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MAAC Tournament Gameday: Canisius women’s basketball vs. Monmouth

Tip-off: 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Times Union Center, Albany.

TV: ESPN3.

Records: No. 5 Canisius 11-18, No. 4 Monmouth 13-16.

Last time out: Maria Welch and Shannon Conely each scored eight points for Canisius in a 53-33 loss last Saturday at Manhattan in the regular-season finale for the Golden Griffins.

Lucy Thomas scored 21 points and Alexa Middleton had 19 for Monmouth in a 76-59 win last Saturday at Saint Peter’s in the regular-season finale for the Hawks.

History: This is the 15th meeting between the Hawks and the Griffs since Monmouth joined the MAAC in 2013. Monmouth and Canisius have split the series, 7-7, and the teams split the regular-season series in 2018-19. Sierra Green scored 22 points and Monmouth beat Canisius, 67-61, on Jan. 24 in West Long Branch, N.J. Sara Hinriksdottir scored 24 points and D’Jhai Patterson-Ricks added 16 to help Canisius beat Monmouth, 65-56, on Feb. 24 at the Koessler Athletic Center.

Monmouth also defeated Canisius, 61-58, in the first round of the 2018 MAAC Tournament.

Canisius All-MAAC honors: Hinriksdottir, a senior forward from Iceland, was an All-MAAC second-team selection. Hinriksdottir averaged 13 points and 8.1 rebounds per game and had seven double-doubles. Hinriksdottir is also second in the MAAC in defensive rebounding (175, 6.0 per game). The senior is seventh all-time for Canisius in scoring with 1,411 points.

Patterson-Ricks was a MAAC women’s third-team selection. She averaged 11.7 points per game.

MAAC Tournament debut: Canisius coach Scott Hemer will coach his first game in the MAAC tournament. He coached from 2007 to 2018 at SUNY Geneseo, where his team made five Division III women’s tournament appearances in the last eight years.

Defensive-minded: The Griffs are second in the MAAC in field-goal percentage defense (36.8 percent, 641 for 1,741) and second in the conference in 3-point field-goal percentage defense (29.7 percent, 216 for 727).

Hitting the road: Canisius was 4-10 on the road this season and did not play any neutral-site games, but won its only game in Albany this year, a 48-42 win Nov. 28 at Albany. Canisius did not play any MAAC regular-season games in Albany; the Griffs lost to Siena, 78-66, in overtime on Feb. 22 at the KAC.

The opponent: Monmouth finished fourth in the MAAC during the regular season and led the conference in offensive rebounding at 40.4 percent (1,171 rebounds in 29 games). Alexa Middleton is the Hawks’ leading rebounder (227) and is second in the conference in offensive rebounding (102, 3.5 per game).

Green, a junior guard, was a second-team all-conference selection who averaged 13.8 points. She also set Monmouth’s record for 3-pointers in a season, hitting four against St. Peter’s to bring her total to a league-leading 96. Thomas, a freshman forward, was named to the MAAC all-rookie team, and averaged 9.6 points and 5.8 rebounds per game. Erica Balman, a 6-foot-5 senior forward, is third in the MAAC with 44 blocks, including three games with at least four.

Who’s next? The winner will face either No. 1 Quinnipiac or No. 9 Fairfield in a MAAC semifinal at 11 a.m. Sunday at the Times Union Center.

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