Checking in on the… MAAC

Posted by rtmsf on January 16th, 2009

Ray Floriani of College Chalktalk is the RTC correspondent for the NEC and MAAC conferences.

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ – The standings of the MAAC as of January 16th.

  1. Siena        7-0
  2. Fairfield    5-2
  3. Niagara    4-2
  4. Rider        4-2
  5. Manhattan    3-3
  6. Iona        3-4
  7. Marist        3-4
  8. St.Peter’s    2-5
  9. Loyola        1-5
  10. Canisius    1-6

About the only constant in the MAAC these days is Siena just keeps on posting the Ws. The Saints are off  to their best start over their 19 year history in the conference. Trivia question, what conference did Siena play in prior to the MAAC ? The old North Atlantic which many of its members today call the America East as home. Siena’s junior point guard earned MAAC Player of the Week honors with a 14.7 ppg, ,6.7 assists and 5 rebounds per game showing over a three game stretch.

Freshman guard Scott Machado averaged 16 points, 4 assists per game to earn conference Rookie of the Week accolades. Speaking of Iona…the Gaels upset Niagara with a 71-65 road victory at the Gallagher Center on Thursday. Gary Springer led the way with 16 points.

Thursday gave another upset of note just twenty miles down the road from Niagara. In Buffalo, Canisius scored an 84-66 upset over Rider behind a career high 26 points from Julius Coles. It was the Griffs’ first MAAC win of the season and prevented Rider from claiming sole possession of second place.  Thursday action also included a 75-68 win by Fairfield over St.Peter’s in Jersey City. The Stags shot a sizzling 62% (13 of 21) from three point range. St. Peter’s, as noted last week, battled Niagara tough in last Friday’s loss. The Peacocks followed up with a nice home win over Loyola on Sunday before entertaining Fairfield last night. Siena also received a scare from resurgent Marist. The Saints held off the Red Foxes in a tough 91-85 road win in overtime. Alex Franklin (19 points 10 baords) led the way for Siena. Marist, playing well of late had come off a home win over Niagara on Sunday. Ryan Schneider, doing an excellent job inside and a main reason for Marist’s recent reversal of fortunes, had 19 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks.

Loyola, many observers felt, could do some damage in conference play. So far the damage has been self inflicted as the Greyhounds are off to a 1-5 start. Shooting and defensive woes have been problems for Jimmy Patsos’ club. Tempo free stats, you knew they would be in this column, show Loyola shooting an effective field goal percentage of 46% (third lowest in the MAAC). On the defensive end their efficiency is a poor 105, a mark which is second lowest in the conference.

Among the games this weekend, Siena at Fairfield and Rider at Niagara are particularly of interest. Rider didn’t expect to go 0-2 on their Western New York swing and Niagara does not entertain two straight Ls at home so this one among two strong contenders, should be interesting. League leading Siena will face a tough Fairfield team in a very interesting road contest. Tempo will play a big role in that one as Siena averages a brisk 73 possessions and Fairfield is comfortable with a slower pace in the high sixties.

rtmsf (3988 Posts)

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