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LI stars Fregosi, McLean put Iona on winning track

Suzi Fregosi feeding the ball to Anna McLean has been a winning combination for Iona's women's basketball team.

The two former Long Island high school stars helped lead the Gaels to the WNIT for the second time in three years.

Though it was a short trip - Iona (18-14) fell to Maryland, 88-53, in a first-round game - the Gaels have a lot to look forward to in the coming seasons.

Fregosi has become the prototypical point guard. She crosses the midcourt line thinking pass first. These days, with combo guards becoming the norm, it's refreshing to see a guard who isn't concerned with building up point totals.

That philosophy has served the Massapequa graduate well. Fregosi totaled 152 assists this season, seven short of the school record.

"My first instinct is to pass,'' the junior said. "I'm surrounded by a bunch of great scorers, so I just love to pass and set them up.''

McLean, who starred for Freeport, is among the scorers Fregosi counts on.

"She really runs the floor well and can finish," Fregosi said. "I'm always looking for her in the paint.''

McLean, a senior who averaged 11.5 points and 8.6 rebounds and is the only player in Iona women's history to score 1,000-plus points and grab 800-plus rebounds in her career, was equally complimentary of Fregosi.

"I thought it was fantastic when she said she was coming here,'' McLean said. "She's always looking to dish the ball. And that was the type of player we needed here.''

The road to success for McLean, who is Iona's leader in single-season and career blocked shots, took a bit of a twist - she took last season off to give birth to a daughter. But she said she never thought about not returning to the team.

"I always intended on coming back, especially after having such a strong junior year,'' said McLean, who was an All-MAAC second-team selection in 2008. "With strong support from my family, and my team, I didn't miss a beat.''

McLean was an All-MAAC third-team selection this season.

When asked to sum up her career, McLean said she is pleased with what she has done and believes the program is ready to take off.

"I've accomplished a lot and I'm glad I came here,'' she said. "I think we are lot closer to accomplishing our goal of making the NCAA Tournament.''

To do that, Iona has to get by conference heavyweight Marist.

Said McLean: "We'll be able to do that, too.''

New York Sports