Around the MAAC: Jaspers, Saints Undefeated; Iona Nearly Upsets Wisconsin

Ari KramerSenior Analyst IINovember 23, 2008

After a disappointing opening weekend, the MAAC rebounded to win 12 of their 23 games in the first full week of play. Only one game over .500 for the week is not too impressive, but a couple of MAAC teams were heavy underdogs at least once this week.

Loyola (1-3) lost 90-57 at Boston College and 82-72 at Cornell. The blowout in Boston was a disappointment, but a 10-point loss at Cornell is not too shabby. 

The Greyhounds tend to have a different star every night. Monday, Jamal Barney scored 18 on 8-15 shooting, but he was scoreless on Tuesday. Tony Lewis, who had six points on Monday, dumped 23 on Cornell. 

Marist (1-3) was annihilated at home by Saint Bonaventure, managed a 17-point win against Robert Morris, and succumbed to Delaware in overtime, 88-83. 

David Devezin, one of Marist's few returning players, led the team in scoring against Robert Morris (18) and Delaware (21).

Canisius (1-2) nearly came back to beat Buffalo, but fell five points short, 69-64. The Golden Griffins managed to defeat Long Island at home, 76-63.

Senior center Chris Gadley had 20 points and 11 rebounds in the loss and 22 points and eight rebounds in the win. Frank Turner was also solid, adding 16 points and 20 points. 

Fairfield (2-3) squeezed four games in this week, and came away with two wins and two losses. They won by substantial margins against Sacred Heart and Chattanooga, but lost big against Virginia Tech and Missouri. 

Warren Edney and Greg Nero split the leading scoring role for the Stags.

Joe Mihalich's Purple Eagles (2-1) kept Villanova close, only trailing by four with 15 minutes left, but they deteriorated and lost by 15. Tyrone Lewis had 16 points, and Rob Garrison had 15 for Niagara.

Villanova transfer Bilal Benn fell three assists shy of a triple-double in Niagara's 15-point win against Appalachian State. Benn had 22 points, 11 rebounds, and seven assists. Tyrone Lewis also scored 22 points.

Saint Peter's woes continued as they dropped two road games. The Peacocks (0-3) lost 59-44 at Wagner and 67-62 at Boston University. Wesley Jenkins scored a combined 37 points and shot 7-16 from beyond the arc.

Rider (2-1) squeaked out two road wins this week. The first came by one point at Lehigh, and the second was by seven at Lafayette. Ryan Thompson posted double-doubles in both games, including a 25-point, 11-rebound performance at Lafayette. 

Iona (2-1) had a few opportunities to put No. 25 Wisconsin away, but they failed and lost 60-58 in overtime. Louisville transfer Jonathan Huffman led the Gaels with 15 points and freshman Jermel Jenkins dropped 11. The win would have been very impressive, and would have brought recognition to the MAAC.

The following day, Iona defeated Valparaiso, 75-55. Milan Prodanovic hit five three-pointers off the bench to lead Iona with 19 points. 

Manhattan (3-0) was lifted, 61-60, over Morgan State by Antoine Pearson's reverse layup, and then cruised to an 81-67 victory at Fordham behind Chris Smith's 21 points. Both wins were big for the Jaspers—Morgan State was picked to finish atop the MEAC, and Fordham is an A10 team. 

In order to stay undefeated this week, the Jaspers need to win at Saint Francis (NY) and at Draddy against Hofstra. 

Siena (2-0) hosted Boise State to an 82-52 rout in Albany, and then beat Cornell by 18. Fran McCaffery's Saints have certainly lived up to their high expectations thus far. 

Senior Kenny Hasbrouck led the Saints in scoring both times, with 20 and 22. 

McCaffery has to be pleased about the production he has received from Ryan Rossiter and freshman Kyle Downey. Rossiter grabbed 15 boards on Saturday, and Downey is averaging 10.5 points per game. 

Siena plays No. 14 Tennessee on Thursday in the first round of the Old Spice Classic. It will be televised on ESPN2 at 12:00 pm. The Saints will then take on either Georgetown or Wichita State, and then a third team on Sunday.


Team of the Week

Has to be McCaffery's Saints. An average win of 24 points against the teams they played is impressive.


Player of the Week

Kenny Hasbrouck: 21 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 3 apg, 5-8 3-pt.