Stags’ Nelson all-MAAC first team
Fairfield senior guard Tyler Nelson was selected All-MAAC first team, the league announced Monday. The selection was made by a vote of the league’s head coaches.
Nelson was picked as the MAAC Preseason Player of the Year and lived up to the billing during the 2017-18 season. He finished the regular-season by leading the conference in scoring average (21.8 points per game), three pointers per game (3.0), as well as in minutes played (36.3 mpg).
He also made his mark in the Fairfield record book this season, becoming the school’s all-time leading scorer. Against Quinnipiac on Feb. 17, he scored his 2,007th career point, which surpassed Tony George ’86, who netted 2,006 points during his four-year career. Nelson has 2,073 points over his 123 career games, a 16.9 average. His point total also ranks eighth in MAAC men’s basketball history as well. He comes into this week with a school-record 298 career 3-pointers, surpassing Derek Needham’s previous standard of 281.
Nelson has been cited by the MAAC in each of his four seasons, gaining all-rookie accolades as a freshman, All-MAAC second team as a sophomore, and All-MAAC first team as a junior.
Fairfield (14-15) opens MAAC tournament play against Marist on Thursday night at 9 at the Times Union Center in Albany, N.Y.
Quinnipiac freshman guard Rich Kelly, of Shelton, earned All-MAAC rookie honors. Kelly, a Fairfield Prep graduate, was handed the reins as the Bobcats’ point guard on opening day, and averaged 34 minutes, finishing the regular season fifth in the MAAC in assists (4.8 apg). He was named the MAAC Rookie of the Week three times, the third coming after he scored 40 points at Fairfield on Feb. 17, falling just one shy of the school record for points in a game at the Division I level (41 by Rob Monroe against Longwood in 2004-05). His effort included a tying three-pointer with 2.1 seconds left to give him 30 points, and 10 more points in the two overtime sessions.
The Bobcats (10-20) open MAAC play against Siena Thursday night at 7.
MAAC WOMEN: Fairfield redshirt senior forward Samantha Cooper was named all-league second team, her first career yearly award, by votes of the league’s coaches, it was announced Monday. She led the league in rebounds with 10.0 per game while leading the Stags in scoring at 14.9 points per game.
Cooper’s 14 double-doubles ranks her 23rd in the country and her 10.0 boards places her 29th. Her 14 double-doubles is the most by a Stag since Stephanie Geehan had 19 during her senior season in 2009-10 campaign.
Cooper also had six 20-point games this season, with a career-high 29 points at Iona on Feb. 8.
The Fairfield women (13-16) open MAAC play on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. in a quarterfinal-round game against Rider at the Times Union Center in Albany, N.Y.
Quinnipiac senior guard Carly Fabbri, of Stratford, was named All-MAAC third team. She averaged 9.3 points, 4.3 assists and 1.8 steals for the Bobcats, who are riding a 19-game winning streak.
Top-seeded Quinnipiac (24-5) opens MAAC play Friday at 1 p.m. against the winner of Canisius/Monmouth in a quarterfinal matchup.
UB MEN: Bridgeport, the East Coast Conference regular season champion, earned a first-round bye and will play in the league semifinals on Saturday against Wednesday’s winner of No. 4 LIU Post vs. No. 4 Molloy. Game time at Roberts Wesleyan College in Rochester, N.Y., is 5 p.m.
Second-seeded St. Thomas Aquinas will play Wednesday’s winner of No. 3 Daemen vs. No. 6 Roberts Wesleyan at 7 p.m. on Saturday.
The two semifinal winners play for the ECC title and a NCAA Division II automatic bid on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. at Roberts Wesleyan.
UB enters the tournament at 24-4, 17-1 ECC. The Purple Knights, on a 15-game winning streak, are No. 14 in the D2SIDA rankings and No. 17 in the National Associated of Basketball Coaches poll.