LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – An emotional week. An inspirational performance. A most well-deserved honor. Following an awe-inspiring effort in the aftermath of suffering personal tragedy, Siena Men’s Basketball graduate student Michael Baer has earned Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Player of the Week honors.

A native of Bettendorf, Iowa, Baer becomes the fourth different Siena player to earn MAAC Weekly acclaim so far this season, including the third to be named MAAC Player of the Week. Javian McCollum (Nov. 14, Nov. 28) and Jackson Stormo (Jan. 9) have previously earned MAAC Player of the Week honors, while freshman Michael Eley has been named the MAAC Rookie of the Week four times to date.

With Siena celebrating Coaches vs. Cancer Suits and Sneakers Night Friday, Baer, who had lost his father, John, to bladder cancer just five days earlier, put together a storybook performance to lead the Saints in a 70-53 rout of defending MAAC Regular Season Champion and preseason favorite Iona. The one-time student manager turned walk-on at Iowa, who had entered play averaging just 3.8 points per game, posted his first collegiate double-double with a career-high 18 points on 7-11 shooting to go along with 12 rebounds.

Baer buried huge back-to-back threes towards the tail end of a decisive 20-2 run to open the second half, increasing the lead from just seven to 13 at that time, and sending the jam-packed MVP Arena crowd of 7,801 into a frenzy. Baer did not play in Siena’s win Sunday at Marist, as he returned home to Iowa for his father’s services.

Friday’s performance capped an impactful January for Baer, who averaged 7.5 points and 8.6 rebounds while shooting 55% from the field including 53% from three-point range spanning eight games played. Earlier in the month, Baer posted then career-highs of 13 rebounds, six assists, and was a +21 in a 70-60 home victory over Saint Peter’s on Jan. 6, with his father in attendance to watch his son play in person one final time before passing away on Jan. 22.

Baer, who was named MAAC Player of the Week Monday on the same day that he laid his father to rest, will rejoin the Saints when they return to action Friday night at Manhattan.