ALBANY, N.Y. - With a chance to move into fourth place in the MAAC standings at the midway point of the conference slate, Siena's seniors delivered. Cristina Centeno tied a season-high with 20 points and Maja Gerlyng added a season-high 19 points as the Saints thwarted undermanned Saint Peter's 62-50 at the Times Union Center.
With their second straight win the Saints (6-12, 4-5) continued their ascent in the conference standings and now stand tied for fourth overall with Niagara. But early on things would not come easily for the Saints.
Playing without the MAAC's sixth leading scorer and eighth leading rebounder Jynae Judson, Saint Peter's (2-17, 2-6) hung around early thanks to their aggressiveness. The Peahens crashed the glass pulling down 11 offensive rebounds in the opening half and capped a 6-0 run to take a 20-17 lead at the 3:17 mark.
But from there on, Centeno and Gerlyng would take over.
The duo scored 10 of the Saints' final 11 points of the half, highlighted by a long two from Gerlyng to beat the buzzer and give Siena a 28-24 lead at the break.
After failing to reach double figures the past five games, a resurgent Gerlyng picked up right where she left off in the second half. Gerlyng converted a trio of three-point plays in the first five minutes of the stanza, quickly putting the Saints up 13. Siena would go on to lead by as many as 19 points and cruise from there.
Gerlyng and Centeno combined to shoot 13-19 from their guard positions and Centeno added seven rebounds and five assists in a solid all-around performance. The MAAC's leading scorer Lily Grenci was slowed at times, but also reached double figures with a 10-point effort.
Siena cashed in on Saint Peter's 19 turnovers, holding a 20-11 edge in points off turnovers. The Saints held the Peahens to just 31.4% shooting as Saint Peter's struggled to fill the offensive void left by Judson.
Teresa Manigrasso led the Peahens with 11 points off the Saint Peter's bench which accounted for 30 of their 50 points. Quiana Porter added a career-high six blocks to go along with nine points, seven rebounds and three steals.
Enjoying their first homestand since early November, the Saints return to action Sunday at the ARC against MAAC leader Marist. The Saints and Red Foxes will tip at 2 p.m. in the annual Gold Rush game.