Sweet Sixteen: Streaking Saints Squeak Past Niagara

Jan. 31, 2002

Box Score

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. - First place Siena edged Niagara, 75-73, in women's college basketball action at the Gallagher Center on Thursday evening. Liene Jansone's lay-up with 3.2 seconds left provided the winning points. Siena has won 16 straight games to improve to 16-3 overall and 11-0 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference while Niagara drops to 3-17, 1-10. Siena has also won 26 straight games against MAAC foes.

Eva Cunningham led Niagara with a career-high 22 points while Jessica Kemp and Becky O'Donohue added 10 points each. Jansone led the Saints with a career-high 29 points and 14 rebounds off the bench while Erica Anderson added 16 points. Gunta Basko had 10 points and 11 rebounds in the win.

The Saints led 38-36 at the half in the hard-fought game. The second half was close throughout as there were nine lead changes and nine ties in the final 20 minutes. Siena held its biggest lead of the second half, 54-50, with 11:50 left. Niagara responded with a 9-2 run to take a 59-56 lead with 7:21 left after two Colleen Toetz free throws.

Siena was able to regain the lead and held a 69-67 advantage after a Basko basket with 2:14 on the clock. Cunningham nailed a three-pointer on Niagara's next possession to put the Purple Eagles ahead, 70-69, with 1:55 on the clock. Jansone putback her own miss to give Siena a one-point lead, but Niagara's Kemp was fouled going to the basket with 58 seconds left, and hit 1-2 to tie the score at 71-71.

Basko was fouled and hit 2-2 with 37 seconds on the clock, but Niagara's Jessie O'Donohue hit a runner in the lane to knot the score once again, 73-73, with 21 seconds on the clock. Siena was able to work the ball around the perimeter and Chrissy Loeliger found Jansone open in the post. Jansone hit the lay-up with 3.2 seconds left for the winning basket. Niagara's Katie Murphy had a desperation half-court attempt at the buzzer, but it was off the mark.