NIAGARA UNIVERSITY, NY - As the final buzzer sounded, sophomore guard Jackie Benitez hit a layup to push Siena Women’s Basketball over Niagara 70-68. The Saints have now won two-straight against the Purple Eagles, sweeping the regular season.
Benitez led all scorers with 23 points and drained five of the Saints (11-15, 10-7) three-pointers. Junior guard Kollyns Scarbrough recorded 18 points, while grabbing a team-high seven boards.
Victoria Rampado led the Purple Eagles (7-19, 4-13) with 22 points, while Kaylee Stroemple was one rebound away from a double-double as she added 16 points and nine rebounds.
After calling a timeout, Siena advanced the ball with 4.4 seconds left. Denisha Petty-Evans threw the ball into Benitez who went through the paint for a layup at the buzzer to give the Saints the 70-68 win. After draining Scarbrough drained two free-throws to tie put Siena up 68-65, the Purple Eagles called timeout to advance the ball. Niagara’s Jamie Sherburne hit a trey to tie the score 68-68 with 4.4 seconds left.
Niagara led for the entire first half of the game as the Saints looked the get ahead. Siena drew the score within one four times between the first and second quarter but were unable to take the lead from the storming Purple Eagles. At the half, Niagara led 27-24.
The Purple Eagles came out of the locker room and quickly went up by 10, 36-26 after a 9-2 run. The Saints would then turn the tables and take their first lead of the contest 40-39 with just under four minutes left in the quarter. The Saints would not trail for the remainder of the third quarter and led 50-46 after outscoring the Purple Eagles 26-19.
The Saints would control the game in the final stanza as Niagara came charging for a victory. The Purple Eagles were able to take the lead back 65-64, off a three from Tiffany Corselli, but that would be their last lead of the game as Siena won 70-68.
Petty-Evans dished out four assists for the Saints while added seven points. The Saints shot 69.2-percent from field in the third quarter, followed by 50-percent in the fourth quarter.
The Saints continue their two-game Western New York trip at Canisius on Saturday, Feb. 18. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m.