Jan. 3, 2010
LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. -
Siena picked up right where it left off, blowing out Niagara 66-49 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference opener Sunday afternoon, with the defense leading the way. Siena held its opponent to less than 50 points for the second consecutive game and controlled play inside, out-rebounding Niagara 47-21. Senior guard Allie Lindemann led all players and matched her season-high with 21 points as Siena won its sixth straight game against the Purple Eagles.
Siena (3-7, 1-0) opened up a 7-0 lead in the first three minutes and for the second straight game, never trailed. The Saints dominated the glass early, pulling down 23 rebounds in the first half and outscoring Niagara 14-8 in the paint and 8-0 off second chances.
Siena extended its lead to 16 points (31-15) at the 3:45 mark of the first half when Cathy Cockrum hit a jumper that capped a 7-0 run. Niagara (3-9, 0-1) clawed its way back into the game in the final 3 ½ minutes of the first half and the first four minutes of the second half. During that time, Niagara used a 16-2 run to make it a two-point game (33-31) with 16:07 left in the second half. Siena went 1-for-10 from the field (0-for-6 from 3) and had five turnovers during that run.
But that was as close as Niagara would come. Siena scored six straight points and later went on a 13-0 run to go up 60-40 with six minutes left. The decisive play was when Meghan Waterman fouled Lindemann and then drew a technical foul. Lindemann, a 94.1% shooter from the line, hit both technical free throws and then both free throws from the original foul.
The Saints have dramatically improved their defense the last two games. They're allowing 47 points in those wins after giving up an average of 73.5 points in their first eight games (-26.5).
Niagara's Liz Flooks, a Preseason Third Team All-MAAC selection and the MAAC Player of the Week for December 21, was limited to nine points on 3-of-9 shooting from the field and had one rebound and one turnover in 29 minutes.
recorded her second double-double of the season with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Sarah Fullmer
scored 11 points and had six rebounds and six blocks.
The Saints return to action on Tuesday when they host Canisius at 7 p.m.