Sunday, March 23, 2008

Siena falls

By now you probably know that Siena fell 84-72 to Villanova.

It was a tough game and the Saints should be proud of their efforts this season.

While, they lose Tay, who is an incredible leader and great spark off the bench, this team should get better over the next year.

We shall see.

I'm going to start writing.....

24 Teams Left

Siena is about to tip off with Villanova for a spot in the Sweet 16. I'll be giving updates if you're reading along, but since the game is on national television, I'm sure most people will just be watching.

I'll keep the latest post in bold.

Well, much like many thought would happen to this group of Saints in the first game, they have fallen behind and since they led the entire way in the Vandy game, it's the first time they've trailed in the tournament.

Corey Stokes has nine points for the Wildcats, who lead 21-10 with 11:48 to go in the first half.

Tay Fisher has come off the bench to knock down a three and just got fouled on one before we went to break, so he'll have three free throws when we return.

It's going to take a comeback in this game from Siena against a Villanova team that has been great at coming from behind this season, most recently trailing by 18 on Friday in the first round to Clemson.

Scottie Reynolds is taking over. The sophomore has 17 and is a big reason why the 'Cats lead 36-26.

Alex Franklin has started to establish himself for Siena. He has 10 points and is 4-for-5 from the free throw line, which is a good sign for the Saints.

Kenny Hasbrouck is on the bench with two fouls and coach Fran McCaffery has played with an unusual lineup with De La Rosa, Fisher, Rossiter, Duell and Magee mixing in and out.

The starters are getting rest though.

Halftime here at the Pete and it's Villanova 42, Siena 32.

Reynolds and freshman Corey Stokes are carrying the day for the 'Cats. The two underclassmen have combined for 31 of Nova's 42 points.

Franklin has 12 for Siena.

Under 12-minute media timeout and the 'Cats lead 59-46.

Reynolds has 22 points, while Hasbrouck has 13 and Ubiles has eight.

Siena is struggling from the foul line at 18-for-28.

The Saints had a chance to cut the lead to eight, but Alex Franklin missed the free throw in trying to convert a three-point play.

Then, after Kenny Hasbrouck got the rebound off of a Nova miss, he had the ball knocked away and Reynolds was wide open for an easy lay-in and the score went back above 10.

The score is 75-62 with 3:40 to go in someone's season.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Upset City

Getty Images
These are images from the scene that was the St. Pete Times Forum on Wednesday night. Three upsets and Villanova is working on the fourth.
Siena will play at 12:10 on Sunday against the Clemson/Villanova winner.
I'll be back with more later.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Siena vs. Vanderbilt....Live

15:16 to go in the first half and if there were any nerves for Siena, they haven't let on about them.

The Saints have a lead at 10-6.

Siena has led the entire way so far, getting five points from Kenny Hasbrouck and two each from Alex Franklin and Ronald Moore.

Ross Neltner has four points for the Commodores.

I'll keep my latest blog in bold.

Siena still leading 20-13 with 11:48 to go.

Franklin has headed to the bench with two fouls, but Siena has gotten three's from Moore and Tay Fisher.

A.J. Ogilvy got his first basket on a slam dunk.

Tay Fisher has announced his presence, knocking down back-to-back 3-pointers to give Siena a 26-13 lead.

I'm almost positive Tay is 3-for-3 from downtown, but I'll have to double check that.

There's already been two upsets on this floor, with Western Kentucky knocking down a three at the buzzer and San Diego making a shot with 1.5 seconds left to defeat UCONN. That's all I'm going to say about that.

With 6:09 to go in the first half, it's 33-20 Siena.

The Saints have led the entire way, getting the lead as big as 16.

During the timeout, Fisher is on his team to "play like we're down 13."

He's the game's leading scorer with 10, while Ronald Moore has nine.

It's halftime and Siena leads 46-34.

Kenny Hasbrouck has 15 for the Saints, while Tay Fisher has 13 and is 4-for-4 from beyond the arc. Ronald Moore has nine and Alex Franklin only played seven minutes.

For the Commodores, Shan Foster has 11 and Ross Neltner and A.J. Ogilvy have each scored eight.

It should be a good second half.

15:50 to go in the game and Siena still leading 48-38.

The only difference is that Siena has missed the shots that seemed to be falling for them in the first half and Ogilvy has four points and has been to the foul line twice in the first 4:10 of the second half.

Franklin got hit with his third and with 18:37 to go headed back to the bench.

11:16 to go in the game and Siena still leading, 58-47.

Fisher knocked down another three and is now 5-for-5 from beyond the arc.

Vandy coach Kevin Stallings received a technical for arguing with the officials after what he thought was a no-call on a Hasbrouck 3-point play.

Hasbrouck knocked down two free throws for the technical.

3:58 to go and the last media timeout is here with Siena still up 69-55.

Hasbrouck has 26 for Siena, while Ogilvy has 18 and Foster has 13 for Vandy.

While, Edwin Ubiles has been slowed offensively, he has really done a good job on Foster.

Siena has won and it turned into a blowout. 83-62. Wow.

"The Good Life"

Those were the words from Siena sophomore Alex Franklin after the team returned from their practice Thursday afternoon at Tampa Prep.

"This is the good life," Franklin said. "I don’t want to leave."

Franklin and the rest of the Saints will have their say of if Siena will stay in sunny Florida (by the way the high today is only 79 degrees) for a couple more days when they take to the St. Pete Times Forum floor tonight against fourth-seeded Vanderbilt.

"The whole trip’s been great," echoed freshman Ryan Rossiter said. "There’s been a lot of fans supporting us, there’s fans in the hotel supporting us and we’re just really looking forward to going out there and being able to play (tonight)."

As the Saints came off of the floor on Thursday from their evening 40-minute shoot-around, sophomore Cory Magee said, "Nice arena, not bad."

The arena certainly is nice and is the home of the NHL's Tampa Bay Lightning.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Live from Tampa

I've been in Tampa for about three hours. The team just got in about an hour and a half ago and they got quite the reception from the hotel staff.

Look for more on that in tomorrow's paper.

The entire team made it in one piece, but sophomore Edwin Ubiles said it can get cramped on the planes.

"The flight was good for the most part," said the 6-foot-5 Ubiles. "After a while, it gets a little uncomfortable, but you just have to stuck with it."

With guys as tall as 6-9, it certainly can get tight in close quarters.

"That’s why I try to get the end seat, so I can at least stick my legs out when I really get cramped," Ubiles said.

Here's a little extra from Joe Lunardi's countdown of teams from 64 to 1.

32. SIENA Siena's first-round upset of Vanderbilt is the biggest (by seed) of the tournament. Clemson will remember to guard the Saints, however, in a 79-71 second-round victory.

Lunardi has UCLA winning it all and he picks Kansas to win the Midwest Regional and finish as the runners-up.

Monday, March 17, 2008

A Dandy Selection

Siena has drawn a 13-seed and will take on Vanderbilt (26-7) at 7:20 on Friday evening from Tampa.

I'll have more as the week goes on about the Commodores, but to start they have one of the top players in the SEC in senior Shan Foster (left) and one of the top freshman in 6-foot-11 A.J. Ogilvy.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Tests and Text Messages

Sometimes it's hard to remember that college athletes are in fact, student-athletes, but Siena junior forward Josh Duell made it quite clear on Wednesday afternoon.

Duell said he had a Roman Civilization test at 8 a.m. on the day of the MAAC championship game and he has his statistics test on Friday.

I'm sure Jason Thompson matches right up there with some of the stronger Romans in history.

“I think I did all right,” said Duell, who said he had completely forgotten about the test by gametime. “I woke up at 7 o’clock in the morning and went to the library to start studying for that test on championship day, so I was exhausted by that night.”

There is a story on Duell's history of participating in the NCAA Tournament in Friday's edition of The Record.

After the Saints won the championship game and clinched their spot amongst the field of 65, the had another competition - this time it was to see who had the most fans.

“We were having competitions to see who got the most text messages and calls,” sophomore Alex Franklin said. “I think Ron (point guard Ronald Moore) had 21. He beat us all.”

“Ronald had about 26, I had about 22, he had me,” junior Kenny Hasbrouck said. “I had him with voicemails though.”

The fun and games can continue for a little while at least, while the team gets back to full-strength after three games in three days, but they have to balance that with focus and preparation for what undoubtedly will be the toughest game of the season next week.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

MAAC Champs

Siena played a complete game last night in defeating Rider 74-53. Here are some pictures from the celebration.

Mike McMahon - The Record

Monday, March 10, 2008

Four Hours Before the Big One....How Do You Feel?

Here are some postgame remarks from the two teams from their walk-throughs early on Monday.

"They’re always loose," said Siena coach Fran McCaffery after his team's session. "I think that’s just the way they are and the way I am."

McCaffery and his club better be ready to roll because they are going up against a potential NBA draft pick in Jason Thompson, the senior Player of the Year from Rider.

Thompson averages 20.5 points and 12.0 rebounds per game.

"Anytime you have a player of that caliber, I start there," McCaffery said. "We have to defend him."

McCaffery won't have to deal with Jason's brother, sophomore Ryan Thompson is out due to a concussion he suffered Friday against Canisus, but others have stepped up.
"You look at that and say, wow, how are they going to win without him," McCaffery said. "Look at what Kamron Warner did last night, what Matt Griffin did and that’s what happens in situations like this, somebody else steps up."

The Saints were in this position last season in Bridgeport. Siena lost to Niagara and they're hoping for a different fate this time around.

"Everybody’s been through it, but we lost last time, so everybody know the mistakes they made for that game and what we have to do this time around," junior Kenny Hasbrouck said.

If the Saints win tonight, they will play in the NCAA Tournament, something junior Josh Duell has done before as a member of Vermont.

"We’re pretty experienced in that sense because we were here last year," said Duell referencing the team's postseason experience. "We’re in the home building tonight, we’ve got a lot of people coming out to support us, Rider’s going to have a good crowd, so it should be a good atmosphere."

Emotions were what Duell said needed to be the most under control.
"The team that really focuses and bears down is the team usually wins these types of games," Duell said. "That’s what we’re going to try and do, play like it’s any other game."

Tonight is more than just a championship game, it's also Tay Fisher's 22nd birthday. The Saints lone senior, Fisher took last year's loss in the championship hard and this is his last chance to dance.

"Usually it falls a couple days before," said Fisher of his birthday falling on the MAAC Championship game. "I’ve had some disturbing birthdays because we end up losing and that ends up hurting. This year, for it to land on my birthday, the championship game, it’s a big feeling because I know my team is going to try their best."

Siena's Alex Franklin sat in a corner of the team's locker room, bouncing and ready to go.

"We’re playing like it’s the last game of the year," Franklin said. "It’s the best situation to be in, playing in front of the home crowd, the top two seeds playing. It’s going to be a battle."

Franklin said he would try to get some rest before tip-time.

Rider coach Tommy Dempsey's thoughts on his first MAAC title game.

"I’m excited, but more than anything just focused," Dempsey said. "You look back at these thing when they’re over, but when you’re right in the middle of them you try to stay focused and prepare your team."

That's how I'll leave you. We're now less than three hours away from game time. I'm going to go move my car, get something to eat and get ready for what should be a great finish to an excellent MAAC season.

Crowd up to 7,000......Already

The reports are that over 7,000 seats have been sold for tonight's championship game between Rider and Siena.

I'm sitting courtside as Rider does their walk through. Siena finished at 2, so I'll have some stuff from them in a couple of moments.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Siena vs. Loyola.....Live Updates

This should be a good one. I'll try to update after every media timeout or so and the latest message will be in bold.

10:50 to go in the first half and Loyola has a 14-12 lead. Michael Tuck has five points for, while Omari Isreal has four.

Alex Franklin has seven for Siena.

The Greyhounds lead 22-15 with 7:31 to go in half number one. Isreal has six, while Tuck has seven.

Franklin has eight for the Saints.

Loyola is starting to take over. The Greyhounds have hit five 3-pointers and lead 38-21 with 3:29 to go in the half. Remember this is the team that hit a school record 18 three's down in Baltimore against the Saints.

Alex Franklin, who has 12 points is pretty much the only Siena player doing anything, with regards to Ronald Moore, who has seven.

Omari Isreal has 11 for Loyola.

Kenny Hasbrouck is still scoreless for Siena.

Halftime here in Albany with the score Loyola 38, Siena 28. Alex Franklin has 16 for the Saints, while Isreal has 11 and Tuck has 10 for the Greyhounds.

Well Kenny Hasbrouck is on the board. The junior co-captain has seven of the team's first nine second half points, but the Saints still trail 44-37 with 15:42 to go.

The Saints keep chipping, but just can't get that run of baskets. It's 49-43 Greyhounds with 11:02 to go.

Wow, this is going to come down to the wire. It's Siena ball with 2:17 to go and they trail 63-59.

Siena's got the lead with 12.8 seconds to go as Josh Duell had a wide open lay-up thanks to Kenny Hasbrouck and the Saints lead 65-63, for the first time since they led 10-9 with 14:47 to go in the first half.

Siena wins 65-63 as Loyola can't get a final shot off in the waning seconds.

Marist Wins Big

The Red Foxes win 83-63 over Iona for their third consecutive MAAC Tournament title.

(courtesty MAAC Sports)

Here's the All-Tournament team.

All-Tournament Team
Lauma Reke, Saint Peter’s
Lauren Defalco, Iona
Tiara Headen, Iona
Rachele Fitz, Marist
Nikki Flores, Marist
Most Valuable Player
Sarah Smrdel, Marist

Marist Lights Up in First Half

The Red Foxes have come out firing and lead 44-30 at halftime of the women's title game over Iona.

The 44 points are the most scored by any team in the first half of the tournament, men's or women's.

Marist shot 16-for-35 (45.7%) and are being led by senior Nikki Flores, who has 11 and sophomore Rachele Fitz, who has 10.

The Gaels got nine points apiece from Lauren Defalco and Thazina Cook.

MAAC Tournament...Day 4

Well, as you probably already know by now UAlbany was bounced last night in overtime by Boston University.

There will be a new America East champion and should be some good games today in the semifinal.

I'm back here for the penultimate day of the MAAC Tournament and the Women's Final is about to begin between Iona and Marist.

It's a rematch of last year, so it should be a good one.

Later today, Siena will take on Loyola at 6 p.m. and Rider plays Marist at 8 p.m.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Siena vs. Manhattan

The Saints have had some high flying plays with Edwin Ubiles and Alex Franklin both making big slam dunks.

Ubiles has six and Franklin has seven as Siena leads 13-12 with 11:15 to go in the first half.

Siena leads 25-18 with 3:09 to go, but it's getting interesting as Edwin Ubiles and Darryl Crawford almost came to blows behind a Siena fast break.

Siena coach Fran McCaffery came all the way out, nearly to halfcourt to restrain his leading scorer.

Ubiles went to the bench with his second foul and hasn't returned.

Halftime here with Siena leading 32-23. Alex Franklin has 16 for Siena and Devon Ausin has 13 for Manhattan.

There's 15:17 to go in the game and Siena leads 40-32. The Jaspers have scored nine of the game's last 11 points. Alex Franklin has 21 to lead all scorers.

3:42 to go and Siena is up 55-47. Kenny Hasbrouck left the game and went back to the locker room for three minutes when he went down awkwardly on his arm.

McCaffery just took his frustration on a Saints turnover, which they've done far more than accustomed tonight, on the scorers table.

This should be a good ending and a nail-biter if you're a Saints fan.

Siena wins 66-58. Franklin scores a game-high 26 points and nine rebounds, while Ronald Moore had 11 points and 10 assists.

The Saints will get Loyola for the third time this year tomorrow at 6 p.m.

It's the Men's Turn

Here I'll keep running updates of the quarterfinals games here in the MAAC Tournament. The arena is starting to fill up and the atmosphere getting better and better. I'll occasionally post scores from the America East Tournament in Binghamton as well.

3:32: The first quarterfinal is done in the America East with UMBC defeating Stony Brook 76-60. The score here is Loyola 34, Fairfield 21 at the half. Michael Tuck has nine for the Greyhounds and Marty O'Sullivan has eight for the Stags.
Over in Binghamton, the Bearcats lead Vermont 30-23 at the half.

4:05: Loyola winning 49-38 with 12:22, but things are getting close and as usual Greyhounds coach Jimmy Patsos looks like he going crazy on the sidelines.
Over on the America East side, things have tightened as well, as Binghamton and Vermont are tied at 49 with 5:48 to go.

4:23: Things are getting heated up. 55-50 Loyola with 7:43 to go, but about a minute to go, Jonathan Han fouled Brian Rudolph and the two stared each other down before being separated. Then Loyola coach Jimmy Patsos and Fairfield coach Ed Cooley exchanged some verbal spars, but we're back to basketball.

4:29: Vermont came back from down seven at half to post a 65-57 win over Binghamton. Marqus Blakely had 18 for the winner, while Mike Gordon led all scorers with 23.
The Catamounts will take on UMBC at I believe noon on Sunday. I'm pretty sure that game is on TW-3 as is the other semifinal at 2 p.m.

5:35: Loyola hung on to defeat Fairfield 64-59. Gerald Brown scored 18 as the Greyhounds advance to meet the winner of Siena/Manhattan.

MAAC Tournament......Day 3

Well I've made it back to downtown Albany for the third day of the tournament.

I have to admit between this and moving from our apartment to a new house, I'm pretty gassed, but I'm back to give it a go for what should be a great day.

Right now, Iona leads Fairfield 60-57 with 3:30 to go.

Here's my preview for Day 3

DAY 3: MAAC Tournament
Women's Semifinals/Men's Quarterfinals
No. 2 Iona vs. No. 3 Fairfield
No. 1 Marist vs. No. 5 Saint Peter's, 11:30 a.m.
No. 4 Loyola vs. No. 5 Fairfield, 2:15 p.m.
No. 1 Siena vs. No. 8 Manhattan, 4:30 p.m.
No. 2 Rider vs. No. 7 Iona/No. 10 Canisius, 7:30 p.m.
No. 3 Niagara vs. No. 6 Marist, 10 p.m.
Game of the Day: Loyola vs. Fairfield
The Stags seem to be one of the teams that match up with the Greyhounds the best. The two teams split the regular season meetings with Loyola winning by four in Bridgeport, while Fairfield won by two in Baltimore.
Matchup of the Day: Louie McCroskey, Marist vs. Charron Fisher, Niagara
The Syracuse transfer McCroskey is back after missing 10 games towards the end of the year with a fracture in his foot, but he is one of the keys for the Red Foxes to move on. Fisher is the nation's leading scorer at 27.8 points per game and he can lead the Purple Eagles to a win on his own.
What to Watch for: Marist and Saint Peter's meeting in the women's semifinal will be the third time the two teams have played since Feb. 27. The Red Foxes won by 13 both times, but the Peahens are coming off of an emoitional victory and the Red Foxes are coming off one of their toughest games of the year.

2:47: There will be a rematch in the Women's championship game as Iona defeated Fairfield 74-69 and Marist held off Saint Peter's 78-67. Both team seem ready to go for tomorrow's rematch.

This will be Marist's fifth conseuctive trip to the title game and they will be looking for their fourth win over that span tomorrow morning at 11 a.m.

Loyola and Fairfield are tied at 5 with 15:32 to go in the first half and I will switch over to a different blog to give updates on the four quarterfinal games.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Out Comes the America East Hardware

Even though I'm at the MAAC Tournament, my attention hasn't turned away from the America East, at least completely.

Stony Brook won the opening game 73-65 over Maine, so they will get there shot at UMBC tomorrow.

The awards...

First Team
Marqus Blakely, Vermont*
Brian Lillis, Albany
Joe Zeglinski, Hartford
Jay Greene, UMBC
Darryl Proctor, UMBC

Second Team
Mike Gordon, Binghamton
Brian Hodges, UMBC
Corey Lowe, Boston University
Ray Barbosa, UMBC
Mike Trimboli, Vermont

Third Team
John Holland, Boston University^
Lazar Trifunovic, Binghamton
Mark Socoby, Maine
Cavell Johnson, UMBC
Tyrece Gibbs, New Hampshire

Rookie Team
John Holland, Boston University^
Tim Ambrose, Albany
Morgan Sabia, Hartford
Alvin Abreu, New Hampshire
Tyrone Conley, New Hampshire

*Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year
^ Rookie of the Year

My intital reactions are surprise that Zeglinski made the first team ahead of Mike Trimboli or Mike Gordon, not becaue he hasn't a great year, but I thought the other two had better seasons. Zeglinski's Hawks did finish second as opposed to Vermont and Binghamton, who were No. 4 and 5.

The real action and some great games will be played tomorrow.

Albany's at 8:30 against Boston University and I will try to monitor both for my America East following readers.

Manhattan gears up for Siena

I'll just leave you with Manhattan coach Barry Rorhssen's thoughts from the postgame press conference about taking on Siena in the MAAC Quarterfinals tomorrow at 4:30.

"One of the things you admire about Siena is not just that they’re well-coached and not just that they have very good players, but it’s the support they get," Rohrssen said. "When you play them here in Albany or even on the road. They take up a lot of seats in the Draddy Gym when they come down and they’ve got a wonderful team to support and follow."

The two teams split the season series with both teams winning on their homecourt.

The key will be stopping Devon Austin who scored 26 tonight against Saint Peter's and scored 20 against the Saints in the Feb. 18 73-72 Jaspers win.

For Manhattan, the key will be knocking off the Saints for a second straight time and I just don't think it will happen with possibly 8,000 fans in attendance, who will mostly be cheering for the Green & Gold.

My prediction: Siena 81, Manhattan 69

Halfway Home and Wearing Down

This is my first MAAC Tournament and therefore my first day of covering six games. We're through three and a half games and I have to admit that I'm starting to slow.

We still have to more men's games and currently the score at halftime is Manhattan 29, Saint Peter's 23 in the No. 4/5 matchup and the final women's game of the day. I'll continue to update you on the status of the remaining games.

6:57: In the final women's game of the day, Lauma Reke knocked down a three-pointer with five seconds to go to give the Saint Peter's Peahens a 68-65 victory and advance them into tomorrow's semifinal to take on Marist.

It's the first time in the tournament's six games that the higher seed (worse record) has won.

8:25: Halftime of the first men's game and it's Manhattan 33, Saint Peter's 24.

10:25: Manhattan won 73-59 over Saint Peter's and will take on Siena tomorrow at 4:30.

I'll have more on Manhattan coach Barry Rohrssen's thoughts on Saturday's matchup later.

Right now, it's 13-11 Iona in the sixth and final game of the day.

11:28: If you're still with me I commend you. The score with 13:05 to go in the game is Iona 42, Canisius 35. Milan Prodanovic has 14 for the Gaels and Bob Bevilacqua has 14 for the Golden Griffins.

Editor's Alert.....Canisius defeating Marist

Canisius has six points from Laura Buetow and five apeice from Brittane Russell, Micayla Drysdale and Ellie Radke, while Player of the Year Rachele Fitz only played eight minutes in the first half due to foul trouble. Sarah Smrdel has eight to lead the Red Foxes.

Marist is ranked No. 20/24 in the country, so this would be a huge upset....I'll keep you updated.

Update: Midway through the second half. Fitz has three fouls, she's back on the bench, but Marist leads 38-30 and actually as I'm writing this Fitz is back in for the Red Foxes.

Marist has survived. The Red Foxes got past Player of the Year Rachele Fitz fouling out and defeated Canisius 54-44. It was definitely a test for the Red Foxes.

Siena vs. Fairfield....Live Updates

12:09: Siena missed their first four shots, but have scored seven straight points and lead 7-3 over the Stags
12:18: Behind three's from Liga Alpe-Luka, Melissa Manzer and Sarah Fullmer, the Saints lead 13-11 with 11:58 to go in the first half.
12:26: This one has been tight and with good reason. These two teams split the regular season matchups and have played to one-point decisions in each of the last three MAAC Tournaments. Heather Stec with a nice move and a lay-in has Siena still in front 15-14 with 9:37 to go.
12:36: The Stags have started to take control, going on a 9-0 run to take a 23-15 lead. Meka Werts has eight and Megan Caskin has seven for Fairfield. Six different players have score a hoop for Siena, but no one has more than three points.
12:45: Halftime here, Fairfield leads 29-20. Leading scorers are Werts with 11 and for Siena Laura Menty has 5. She scored the final five points of the half for Siena.
1:10: Baendu Lowenthal hit the first three baskets of the second half and while Siena's scored three straight points, they trail 35-23 with 15:51 to go in the game.
1:22: The Stags have really opened things up, outscoring Siena 19-8 in the second half to take a 48-28 lead with 10:50 to go. Meka Werts has 14 for Fairfield.
1:30: The Saints continue to struggle putting the ball in the hoop. They are shooting 3-for-18 (.167) in the second half and 10-for-45 (.222) on the game. Fairfield leads 48-30 with seven minutes to go.
3:08: Sorry if I left you hanging, but Siena ended up losing 67-52. Laura Menty scored a team-high 11 points and Shondaya Burrell scored 10. Meka Werts scored 18 points off the bench for Fairfield, while Megan Caskin added 10 points and 12 assists.

Live at the MAAC.....Day 2

Back here for Day 2 of the Tournament. The crowd is much bigger today even though we started earlier than yesterday.

Right now, No. 2 Iona is up 67-46 over No. 7 Loyola with 6:03 to go, so it looks like they will advance to meet the winner of Siena and Fairfield which is supposed to tip off in eight minutes, but that won't happen

With six games on tap, it's nice to see that we're already getting backed up a little, but I guess what's the difference in being here for 14 hours as opposed to 15.

Here's my Day 2 preview

DAY 2: MAAC Tournament
Women's Quarterfinals/Men's First Round
No. 2 Iona vs. No. 7 Loyola, 9:30 a.m.
No. 3 Fairfield vs. No. 6 Siena, 11:30 a.m.
No. 1 Marist vs. No. 8 Canisius, 1:30 p.m.
No. 4 Manhattan vs. No. 5 Saint Peter's, 3:30 p.m.
No. 8 Manhattan vs. No. 9 Saint Peter's, 7:30 p.m.
No. 7 Iona vs. No. 10 Canisius, 10 p.m.

Game of the Day: Siena vs. Fairfield - The last three times these teams have met in the tournament have been decided by one point, two in favor of Farifield and last year, in favor of Siena
What to Watch for: The Marist women's team, ranked No. 20 in the country in the ESPN/USA Today poll and the top-seed of the tournament take to the floor for the first time against Canisius

Again I'll have live updates, so make sure to check back if you're not in downtown Albany. A reminder all the games today except Manhattan and Saint Peter's (Siena's opponent tomorrow) are on MSG. The reason that game isn't on is because of the Knicks game tonight.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Brian Lillis is Fans' Choice for America East Player of the Year

UAlbany senior guard Brian Lillis will at least know that the fans have appreciated his efforts this season.

Lillis was named the Fans' Choice for America East Player of the Year on Thursday determined through fan vote conducted through the conference's website.

Eleven players were named on the preliminary ballot and voting finished up last Friday. Final voting between Lillis, UMBC's Jay Greene and Vermont's Marqus Blakely went through the weekend and Lillis was victorious.

Vermont's Mike Trimboli won the award last year in it's first year of being awarded.

The 6-foot-5 guard was also named the 2008 America East Player of the Year of the Game. Lillis was recognized 12 times as a Player of the Game during the season.

Boston University's Corey Lowe, Maine's Mark Socoboy and Vermont's Marqus Blakely were the other top recipients.

Live at the MAAC Tournament

I'm sitting on press row for my first MAAC Tournament. Action is just about to begin between No. 7 Loyola and No. 10 Rider on the women's side. There are a grand total of 48 people if you don't count the Iona team, which will be playing the winner of this game tomorrow morning at 9:30 a.m.

I'll be here for the rest of the week with updates and insights, so if you're at work, don't have tickets or don't want to brave the weather we're supposedly going to get Friday and Saturday, just check back in here.

I'll also post a little insight into each day at the tournament here on my blog and it should appear in the paper as well.

Here's Day Number 1

DAY 1: MAAC Tournament
Women's First Round
No. 7 Loyola vs. No. 10 Rider, 12 p.m.
No. 8 Canisius vs. No. 9 Niagara, 2 p.m.
Game of the Day: Canisius and Niagara played in the final regular season game of the day on Saturday, March 1 and the Golden Griffins won 65-63 in overtime. It should be another good matchup between Western New York foes.
Matchup of the Day: Sara Wilson, Niagara vs. Amanda Cavo, Canisius
Both players are All-MAAC Third Team selections and both led their team in Saturday's matchup. Wilson scored a game-high 15 in the win, while Cavo's 14 tied a team-high
What to Watch for: Following the second women's game, awards will be given out for men's & women's Players of the Year, Rookie of the Year and Coach of the Year

12:42: Siobhan Prior has 12 points at halftime as the No. 7 Loyola Greyhounds lead 35-22 at the half. Janele Henderson has seven for the Broncs.
2:00: Prior scores 18 and Kaitlin Grant added 11 in a 57-49 Loyola victory. The Greyhounds will take on No. 2 Iona at 9:30 a.m. on Friday. Henderson led the Broncs with 14, while Shaunice Parker added 10.

Canisius and Niagara are just about to tip.
2:46: Canisius leads 35-26 at halftime. Amanda Cavo had nine points to lead the Golden Griffins, while Laura Buetow has eight. Jennifer McNamee has six points to lead the Purple Eagles.
3:44: Canisius is up 16 with one minute to go, so it looks like they will advance to take on top-seeded Marist tomorrow.

I'll be back later on with awards for Players of the Year, Rookies of the Year and Coaches of the Year for men's and women's.

Monday, March 3, 2008

All-MAAC Teams

Here are the All-MAAC teams that were reported two hours ago on the MAAC conference call. Siena has two players who have been named to the first team in junior Kenny Hasbrouck and sophomore Edwin Ubiles. It is the first time in 10 years ('97-'98 Iona) that a team has had two players named to the First Team and the first time in Siena program history since 1992-93 when Lee Matthews and Doremus Bennerman were named to the First Team.

Men’s All-MAAC Team

First Team
Gerald Brown (Loyola)
Charron Fisher (Niagara)
Jason Thompson (Rider)
Kenny Hasbrouck (Siena)
Edwin Ubiles (Siena)

Second Team
Jonathan Han (Fairfield)
Tyrone Lewis (Niagara)
Ryan Thompson (Rider)
Todd Sowell (Saint Peter's)
Alex Franklin (Siena)

Third Team
Michael Tuck (Loyola)
Antonie Pearson (Manhattan)
Ryan Stilphen (Marist)
Stanley Hodge (Niagara)
Harris Mansell (Rider)

Rookie Team
Brian Rudolph (Loyola)
Jay Gavin (Marist)
Anthony Nelson (Niagara)
Mike Ringgold (Rider)
Wesley Jenkins (Saint Peter's)

The Siena women also had two players chosen for the All-MAAC squads. Senior Laura Menty, who is a candidate for Player of the Year Honors, was named to the First Team and junior guard Shondaya Burrell was named to the Third Team.

Looking into the Crystal Ball - America East style

Here it goes. First was my MAAC Awards and now it's the America East's turn.
First Team: Marqus Blakely (Vermont), Corey Lowe (Boston U.), Mike Trimboli (Vermont), Brian Lillis (Albany), Darryl Proctor (UMBC) Jay Greene (UMBC)
Second Team: Mike Gordon (Binghamton), Lazar Trifunovic (Binghamton), Ray Barbosa (UMBC), Joe Zeglinski (Hartford), Brian Hodges (UMBC)

Third Team: Tyrece Gibbs (New Hampshire), Mark Socoby (Maine), Cavell Johnson (UMBC), Kyle Cieplicki (Vermont), Michael Turner (Hartford)
Rookie Team: John Holland (Boston U.), Tim Ambrose (Albany), Morgan Sabia (Hartford), Alvin Abreu (New Hampshire), Evan Fjeld (Vermont)

C0-Players of the Year: Jay Greene & Darryl Proctor (UMBC)

Rookie of the Year: John Holland (Boston U. )

Coach of the Year: Dan Leibovitz (Hartford)

Co-Defensive Players of the Year: Brian Lillis (Albany), Marqus Blakely (Vermont)
Let me know what you think.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

My Choices for MAAC Postseason Awards

The MAAC season is over and it's time to hand out the hardware.

First Team: Gerald Brown (Loyola), Jason Thompson (Rider), Charron Fisher (Niagara), Edwin Ubiles (Siena), Alex Franklin (Siena)
Second Team: Kenny Hasbrouck (Siena), Michael Tuck (Loyola), Ryan Thompson (Rider), Todd Sowell (Saint Peter's), David Devezin (Marist)

Third Team: Tyrone Lewis (Niagara), Jonathan Han (Fairfield), Frank Turner (Canisius), Marquis Sullivan (Loyola), Harris Mansell (Rider)

Rookie Team: Jay Gavin (Marist), Brian Rudolph (Loyola), Chris Smith (Manhattan), Greg Logins (Canisius), Mike Ringgold (Rider)

Here's the guys that I had to leave off of the list: Dexter Gray (Iona), Louie McCroskey (Marist), Ronald Moore (Siena), Stanley Hodge (Niagara), Antonie Pearson (Manhattan)

I'm not quite sure about Franklin making the First Team, but boy has he been lights out for the last few games and has also shown the ability to completely take over a game. Oh and I put Michael Tuck on the Second Team because he just kills Siena. Do I think he'll really end up there.....Um, probably not.

Player of the Year: Jason Thompson (Rider)

Rookie of the Year: Brian Rudolph (Loyola)
Coach of the Year: Fran McCaffery (Siena) Keep in mind that Ed Cooley's Stags finished two games from first after starting 3-9 overall

Sixth Player of the Year: Jay Gavin (Marist) could also be a Co-Rookie of the Year with Rudolph
Defensive Player of the Year: Can we give the award to a team....Siena. What if I place Kenny Hasbrouck (Siena) here.

Let me know what you think.

We find out who really takes home the trophies this week.

America East Tournament

Friday, March 7
First Round

#8 Stony Brook (3-13, 6-22) vs. #9 Maine (3-13, 7-22), 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 8

#1 UMBC (13-3, 21-8) vs. Stony Brook/Maine winner, 12 p.m.
#4 Vermont (9-7, 15-14) vs. #5 Binghamton (9-7, 14-15), 2:30 p.m.
#2 Hartford (10-6, 16-15) vs. #7 New Hampshire (6-10, 9-19), 6 p.m.
#3 UAlbany (10-6, 15-14) vs. #6 Boston U. (9-7, 13-16), 8:30 p.m.

Sunday, March 9

Semifinals, 12 p.m.
Semifinals, 2:30 p.m.

Saturday, March 15
Championship Game on ESPN2 (at highest remaining seed), 12 p.m.

MAAC Tournament

2008 MAAC Men’s Tournament
Friday, March 7
First Round
#8 Manhattan (5-13, 11-18) vs. #9 Saint Peter’s (3-15, 6-23), 7:30 p.m.
#7 Iona (8-10, 12-19) vs. #10 Canisius (2-16, 5-24), 10 p.m.
Saturday, March 8
#4 Loyola (12-6, 18-13) vs. #5 Fairfield (11-7, 14-15), 2:15 p.m.
#1 Siena (13-5, 19-10) vs. Manhattan/Saint Peter’s winner, 4:30 p.m.
#2 Rider (13-5, 21-9) vs. Iona/Canisius winner, 7:30 p.m.
#3 Niagara (12-6, 19-9) vs. #6 Marist (11-7, 17-13), 10 p.m.
Sunday, March 9

Semifinal, 6 p.m.
Semifinal, 8 p.m.
Monday, March 10
Championship on ESPN2, 7 p.m.