Jan. 8, 2011
LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. - Siena is streaking. The Saints won their fourth in a row Saturday, earning a seventh straight win over Rider, 53-42 at the ARC. Maja Gerlyng scored a career-high 22 points to lead Siena, which at 3-0 in the MAAC is off to their best conference start in eight years.
With four consecutive wins, the Saints (5-8, 3-0) are the hottest they have been since they reeled off five straight victories from Dec. 9-31, 2005.
It didn't start out easy though for Siena which found themselves trailing winless Rider (0-14, 0-3) 13-4 at the 8:46 mark. But after a sluggish start, Gerlyng scored Siena's next 11 points and the Saints used a 7-0 run to close out the half and pull within one at 23-22 heading into intermission.
The Green and Gold put their foot to the throat of Rider in the second half, extending their run to 31-10 to open their largest lead of the game at 46-33 with 6:21 left. The Broncs would get no closer than nine points the rest of the way.
Siena received solid contributions from its top three scorers this season in Serena Moore, Gerlyng and Cristina Centeno. The trio combined for 48 of Siena's 53 points including the first 41 points of the game. Missy Ramsey drained a three-pointer with 7:30 remaining in the game for the Saints' first points coming from someone not named Gerlyng, Moore or Centeno.
Gerlyng, who made 10-for-11 from the foul line, also reached a new career-high with six rebounds and just missed setting another career-best as she dished out four assists. Moore and Centeno each contributed 13 points and seven rebounds apiece as Siena improved to 26-4 all-time against Rider.
Shereen Lighbourne scored a career-high 17 points for the Broncs which have now lost 18 straight games dating back to last season. Siena limited Rider to just 27.5% (14-for-51) shooting, while forcing 20 turnovers.
With first place on the line, a pair of 3-0 teams in the MAAC meet up Monday night when the Saints host Fairfield in a 7 p.m. tip in a game that will be televised on Time Warner Cable Sports. Siena will be in search of its first 4-0 MAAC start since 2001-02 when the Saints opened 14-0 in the conference on their way to winning the MAAC Championship.