NEW ROCHELLE, NY — The Iona College women’s basketball team secured the third spot in the 2014 MAAC Preseason Coaches Poll, as announced by the league tonight during the MAAC Preseason Coaches Show on ESPN3. Senior guard Damika Martinez was selected as the Preseason Player of the Year for the second consecutive season.
Martinez, the nation’s leading returning scorer, averaged 24.9 points per game for the Gaels a season ago, eighth overall in the country. Martinez was recently named a First Team Preseason All-American by the Sporting News. Damika’s 2013-14 efforts earned her the 2014 MAAC Player of the Year award, along with AP All-American Honorable Mention and All-Met Player of the Year recognitions. She was also named to the All-MAAC and All-Met First Teams and All-ECAC Second Team. Martinez was a finalist for the Nancy Lieberman Award, given to the nation’s top backcourt player.
Her 771 points scored were an Iona record and ninth most in the country. Her season was highlighted by a pair of 40-point scoring efforts, including an Iona and MAAC single game record 46 points against Rider.
Martinez connected on an Iona single-season record 107 three point field goals, and finished third in the country with an average of 3.45 3FGs per game. She was one of 11 players in the country to knock down 100 three pointers, and her 44.2% three-point field goal percentage was eighth best nationally.
Martinez connected on 88.1% of her free throw attempts, tops in the MAAC and 12th overall in the country. She also averaged 4.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.4 steals per game during the 13-14 campaign.
Martinez was also a Preseason All-MAAC First Team selection alongside junior forward Joy Adams. Adams was also recently named a Preseason Third Team All-American by the Sporting News and the Preseason All-Mid Major Player of the Year by College Sports Madness.
Joy is the nation’s second leading returning rebounder, after averaging 13.8 boards per game a year ago, claiming her second consecutive MAAC rebounding title. Adams also averaged a career-high 16.8 points per contest, and shot 48.5% from the field. She had 11 20-point efforts to her credit and 13 games with 15 or more rebounds.
Adams set a single-season record with 442 rebounds, and finished fifth nationally with 26 double-doubles, another Iona single-season record. Adams collected 17 consecutive double-doubles during the season, the second longest streak in the country, and sixth longest in NCAA history.
The two were unanimous selections to the First Team and are joined by Marist guards Madeline Blais and Sydney Coffey, and Quinnipiac guard Jasmine Martin on the First Team.
Marist and Quinnipiac were selected as preseason co-favorites, based on a vote of the league’s 11 head coaches. The Red Foxes received five of 11 first place votes and 112 points, while the Bobcats received four of 11 first place votes and 112 points.
The Gaels received 106 total points and the final two first place votes. Fairfield finished fourth with 81 points, followed by fifth place Niagara who earned 75 points. Rider finished with 58 points in sixth, followed by Manhattan (49), Canisius (44), Monmouth (43), Siena (34) and Saint Peter’s (12).
The Gaels begin the 2014-15 campaign on Nov. 14 at Fordham (11:30 am).