LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. - Siena erupted for its highest scoring output in four years in an 83-59 pasting of Iona Saturday afternoon at the ARC. Lily Grenci led four Saints in double figures with her fifth double-double of the season.
The 83 points scored were the program's most since an 84-81 overtime victory at Rider on Feb. 29, 2008. Additionally, it was the program's highest point total in a regulation effort in more than five years.
Leading 17-14 midway through the first half, Siena (7-14, 5-7) put the game away early with a 19-5 run. In their highest scoring first half of the season, the Saints shot 17-31 (54.8%) from the field in the opening stanza and took a 45-31 lead into the lockerroom.
Iona (10-12, 6-5), which entered the day leading the MAAC in scoring, could never find a rhythm on the offensive end. Following their large first half run, the Saints led by double figures for the game's final 26 minutes.
Maja Gerlyng was the game's high scorer posting a season-best 21 points on an impressive 9-12 shooting. Grenci meanwhile was close behind, eclipsing the 20-point mark for the sixth time this season with a 20-point, 10-rebound performance.
Cristina Centeno made some huge shots early in the game and finished with 19 points on 7-11 shooting while dishing out six assists. She and Tehresa Coles, who also finished with a career-high six assists, picked apart the Iona pressure all day long as the Saints dished out 18 assists while tying a season best by committing just nine turnovers.
Clara Sole Anglada provided a major spark on both ends of the court and also finished in double figures with 13 points and added nine rebounds and five steals.
Tomica Bacic paced Iona with 18 points and 10 rebounds while freshman phenom Damika Martinez, who entered the day tied with Grenci for the MAAC scoring lead, added 15. However, the rest of the usually offensively potent Gaels combined for just 26 points on 8-36 (22.2%) shooting.
With the win, the Saints remain in the hunt for a spot in the top half of the MAAC Standings through the end of the weekend. Although several teams still stand ahead of the Saints, Siena is now just a game and a half back of the third place Gaels which have now dropped three straight.
The Saints return to action Thursday at Saint Peter's for a 6 p.m. tip off in Jersey City in a game that will be broadcast on ESPN3.