College’s SAAC has me feeling blessed and thankful that I’m surrounded by student-athletes that love to help others,” SAAC President Maddie Arndt, a member of the women’s track & field team, added. “The amount of hours we have completed in community service together is truly amazing and more than we ever thought we could. Each team puts in a great effort and it feels wonderful to be recognized for our hard work. I cannot wait to see what the Spring semester has in store for the SAAC.”

The SAAC recently earned over $8,100 for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation during its annual “Brave A Shave For Kids With Cancer” fundraiser. The Jaspers also created holiday cards for nursing homes and soldiers deployed overseas as a part of the “Cards For a Cause” program, and conducted a Thanksgiving food drive that collected just under 200 pounds of food that was donated to the Mercy Center in the Bronx. In addition, Team Jasper Strong, a group of more than 350 Manhattan student-athletes and staff members, took part in the American Cancer Society “Making Strides For a Cure” 5K walk in Central Park.

In November, the women’s lacrosse program was presented with the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association’s (IWLCA) Team Community Awareness Award, recognizing the Jaspers for their contributions on campus and in the community.

A total of six MAAC institutions placed within the Top 20 in the nation in community service hours for the month of November. Manhattan College finished first overall, Canisius College placed third, Rider University finished 13th, Quinnipiac University placed 17th, and Marist College rounded out the list at 20th overall.

Canisius' Fitzsimmons Selected In Triple-A Rule 5 Draft

Former Canisius closer Jon Fitzsimmons was selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 Draft on December 8. Arizona used the seventh overall pick in the Triple-A Rule 5 Draft to take Fitzsimmons, who was previously a member of the Cleveland Indians organization.

In 2016, the London, Ontario native appeared in 10 games for the Lake County Captains, the Class-A affiliate of the Indians. He had a record of 1-0 with a 3.31 earned run average and 25 strikeouts in 16.1 innings of work. Opposing hitters batted just .158 against Fitzsimmons, and he ended his season with a 1.10 WHIP.

Fitzsimmons, a two-time MAAC Relief Pitcher of the Year, made 56 career appearances as a Golden Griffin from 2010-13, where he posted 22 saves with a 7-3 record and a 1.88 ERA. In 67 innings, Fitzsimmons recorded 85 strikeouts and allowed the opposition to hit just .185. In 2013, his final year with the Canisius program, he was 4-0 with 10 saves and a 1.16 ERA in 21 appearances out of the bullpen. He pitched the final inning of the Griffs’ combined no-hitter of Iona March 29, 2013, the first nine-inning no-hitter in program history.

After the 2013 season, Fitzsimmons signed a free-agent contract with the Kansas City Royals. Fitzsimmons joins former Canisius shortstop Sean Jamieson as a member of the Arizona farm system. Jamieson, who was drafted by Oakland in the 2011 MLB Draft, played 77 games for Arizona’s Triple-A team in Reno, Nevada, where he hit .244 with seven doubles, two triples, a home run and 18 RBI

Donohue, Dirrigl Earn Student-Athlete of the Week Awards

Meghan Donohue, Siena

Women’s Basketball | Senior | Forward | 6’1”| Mogadore, O.H./Archbishop Hoban

A senior captain for the Saints, Donohue has left her mark on the Siena community. She has been a captain for the women's basketball program for three seasons. Donohue has played and started in every game for Siena throughout her four-year career. She is just 45 points shy of being the 27th member of the 1,000 point club. In the past four games she has been the Saints leading scorer, while scoring 18 points against both Fairfield and UNH. Donohue leads the MAAC in field goal percentage this season shooting 61.0% from the floor. From the charity stripe she is shooting 87.8% and ranks first in the MAAC and 46th in the nation, and only one of 10 that has more than 40 attempts from the free throw line. She was named to the Preseason Second Team All-MAAC her junior year. As a sophomore, she ranked second in the MAAC shooting 50.3% from the floor. She was named to the MAAC All-Rookie Team her freshman year as well as being named MAAC Rookie of the Week three times. .

Dan Dirrigl, Canisius

Swimming & Diving | Junior | Free/Fly | 6’1” | Clarence, N.Y./St. Joseph Collegiate Inst.

Canisius junior Dan Dirrigl holds the top time in the men’s 200 free, 100 fly and 200 fly, as well as being a part of top relay times in the 200 and 400 medley relays for the Griffs through the team’s first six meets.

Dirrigl set personal bests in the 100-yard and 200-yard fly at the 2016 MAAC Championships, while also recording five first place finishes in the 2015-16 season.

The junior holds school records in the 100 fly and is a part of a school record in the 200 medley relay. Aside from his swimming accolades, the accounting major currently holds a 3.80 GPA.

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