Saints Overcame 14-point Deficit With Help of Multiple Career Highs
LOUDONVILLE, NY – Siena Women’s Basketball’s latest test of adversity came in the form of a 14-point first half deficit to MAAC rival Marist that put its three-game win streak at jeopardy on Saturday afternoon. The Saints (10-5, 4-1) rose to the occasion to collect their fourth straight win with a 74-67 decision over the Red Foxes (6-8, 2-3) at the UHY Center, closing out their three game homestand in unblemished fashion.
The team’s largest deficit overcome on the season to-date guided them to their largest winning streak of the year, while putting them in a three-way tie for the top spot in the MAAC and marking their best five-game start to conference play in seven years. Siena continues to match its best start to a season in 20 years, and has taken home wins in seven of the last eight, eight of the last ten, and nine of the last 12 contests. The Saints are also 7-2 at home for the first time since the 2005-06 campaign.
Freshman Teresa Seppala carried the hot scoring hand with a career-high 19 points to become the team’s third different leading scorer in as many games, while classmate Elisa Mevius became the first Saint in a decade to cross the double-digit assist mark, finishing one help off the school record with 14, which tied for the second-most nationally in a game this season.
After being outscored, 24-15, in the first quarter, the Green and Gold found themselves in a 36-22 hole with 5:08 remaining in the first half, but proceeded to net 14 of the final 16 points of the quarter to trail by only a pair heading into the locker room at the half. Despite Marist having only four players score points in the contest, junior Kiara Fisher tacked on 18 points in the first half en-route to a career-high 29-point performance as part of two Red Foxes to cross the 20-point threshold.
The Saints proceeded to score the first 12 points of the third quarter to grab their own double-digit lead by ten with 6:36 remaining in the period, but let up an 8-2 run thereafter. The home team held one more ten-point lead before the game turned into a battle down the stretch, with Marist briefly re-taking a 59-58 advantage with 6:59 to go. Siena scored eight of the next nine points, and ended the game with a pair of late three-point shots from sophomore Valencia Fontenelle-Posson that sealed the deal to the team’s third straight victory over its I-87 rival.
The Saints claimed victory despite being out-shot in the game, while still boasting a respectable 46 percent from the field holding a 35-24 rebound advantage. Siena connected on its most three-pointers (12) as a team since Jan. 11, 2020 (13) at Canisius, and recorded its most assists in a game since Jan. 24, 2019 (24) against Saint Peter’s. Additionally, the team marked its best shooting quarter of the season thus far, marking eight of 12 shot attempts (66.7 percent) during the second quarter of play, and put together its best run of the season with 18 straight points between the second and third quarters.
Fontenelle-Posson joined Seppala in double-figures with 17 points while adding a career-high four steals and a season-best nine boards, while junior Ahniysha Jackson (11 points) and sophomore Emina Selimovic (ten points) finished in double-digit scoring. Selimovic did so for the fourth straight game, and turned in a collegiate-best three helps. Siena featured every single player to enter the game score at least one point for the seventh time this year.
The Saints will now take the MAAC’s longest active win streak on the road for two of their next three games, beginning with another Kids Day matchup at Manhattan on Thursday, January 12 at 11 AM.