POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. - Siena cut a 19-point deficit to a single point, but the Saints' furious comeback attempt fell short as seven-time defending MAAC Champion Marist survived a scare 75-64 at McCann Arena. Lily Grenci led four Saints in double figures in posting her sixth double-double of the year with 18 points and a season-high 15 rebounds.
The win was Marist's (13-6, 8-0) 18th in a row over its I-87 rival as the Red Foxes won their 34th straight conference home game and have now won 52 of their last 53 MAAC games overall. But the Saints (7-12, 3-5) gave Marist everything they could handle.
The Red Foxes put together a 14-1 run midway through the first half and led by as many as 19 points in the opening stanza. Marist shot 60% (15-25) from the floor in the first 20 minutes, including 7-9 from three in taking a 46-35 lead at intermission.
Marist, which had won by an average of 23.7 points in its previous seven victories over the Saints in Poughkeepsie, seemed poised for another lopsided triumph. But the Saints would have nothing of it.
Siena capped an 8-0 run early in the second half when Tehresa Coles stole the ball and went all the way for the layup to rally the Saints to within a single point, 48-47 with 14:45 left. Coles had a huge second half for the Saints and finished with 10 points and four steals.
Although the game remained a two or three-possession contest for the next 10 minutes, Siena could get no closer.
Clara Sole Anglada added 16 points for the Saints, while Kanika Cummings contributed 11 points off the bench including a career-high three threes. Siena shot an impressive 46.8% (22-47) from the field in posting its highest point total in its past 11 games against the perennially stingy Marist defense.
Kristina Danella led five Red Foxes in double figures, finishing with 17 points off the bench in pulling within three points of 1,000 for her career. Elizabeth Beynnon and Casey Dulin each added 14 for Marist and Leanne Ockenden scored 13 points and swiped five steals.
The Saints return to action Thursday when they host Iona at 7 p.m. at the ARC for the annual "Gold Rush" game. The contest will be televised regionally on Time Warner Cable SportsChannel.