Checking In On… the MAACPosted by Brian Goodman on December 3rd, 2011
Ray Floriani is the RTC correspondent for the MAAC and NEC.
On-Site: St. Peters vs. Siena
The conference’s two most recent champions, St. Peter’s and Siena, tipped off last Thursday night. Defending champion St. Peter’s hosted a Siena team trying to get through injuries and searching for their identity. Sophomore point guard Rakeem Brookins is out for the season. The Saints are still not getting the services of Owen Wignot, a good inside player. Early on, the Peacocks built a 21-7 lead as yet another slow start by the Saints put them in an early hole. Down nine at the half, Siena stayed tough. Even faced with a 16-point deficit on the road with fourteen minutes and change to play, Mitch Buonoguro’s group stayed focused. The lead was built courtesy of a tough man-to-man defense by St. Peter’s. Siena ws able to slowly get back in as their 2-3 zone and a St. Peter’s dry spell open the door. The Saints drew even late, but never get the lead, which Buonoguro later pointed out as very significant. Down the stretch, St. Peter’s nursed a slight five-point lead and with less than three minutes to play. Brandon Hall, who hadn’t hit a shot all night, buried a crucial three-pointer for the Peacocks. That made it a three-possession game and proved to be the dagger for Siena. “This was a tough game,” St. Peter’s coach John Dunne said afterward. “It’s the type of game you will see a lot of in this league.”
- Player of the Week: Scott Machado, Iona. The senior guard scored a career high 34 points in the Gaels’ 104-99 double overtime victory over St. Joseph’s. He is just the fifth MAAC player in history to record 1,200 and 600 assists.
- Rookie of the Week: Chavaugh Lewis, Marist. Lewis had a career high 23 points in Marist’s victory over Colgate. A freshman guard, Lewis averaged 15 points in a two-game stretch.
- Iona (4-1) – The Gaels swept their two games, both at home, defeating St. Joseph’s in two overtimes and LIU. Scott Machado had a huge game against the Hawks, earning Player of the Week accolades. Mike Glover excelled with a 28-point, 14-rebound effort against LIU.
- Loyola (4-1, 1-0) – In the MAAC opener, the Greyhounds defeated Marist 76-63 behind Dylan Cormier’s 16 points. Erik Etherly contributed a double-double in the winning effort.
- Niagara (3-3) - Lone contest was a 65-63 victory at St. Francis (PA). Purple Eagles trailed by 18 at the half before putting up 45 second half points to claim the victory. Antoine Mason paced Niagara with 15 points, three assists and four steals.
- Fairfield (3-4) – Finished fourth in the Old Spice Classic in Orlando. After a convincing win over Arizona State on Thanksgiving Day, the Stags dropped a semifinal heartbreaker to eventual champion Dayton. Fairfield then dropped a close one to Indiana State in the consolation game. Rakim Sanders had a strong showing in each of the three games in Orlando.
- Manhattan (3-4) – Found the Ivy competition tough going. Jaspers lost a home game to Columbia before suffering a narrow setback at Penn. Three players, all in relief, scored double figures at Penn. George Beamon was the leader with 16 points.
- Siena (2-3) – The Saints battled from 16 down and drew even, but could not get a lead in their 51-44 loss at St. Peter’s. It was the MAAC opener for both clubs. OD Anosike led the way with 12 points and ten rebounds. Freshman Rob Poole added 11 points, showing a nice perimeter touch.
- Marist (2-4, 0-1) – Gave a competitive showing before dropping the conference opener at Loyola. Chavaughn Lewis, the recent MAAC Rookie of the Week, tallied a game high 16 points for the Red Foxes.
- Canisius (1-3) – Dropped a 94-59 contest at Buffalo in their only game of the week. Four Griffs were in double figures with Gaby Belardo leading the way with 16 points. Canisius was guilty of 21 turnovers leading to 32 points by the host Bulls.
- St. Peter’s (1-4, 1-0) – The MAAC opener for the Peacocks saw them emerge 51-44 victors over Siena. Chris Prescott led the way for St. Peter’s with a game-high 16 points. Brandon Hall had one basket, but it was a big one, a late three-pointer that was instrumental in St. Peter’s earning a hard-fought victory.
- Rider (1-6) – Rider topped Howard at home before losing to James Madison and LaSalle at the Palestra in the Hoop Group Classic. Senior Jeff Jones scored a career high 24 points against LaSalle. Jones was five of seven from three point range.
The Weeks Ahead
Plenty of notable games are coming up for the MAAC over the next two weeks as teams creep closer to to heavy conference play. Among them:
- December 5: Albany at Siena
- December 7: Loyola at George Washington
- December 9: Siena vs. UMass
- December 9: Rider vs. Florida
- December 11: Iona at Marshall
- December 14: Princeton at Rider
- December 14: Iona at Richmond