Eastern University Men's Basketball Players Honored By MAC

March 29, 2010 (PRLEAP.COM) Sports News
St. Davids, PA, March 29, 2010: On March 2, 2010, The Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) honored Eastern University's Martin Soaries and Alex Nelson with post-season awards for the 2009-10 Men's Basketball season. Soaries earned First Team All Freedom honors, and Nelson was the first player in Eastern University history to be selected as the Freedom Rookie of the Year.

Soaries, native of Monmouth Junction, NJ, became the first Eastern player to earn first team All-Conference honors since 2001 when Eastern University, a Philadelphia Christian University, was a member of the Pennsylvania Athletic Conference (PAC). The sophomore guard led the Freedom Conference in steals and minutes played. He finished fifth in the league with a 16.5 point per game average and was also ranked in the league in blocked shots (4th), free throw percentage (6th-76%), assists (10th- 2.6 pg), field goal percentage (6th-.480), and rebounding (20th- 4.0 pg). Soaries is the only sophomore who earned First Team All Freedom honors.

"It's an honor to be able to be recognized by the conference because everyone on our team did a tremendous amount work this season and it's an honor to be recognized individually as one of the top five players in the conference," Soaries said.

Soaries, a communication major at Eastern University, scored in double figures in 23 of 25 games and scored over 20 points six times. He played more than 36 minutes in 20 of 25 contests while helping the Eagles to the second seed in the Freedom Conference Tournament.

"Martin's role on the team expanded as we went through the year" Head Coach Matt Nadelhoffer said. "He became more comfortable taking big shots. He has the ability to change the game at either end of the floor. I look forward to seeing him continue to grow as a player over the next two years."

Nelson, a first-year student from Port Republic, NJ, finished his first year of collegiate basketball with 318 points and 160 rebounds. His 12.2 points per game was second on the Eastern team and 13th in the Freedom Conference. In addition, Nelson connected on a team-best 44% of his three point attempts and finished just behind Soaries in field goal percentage at 48%.

"Alex can take over the game at the offensive end of the floor," Nadelhoffer said. "He has a scorer's mentality and will only get better as he grows into the college game. We asked him to do a lot as a freshman, and he had a really good first year."

Eastern University joined the MAC in the fall of 2008 after 16 successful years of competition as a member of the PAC. For more information about Eastern University Athletics, visit www.goeasterneagles.com.

About Eastern University

Eastern is a Pennsylvania Christian University dedicated to the teaching, development and preparation of men and women for productive lives of Christian faith, leadership and service. Eastern University is located at 1300 Eagle Road, St. Davids, PA 19087.