Billy Baron’s decision to transfer for the second time in his intercollegiate career paid off Monday, as he was named to the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference’s all-conference team for his role in restoring Canisius to respectability on the basketball court.
The Hendricken alum received first team honors for guiding the Golden Griffins to an 18-12 regular season record while leading the MAAC in assists per game (5.1) and topping the team’s scoring ledger with 16.6 points per game.
In addition, Baron is one of 25 finalists for the Lou Henson Award, which is given to the top player in the nation that plays for a Division I mid-major school.
With the regular season now in the rearview mirror, Baron and Canisius are focusing their energies towards the MAAC tournament, which starts on Friday with a preliminary round for the lowest four seeds in the bracket.
The Golden Griffins finished the conference schedule in a tie for fourth with Iona, but lost the head-to-head tiebreaker with the Gaels and will be seeded fifth when they begin their quest for the championship in the quarterfinals on Saturday afternoon. The two teams held serve with wins on their home courts, but Iona triumphed by a greater margin than Canisius to earn the tiebreaker.
Acciari leading Friars
Noel Acciari has been solid all season, but he seems to take his game to a new level whenever Boston College comes to town.
The former Hendricken standout, who now laces up his skates for Providence College, scored a pair of goals in a 5-1 rout of the defending national champions Saturday as the Friars are making a late-season charge up the Hockey East standings.
Acciari opened the game’s scoring with 7:04 left in the first period by accepting a feed from Chris Rooney and finding the back of the net for his fifth goal of the season, while book-ending PC’s goal tally for the day with 14:20 remaining in the final stanza with an unassisted short-handed marker.
Of the six goals that he has put home this season, Acciari has notched three of them against Boston College, who slid down from fourth to sixth in the latest USCHO.com poll after the defeat.
Conversely, Providence improved its ranking in the survey from 20th to 18th, just reward for a team that has won three of its last four games.
A home-and-home series this weekend against first-place UMass-Lowell – who count another former Hawk in Stephen Buco among their ranks – is all that remains of the regular season schedule for the Friars, and there is added incentive on the line in the form of hosting their quarterfinal opponent in the Hockey East tournament.
Should the Friars sweep both contests, they will finish no worse than fourth and could, depending on other results, win the regular season crown.