Marist Top Selection in Women's Basketball Preseason Poll
Release: November 09, 2012
Marist was the unanimous choice, with all 10 of the first-place votes, followed by Niagara University, in second place with 83 points. Loyola University Maryland came in third with 67 points. Canisius followed in fourth place with 64 points, while Fairfield University took fifth with 54 points. Rider University received 49 points to finish sixth, trailed by Siena College (45 points) in seventh. Iona College receives 41 points in eighth, followed by Manhattan College with 35 points in ninth. Saint Peter's University (12) was 10th to round out the poll.
Last season, the Red Foxes won their seventh consecutive MAAC Championship and eighth in the past nine seasons. The Marist women's basketball team won their fifth ever NCAA Tournament game last season, defeating the fourth-seeded University of Georgia, 76-60 ,in a first-round game. Returning starters from last season are preseason All-MAAC First Team selection Leanne Ockenden and Second Team selection Elizabeth Beynnon. Ockenden was 10th in the league in field goal percentage, shooting 43.4 percent from the field. Beynnon averaged career-highs in points per game (8.6), minutes per game (24.7) and field goal percentage (.486) during her junior campaign for the Red Foxes. 2012 Anaconda Sports MAAC Coach of the Year Brian Giorgis will also look to junior Casey Dulin, sophomore Tori Jarosz and senior Kristina Danella to help lead Marist to its eighth consecutive title and continue their dominance in the MAAC.
Niagara returns with young talent along with some veteran anchors that helped carry them to the semifinals of the MAAC Championship last season. The Purple Eagles will be led by All-MAAC First Team selection Kayla Stroman and All-MAAC Second Team selection Lauren Gatto. Stroman was Niagara's leading scorer last season averaging 10.8 points per game. She finished second in the MAAC in steals and fourth in assists, averaging 2.5 steals and 3.9 assists per game during her sophomore season. The Purple Eagles second leading scorer, behind Stroman, was Gatto. She led the team in points per game (10.3), steals (81), assists (124), and minutes played (1,055). Sixth-year head coach Kendra Faustin will also call upon the services of the sharp shooting sophomore Meghan McGuinness and sophomore forward Val McQuade as Niagara aims for their first MAAC Championship in school history.
2012-2013 MAAC Preseason Coaches' Poll
1. Marist 100 2. Niagara 83 3. Loyola 67 4. Canisius 64 5. Fairfield 54 6. Rider 49 7. Siena 45 8. Iona 41 9. Manhattan 35 10. Saint Peter's 12