WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ -- Junior guard Kollyns Scarbrough erupted for a career-high 34 points to lead red-hot Siena Women's Basketball past Monmouth 91-86 in a double-overtime thriller at the OceanFirst Bank Center. The surging Saints have won six straight for the second January in row, to match the program's longest winning streak in 14 years.
Scarbrough's 34-point effort tied four others for the most points scored by a Siena (9-12, 8-4) player in 34 years since Mary Gaudreau '83 tallied 36 points at LIU Brooklyn on Feb. 19, 1983. Sophomore guard Jackie Benitez, who ironically also scored 34 points in a win over Monmouth (10-10, 5-6) just 16 days ago, added 28 points for the Saints which tied their longest winning streak since prevailing in 10 straight from Feb. 8 - Mar. 8, 2003.
Kayla Shaw led four in double figures with 24 points on the strength of seven threes, which was just one off of a program record. The Hawks, who are ranked eighth nationally in three point field goals per game, set a new school record by draining 15 treys.
Monmouth drilled five threes in the first quarter to open by as much as a 12-point lead early en route to setting their program record 15 treys made. The Saints battled back, shooting 57% (8-14) in the second quarter. Scarbrough beat the halftime buzzer to rally the Saints within a point at 40-39 at the half. From there on out the game would be tightly contested.
The Saints held Monmouth scoreless the 7:17 of the fourth quarter after going on a 7-0 run to take a 68-66 lead as the regulation clock ran down. Siena held the Hawks to just 11% (2-18) in the final quarter. Monmouth tied it up 68-68 with 15.8 seconds remaining in regular and neither team would make be able to get their shots to fall in the final seconds as the Saints would head to overtime for the first time since they faced UAlbany.
It was see-saw action in the first overtime as Siena shot out to the first lead with a layup by Maddie Sims. Deja Rawls drained one free-throw to put the Saints up 77-74 with 40 seconds remaining. Tyese Purvis hit a three with 21 seconds left to tie the contest 77-77 and ultimately send it to double overtime. This would mark the first double overtime game since a 77-71 (2OT) win at Loyola (MD) on Feb. 28, 2009 and just the sixth double overtime game in program history. Siena opened double overtime on a 4-0 run and would go up by as much as seven after a 6-2 run, 90-83. The Saints held on in the waning seconds to sweep the regular season series from the Hawks for the third year in a row with a 91-86 win.
Albeit in a double overtime contest, Siena's offense continued to shine in eclipsing the 80-point mark for the third time in the past five games. The Saints, which have averaged a whopping 78.4 points over that time, equaled their highest scoring output since recording a 94-85 win over Fairfield on Feb. 7, 2002 in Albany. Siena also scored 91 points in a 91-56 rout of Niagara in the MAAC Semifinals on Mar. 8, 2003 in Trenton, New Jersey.
The Saints return back to the Capital District to host MAAC perennial power Marist at the Alumni Recreation Center on Feb. 1. Besides trying to extend the winning-streak, the Saints are looking to sweep the Red Foxes for the first time since the 2003-04 season. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.