Feb. 19, 2012
LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. - Siena reeled off a 20-0 run early in the second half and raced past Rider 61-42 on Senior Day at the ARC. The win, Siena's sixth in their last nine games, moves the Saints into sole possession of fifth place in the MAAC Standings.
Rider (11-16, 3-13) took its only lead of the contest 32-30 following a MyNeshia McKenzie layup with 16:02 remaining. Thanks to the Saints (10-15, 8-8) swarming full court pressure, it would be the last time that the Broncs would score in eight minutes.
Siena forced five Rider turnovers and the Broncs missed nine straight shots during which time the Saints offense came to life. Siena made nine of its 13 shots, igniting the decisive 20-0 run which gave the Saints the lead 50-32 with 7:21 remaining.
It looked like it would be a barnburner early as Siena rattled off 20 quick points to take 20-11 lead just eight minutes into the contest. But the Saints offense quieted down as they scored just six points the remainder of the half and harbored a 26-24 lead at intermission.
The teams would exchange a pair of leads and four ties in the opening minutes of the second half before Siena embarked upon its biggest run of the season.
Lily Grenci led the way with 16 points and nine rebounds as Siena defeated Rider for the 10th straight time and eighth consecutive time by double digits. On their Senior Day, Maja Gerlyng scored 13 points and Cristina Centeno contributed six points and five steals.
Kate Zarotney added eight points off the bench on a perfect 4-4 shooting for the Saints which have scored exactly 61 points in each of their past three wins.
Siena's pressure defense forced Rider into 23 turnovers and the Saints held a decisive 17-4 edge in points off turnovers. No Bronc reached double figures as the team's leader, Emily Fazzini, scored all nine of her points in the first half.
Rider's top player and the MAAC's leading rebounder, MyNeshia McKenzie, was held to just eight points and four rebounds and committed nine turnovers as the Broncs lost for the 11th time in their last 12 games.
With the victory and a Niagara loss, the Saints took over sole possession of fifth place from the Purple Eagles. Siena and Niagara meet in arguably the biggest game of the year to date for both teams Friday night at 7 p.m. in Western New York.