MAAC teams enjoyed overtime, especially prior to their holiday break as three teams on Tuesday Dec. 22 went a combined 6 overtimes. The best part? All three pulled out victories in different ways.
Here are some numbers to know from the holiday week of MAAC play:
11 – That’s the amount that Canisius came back from in the final minute of the second half to tie Louisiana Monroe on Tuesday night. That number ties the NCAA record for the largest deficit overcome with less than a minute to go. The Golden Griffins scored 14 points in the game’s final 62 seconds as Louisiana Monroe made one of their final six free throws in that span to allow the Griffs to come back.
33 – The Monmouth Hawks earned 11 votes in the AP Top 25, setting a new record for the most in school history after last week’s six votes. They are tied with Northwestern and rank 33rd in the country, according to the most recent poll.
3 – Three is the magic number for three MAAC teams who have started non-conference play with as many wins. It would be hard to believe in the preseason that the two schools picked for 3rd – ironically – in Manhattan and Rider would both be languishing with three wins through their non-conference slate. Both have chances to pick up wins this week as they head into conference play in 2016.
8 – Entering tonight that represents the number of wins Siena has this season, but also the new career-high of offensive rebounds that junior Javion Ogunyemi grabbed in their Dec. 22 victory over St. Bonaventure. Patsos said the junior has been the “unsung hero of this team” and he has become a consistent scorer and is starting to take charge inside at times. He ranks third on the team in points (10.8 ppg), second in rebounds (5.8 rpg) to Brett Bisping (9.1) and leads the team with 2 blocks per game. There is little doubt the Saints would be a different team if he did not earn a chance to play this season.
22 – As Morgan State closed out their MAAC play for the season, dropping games to the Jaspers and Broncs, they provided Rider with their largest margin of victory for the season. The Broncs made 60% of their two-pointers for the second time this season, their last was in their Charleston Southern win, and they made a season-high 14 three-pointers. The added bonus is they were able to win without punishing the Bears from the free throw line, so if Rider can start to convert more from the outside, they could still put it together in conference play.
Tweets of the Week:
Cleaning up a bit here, especially for Marist freshman Brian Parker who proves he can do it all.
Here are some highlights of the Canisius comeback chronicled earlier and how they cut an 11-point deficit in a minute and won in three overtimes.
Quotes of the Week:
“Nobody is making the tournament today, there are high-major schools that are looking like they’re going now and are not gonna make it. Please, can everybody stop talking about Monmouth going to the tournament? If we win our conference tournament, we will be in. That’s how you get in from the MAAC… If everybody would stop talking about ‘We’re so great’ in the papers all the time and saying we’re going to the tournament and we should be ranked, they’ll have a chance to listen to their coach instead of Twitter and everybody online and reporters saying, “‘Oh my goodness, this is going to happen for Monmouth.'” – Monmouth head coach King Rice after their 91-84 loss at Army West Point
“I know it’s a little rose-colored glasses, but I think he’s a first-team all-MAAC player. I’ve coached at the highest levels, in the Big East (West Virginia), I was in the Missouri Valley (Creighton), and he’s as good as any guard I’ve ever coached.” – Marist head coach Mike Maker on junior Khallid Hart’s career-high 37 to lift the Red Foxes to a win over Brown in double overtime
“We’re going to let it fly. We’re going to get out in transition and out as much pressure on people as we can. It’s one of the core values of this team. That’s why we conditioned so hard this year. We want to go. If you stop us, then we feel like we have some good half-court stuff, but we want to push it as much as possible.” Fairfield head coach Sydney Johnson after their 101-91 win at Bucknell
“We’re in the throes of learning how to play together with a nine new guys, learning how to make less mistakes. We have to get to the point where we make two, three less mistakes and finish two, three more plays on the offensive end, and the single digit losses become wins.” – Niagara head coach Chris Casey after their loss at Albany
“Quis is Allen Iverson-ing it right now. He’s taking every bump, every bang. He’s playing the 2. He’ll play the 1. He competes. He had a couple of blocks. He had some great rebounds. He had 20 [points], 10 [assists], 6 [rebounds]. Ok, he had 9 turnovers, that would have been a hell of a triple double.” – Siena head coach Jimmy Patsos on junior Marquis Wright’s near triple-double against St Bonaventure
“When we were down eight and I told the guys, we can win this thing. Then we made some shots. This is a great win against a really good mid-major program a long way from Buffalo. We had to withstand the wave and we just kept battling.” – Canisius head coach Jim Baron on their NCAA-record tying comeback in the game’s final minute and 3OT victory
“This was one of the best wins we have had in a long time. We got great leadership from Marcus. We are a really good team when he is on the floor.” – Fairfield head coach Sydney Johnson after the Stags’ overtime win over Loyola (Md), the senior Gilbert returned and scored a team-high 27
Games to Watch: Tuesday Dec. 29 Siena at Vermont 2pm, Quinnipiac at Maine 7pm, Marist at Jacksonville 7pm ESPN3, Saturday Jan. 2 Canisius at Marist 7pm, Fairfield at Manhattan 7pm, Monday Jan. 4 Canisius at Monmouth 7pm ESPN3
Ryan Restivo wrote the America East conference preview for the 2015-16 Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook. He covers the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, the America East conference among others for Big Apple Buckets. You can follow Ryan on Twitter @ryanarestivo or contact Ryan at rrestivo[at]nycbuckets.com.