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Chronicle Athletes of the Week: Monique Lee and Phil Roach
Hometown: Lynn, Mass.
Lee, who made the NEC All-Rookie team last year, has been the dominant force down low for the 17-5 (12-1 NEC) Bobcats.
The 6-foot-1 forward is a pure blend of strength, athleticism and toughness. All those factors have helped put the Bobcats on the map this season, after they were both overlooked and underestimated in the pre-season polls. Lee and the Bobcats are taking the NEC world by storm this season.
The Bobcats got the ball in Lee’s hands during Friday’s game and let her go to work.
She responded by scoring 20 points in 26 minutes. She also pulled down a game-high seven rebounds, en route to an 81-51 blowout of conference foe St. Francis (Pa.).
Lee has emerged into the team’s leading scorer and rebounder, putting up 16.8 points with 9.6 boards per contest. She ranks as one of the NEC leaders in both categories.
She’s also a team leader both on and off the floor. Lee forms one of the NCAA’s deadliest inside/outside tandems with freshman point guard Erin Kerner.
Lee has been named Choice Hotels Player of the Week twice so far this season, with her most recent award coming on Feb. 6.
The league office selected Lee after a week in which she propelled the ‘Cats to three pivotal NEC victories, the third being a thorough thrashing of Sacred Heart which allowed the Bobcats to gain sole possession of first place.
She averaged 20 points, 7.6 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 2.3 steals over that three-game span.
Sport: Track and Cross Country
Hometown: Ballston Lake, N.Y.
Major: Physicians Assistant
Roach has sure come a long way since an injury-ridden start to his freshman year. The speed demon who re-wrote the record books at Shenendehowa High in Albany shined at the URI Invitational on Feb. 4, winning the mile.
Roach finished the 1,600-meter race in 4:22, fending off UMass’ Ryan Corbett and New Hampshire’s Robert Stiles. The first-place finish earned the team 10 points and the Bobcats finished in sixth place.
“I figured I wanted to make my move with 200 (meters) to go,” said Roach, who turned 20 the day before the race. “I don’t have a strong kick, but I figured if I could get away from the leaders, then they’d have a kick but I’d be able to hold them off. So I moved with 200 to go, and just tried to hold on.”
More of a long distance runner than a miler, Roach is focusing on shaving seconds off his 3,000-meter time. The sophomore standout has been chipping away at his time all winter long. His goal is to clock the IC4A standard of 8:29.
“I got a big personal record in that race so far this season, and hopefully I can lower that time down even more,” Roach said.
Roach is coming off a summer during which he earned Junior All-American status in the steeplechase, another event which he excels in. His then-personal record time of 9:25 placed him fifth overall at the USATF Junior Nationals in Carson, Calif.
Much of Roach’s success this season is due to his staying healthy while maintaining a strong work ethic.