LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. - Siena seemed poised to head into the halfway mark of the MAAC schedule with an impressive 7-2 record as they led Iona by 10 with just 9:18 remaining. But suddenly the Saints went ice cold missing 16 of their final 17 shots en route to a frustrating 55-50 overtime defeat Friday night at the ARC.
Siena (8-11, 6-3) scored just four points over the final 14:18 of the contest which included a scoreless overtime. Iona (8-13, 4-5) struggled all night from the field as well shooting just 27.1%, but came up with the clutch shots late.
Kristina Ford drilled the game-tying three with 20.7 seconds left in regulation to even the score at 50 all and Marissa Flag sunk the only field goal between the teams in overtime to seal Siena's fate.
Siena had led 46-36 at the 9:18 mark and appeared to be in control before their offense came to a screeching halt. Not only did the Saints miss shots down the stretch, but also struggled once again from the foul line as they closed out the game just 2-for-6 from the line which included a couple of misses on the front end of a pair of key one-and-one's late.
The Green and Gold ended up shooting just 29.3% (17-for-58) from the floor and only 12-for-21 (57.1%) from the foul line. Iona meanwhile made the clutch foul shots late, finishing 12-for-13 (92.3%) from the line.
The Saints got off to a strong start, taking a nine-point lead (32-23) into the half and ultimately led by as many as 11 at 36-25 following a Cristina Centeno three at the 17:56 mark. It was one of four trifectas on the night for the junior guard.
But Siena's cold spell began shortly thereafter as after the Saints had built their biggest lead of the night, they shot just 5-for-24 for the remainder of the game.
Centeno led the Saints with 14 points although was held scoreless after hitting that key three. Siena did receive strong contributions from its bench led by Lily Grenci and Allison Mullings. Grenci scored seven points and added five rebounds, while Mullings only scored two points but added career-highs of five rebounds, four blocks and three assists in a solid all-around effort.
Ford and Anda Ivkovic each recorded double-doubles for the Gaels which won their third straight conference game after opening 1-5 in the MAAC. Ford poured in 19 points and 11 rebounds, while Ivkovic added 12 points and 10 rebounds. Iona hauled in 54 rebounds for the game including a whopping 22 on the offensive end and out-rebounded Siena by 10 overall.
Siena now must regroup as it heads into its stiffest test of the year Monday night. The Saints make the short trip down the road to Poughkeepsie to battle league standard bearer Marist in a 7:30 p.m. tip. The perennial power Red Foxes enter the game with a perfect 9-0 MAAC record and have won 14 in a row.