Annual Event Celebrated 2017-18 Women’s Basketball Season
Saints Set To Add Six
Winter, Lundquist and Hermida Announce Intentions To Leave Program
Saints Faces League Rival Marist In MAAC Semifinals
Saints Face Niagara In MAAC Quarterfinals
2017-18 KeyBank Siena Women's Basketball Banquet
Women's Basketball MAAC Semifinals vs Marist (3/4/18)
Women's Basketball MAAC Quarterfinals vs. Niagara (3/3/18)
Women's Basketball vs. Saint Peter's (2/25/18)
18th Annual Pink Zone Game
In just five short seasons Ali Jaques has put Siena Women's Basketball back on the map. Under her leadership the Saints enter the 2017-18 season as a program that recorded 13 conference wins for the most victories since 2003-04 following a MAAC Preseason third place pick.
Now entering her fifth season, Jaques has compiled a 72-87 (.453) overall record including a 45-53 (.459) mark in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. On August 20, 2015, Siena announced that it had extended Jaques' contract through 2020.
Jaques was introduced as the eighth head coach in program history at a press conference on April 12, 2012. Upon her hiring, Siena College President Fr. Kevin Mullen, O.F.M. commented, "I am very pleased to welcome Ali as our new head women's basketball coach. She has a great track record as a recruiter and her teams have had consistent postseason success. I'm confident that she'll do very well at Siena."
In her previous three season, coach Jaques has helped the sweep the Western New York trip each time including a 25 point victory over Canisius (67-42) which is the largest margin of victory since 2015.
In Jaques' fourth season as head coach she propelled the team to thirteen conference victories for the most since 2003-04. The team had a six-game winning streak which is the longest since they won 10 from Feb. 6, 2003 - Mar. 8, 2003. Siena's offense exploded to average 65.8 points per game, the most since the team averaged 71.0 in the 2002-03 season.
She guided Jackie Benitez to a MAAC Defensive Player of the Year and First Team member award. Benitez broke the single-season three point field goals made record with 82 and was fifth in single season steals with 88. The sophomore averaged 16.7 points and 4.2 rebounds in her 29 games played. Jaques also guided Kollyns Scarbrough to a second-straight Second Team All-MAAC Selection. She ranked in the top-12 in the MAAC in five categories including field goal percentage (.467), offensive rebounds per game (2.4), scoring (13.5), rebounds per game (6.3) and steals (1.3).
The Saints 13 league wins in the 2016-17 season was good enough to give them the number four seed in the MAAC Tournament, while tying for third in the standings. This is the best seeding for the Saints since they also earned the four seed in 2011.
Jaques finished the 2015-16 season 14-18 overall and seventh in the MAAC with an even 10-10 league mark. She guided Kollyns Scarbrough to a Second Team All-MAAC Selection. Jaques led Scarbrough to being the top scorer averaging 11.4 points and ranked second in the MAAC in steals (2.3) and fifth in free-throw percentage (.797).
Jaques guided the Saints to a 22-13 overall record during the 2014-15 season which marked the program's first winning season in 11 years and most victories in a dozen seasons. Siena's 13-win improvement from the previous season was tied for the second best turnaround in all of Division I and the Saints' 12 true road wins were tied for the fourth most nationally. Despite being projected to finish 10th of 11 teams in the MAAC Preseason Coaches' Poll and forced to play with an active roster of just seven players for the final 30 games of the season, the Saints persevered to finish fifth in the conference standings with a 11-9 mark in posting an eight-win league improvement from the previous season. Additionally, for the third time in Jaques' first three seasons, the Saints won their MAAC Tournament opener as the lower seeded team.
Siena was rewarded for its success with a trip to the Women's Basketball Invitational and became the first school in MAAC history to win three games in a national postseason tournament and advance to the championship game. The Saints defeated Big East foe Xavier in the quarterfinals in Cincinnati by 20 points, marking the program's largest margin of victory ever over a current member of one of the six major conferences (ACC, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, Pac-12, SEC).
Recruiting is the lifeblood of any program and each of Jaques' recruiting classes has made immediate major impacts. Over the past two seasons, Siena has boasted the MAAC's Rookie of the Week 17 times and had five different awardees. Conversely, no other MAAC school has won the award more than six times and/or had more than two different awardees over that time. Last season Jaques guided Jackie Benitez to a unanimous All-Rookie Team selection after being MAAC Rookie of the Week three times during the season. Benitez led all freshmen in scoring (10.7), steals (1.7) and threes (58). In 2014-15, Jaques mentored Margot Hetzke who was the unanimous choice for MAAC Rookie of the Year after being named the conference's Rookie of the Week a program record nine times and scoring 446 points -- the third highest total by a freshman in the program's four-plus decade history.
One of Jaques' staples that she has brought with her to Loudonville has been her pressure "Blizzard" defense. The Saints have thrived in the system, ranking either first or second in the MAAC in both steals and turnovers forced in each of Jaques' first four seasons. Jaques developed Tehresa Coles into the MAAC's premier defender as the Loudonville product led the conference in each of her three seasons playing in the system. Coles recently graduated as the program's all-time career (308) and single-season (98) leader in steals and was named the 2014-15 MAAC Defensive Player of the Year.
Jaques brought 14 years of Division I coaching experience to Loudonville, having served as an assistant coach at six different institutions. Her teams posted four NCAA Tournament wins and three WNIT victories.
"It is with great excitement that I welcome Ali to the Siena community," said Director of Athletics John D'Argenio. "Her experience as a coach is diverse. She has helped build programs and has assisted in leading nationally successful teams. Along with her coaching credentials, she brings national championship experience to Siena from her playing days at NYU. It only takes a few minutes in conversation with her to recognize her passion for coaching and her drive to lead a successful team both on and off the court."
Jaques came to Loudonville following a four-year stint at Northwestern in which she was the associate head coach the previous two seasons under Joe McKeown. During her time in Evanston, Jaques served as the recruiting coordinator for a program which boasted the 14th ranked recruiting class in the nation in 2011 and the No. 20 ranked recruiting class in 2009 according to ESPN Hoopgurlz.
Jaques helped guide the Wildcats to a pair of WNIT Appearances including a spot in the Sweet 16 in 2009-10. That season, Northwestern increased its win total by 11 victories - tied for the 10th best turnaround in the nation and fourth among BCS schools - and made its first appearance in postseason play in 13 years. Additionally, she mentored and coached Amy Jaeschke who was the 27th pick in the 2011 WNBA Draft by the Chicago Sky.
Her Northwestern teams also excelled in the classroom. During her four years in Evanston, Jaques coached 15 Academic All-Big Ten honorees and an Academic All-District selection. Previously Jaques also coached under McKeown at George Washington from 2006-08. In her two seasons the Colonials went 55-11 and made consecutive appearances in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. George Washington was nationally ranked in both major polls for the majority of each season, and peaked to a No. 8 ranking in the AP Poll and No. 9 ranking in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Poll on Feb. 5, 2007.
Jaques has also served as an assistant coach at Dayton (2005-06), Furman (2002-05), Sacred Heart (1999-02) and Rider (1998-99). While at Dayton, Jaques coached under Jim Jabir who previously served as the head coach at Siena from 1987-90.
Jaques is a 1998 graduate of New York University where she played both basketball and soccer and made the Dean's List all four years. Jaques led the Violets to the 1997 Division III National Championship, a 1996 Final Four appearance and two Sweet 16's. In her four years NYU posted a 101-15 (.871) record. A two-time Coach's Award recipient, she was named a UAA Honorable Mention All-Association selection during her senior season.
A native of Rosemont, N.J., Jaques comes from a very athletic family. Her brother, Curtis, is the head men's lacrosse coach at Division III Wilkes University (Pa.) and played collegiately at Virginia Military Institute. Her brother, Parker, played football at the University of Rochester. Her sister, Sidney, played collegiately on the University of Scranton women's basketball team.
Year-by-Year With Coach Jaques
|2012-13||13-18||.419||8-10||.444||T-6th||Advanced to MAAC Semifinals as No. 6 seed|
|2013-14||9-22||.290||3-17||.150||10th||Advanced to MAAC Quarterfinals as No. 10 seed|
|2014-15||22-13||.629||11-9||.550||5th||Advanced to Women's Basketball Invitational Championship; Program's first winning season in 11 years and most wins in a dozen seasons; 13-win improvement was tied for second best turnaround in all of Division I; Tied for fourth nationally in road wins (12)|
|2015-16||14-18||.438||10-10||.500||7th||Advanced to the MAAC Quarterfinals|
|2016-17||14-16||.467||13-7||.650||T-3rd||Advanced to the MAAC Quarterfinals|