Feb. 12, 2004
Siena, led by senior guard Nathalie Marchino's career-best 27 points, pulled away from Saint Peter's down the stretch for a 64-52 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference women's basketball win Thursday night.
Marchino, who also had 5 steals, scored 15 in the first half and 12 in the second for Siena (13-10 overall, 9-5 MAAC). Senior Jolene Johnston (14 points) was Siena's only other double-figure scorer.
Senior Lindsay Gonzalez and sophomore Khalisha Lewis shared the Saint Peter's scoring leadership with 14 points apiece. It was Lewis' career scoring high. Saint Peter's (12-10, 7-6 MAAC) outrebounded Siena, 31-24, led by senior Shaka Cushnie's 8 boards.
Both teams were without star senior centers. Siena missed Liene Jansone, the 2002-03 MAAC Player of the Year, who broke her left arm last week. And Tanesha Seaton, the Peahens' top rebounder and second leading scorer for the season, missed her fifth straight game for medical reasons.
One of the deciding factors in the game was turnovers--Saint Peter's turned the ball over 25 times to just 12 for Siena. Leading at the half, 30-28, Siena had just four second-half miscues, while the Peahens committed 13 turnovers after the break. Siena also made 14-of-18 free throws--all in the second half. Saint Peter's, which has struggled from the foul line at times this season, shot 8-for-8, but only two of the shots came in the second half.
The first half was close, with 7 ties and no leader bigger 3 through the first 13:06. Siena was up , 18-16, after Marchino's bucket with 7:50 to play in the first half, before Saint Peter's put together its best run of the game, 8-0, over the next 3:24. Four different players scored for the Peahens, capped by a pair of Gonzalez free throws that made it 24-18 for Saint Peter's with 4:16 left in the half.
Siena came back to lead at the half, 30-28, thanks to Marchino's 3-point basket at the buzzer. Trailing, 28-27, Siena went to the final 10 seconds looking for a go-ahead basket. First Siena and then Saint Peter's lost the ball, with the errant Saint Peter's pass going right to Marchino, who caught it just outside the three-point arc and swished the shot to beat the horn. Marchino's 15 points paced Siena at the half, while Lewis, the sophomore forward, had 12 first-half points for Saint Peter's.
The game stayed close after the break, but Siena pushed its lead to 37-32 on Marchino's foul shot with 15:07 remaining. Down 5 points, Saint Peter's again reclaimed the lead with a 6-0 spurt that included an assist and a basket by sophomore guard Brianna Johnson, whose score at 12:48 gave SPC a 38-37 lead.
The teams traded baskets before Marchino gave Siena the lead for good, getting fouled after a steal and hitting two free throws for a 41-40 lead with 10:17 left. Marchino's steal and foul shots triggered a 10-2 Siena run that left the Saints with a 49-42 advantage after Johnston's layup with 5:27 remaining.
Saint Peter's could not get the deficit under 5 points the rest of the way and Siena scored 5 unanswered points over the final 1:06 to close with the biggest lead for either team at 64-52.
The Saints will wrap-up their two-game road trip to N.J. with a contest against Rider on Saturday. Game-time is set for 2 p.m.