ON CAMPUS A look at the area college sports scene

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Casey Dulin leads Marist into Fairfield Thursday

By Bill Cloutier
Assistant Sports Editor

It was just six games into the Marist women’s basketball season when a potential disaster struck. Kristine Best, the team’s senior starting point guard, tore her anterior cruciate ligament in practice.
The Red Foxes were left in a quandary. They had point guards in waiting but both were freshmen. They also had Casey Dulin, a sophomore combo guard from Milford.
At 4-2 on the season veteran coach Brian Giorgis opted for his true point guards but Marist struggled badly the very next game scoring only 36 points in a 13-point loss at Boston University.
Giorgis, who in 10 years at the school ranks sixth in winning percentage among all active Division I women’s coaches, knew he had to get things settled before conference play began so he turned to Dulin.
The results have been scintillating.
“She’s been a godsend, actually,” Giorgis said of Dulin. “I’m not going to say she absolutely salvaged our season because we had two freshmen to go to but I can’t say enough how well she’s done.”
Dulin, who averaged 3.5 points in under eight minutes a game last year, was thrust right into the fire playing point guard against a St. Bonaventure team that has received votes in the AP Top 25. The Red Foxes lost 67-56 but its offense once again showed life.
And has since taken off.
Marist beat Auburn in its next game before dropping narrow decisions to Hofstra and national power Kansas State. Once conference play began Giorgis had great reason to be optimistic and with Dulin fueling the offense Marist is 4-0 heading into tonight’s conference game against Fairfield, also 4-0, at the Webster Bank Arena at 7 p.m. The game will be televised by SNY.
“The conference is extremely balanced this year,” Giorgis said. “I don’t usually call a game this early in the season a big game but this is important.”
Dulin has been filling up the stat sheets like she did earning All-State honors at Law High. She is averaging 8.3 ppg., and 3.3 rebounds. She is second on the team in assists and steals.
Dulin has always been a solid shooter but has struggled from the perimeter thus far. In fact, if you take away her 3-pointers on the season she is shooting 50 percent from the field but Giorgis doesn’t want her to stop.
“She’s a good shooter and she hit a couple of big 3-pointers the other day,” Giorgis said. “She’s a complete player. I want her to keep shooting and what I really like about her is she doesn’t dwell on the mistakes.
“If she makes a mistake she forgets about right away and keeps playing. She’s aggressive defensively and really knows the game.”
But what Giorgis is most happy with and has affirmed his notion to start her at point guard is how the rest of the team has responded.
“They believe in her,” he said. “And that’s what you want most from a point guard.”
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