Feb. 22, 2008
Loudonville, N.Y. - Iona guard Tiara Headen scored a game-high 27 points and knocked down a huge three with 32 seconds to go as the Gaels prevailed over Siena tonight, 76-72 at the Alumni Recreation Center. The Saints cut a 16-point second half deficit to two with just over a minute remaining, but in the end fell for their third straight defeat.
The Saints (9-17, 5-11) stormed out to a 10-6 lead just four minutes in on a Heather Stec layup off a great cross-court feed from Shondaya Burrell. Stec finished with a career-high 18 points. The four point lead proved to be the Green and Gold's largest of the game.
Iona (17-10, 11-5) answered back with a game-changing 18-1 run over the next five minutes to take the lead for good, 24-11 at the 11 minute mark.
Entering intermission, the Gaels lead held steady at 13 (38-25) thanks in large part to solid bench production as the Iona reserves posted 15 points in the first half and 28 for the game. Freshman forward Anda Ivkovic had a stellar performance to lead the Gaels second unit as she finished with 18 points.
In the second half, Iona's lead swelled to as many as 16 (44-28) at the 18:17 mark following Jessica Smith's lone basket of the game. The Saints, who have staged several second half comebacks over the last few weeks, proved to be resilient as they would continue to slowly but surely chip away at the Iona lead.
Entering the final media timeout at 3:59, Siena found themselves down 13, 70-57. Over the next 2:55, the Saints reeled off a quick 12-1 run to pull within a single possession at 71-69 with 1:04 remaining on a Melissa Manzer baseline jumper.
But just as soon as the Saints found life, Headen put the nail in the coffin as she drained a 25-foot three pointer as the shot clock expired to put Iona up five with 32 seconds to go and in essence end the game.
Despite their two starting frontcourt players having to sit on the bench for most of the game in foul trouble, the Gaels held a 45-35 advantage on the boards while corralling 18 on the offensive end. Iona also made some clutch threes, finishing 8-for-22 from beyond the arc.
In addition to Stec, Burrell had another solid all-around game notching 17 points to go along with nine rebounds and five assists. Sophomore center Sarah Fullmer had an equally impressive performance coming off the bench as she finished with a season-high tying 12 points in 15 minutes of action, while also sinking the first two three pointers of her career.
The loss drops the Saints to 0-8 at the Alumni Recreation Center this season with one final chance to pick up a win on Sunday against Fairfield. Siena will host the Stags for a 2 p.m. tip on Senior Day as the Saints honor seniors Liga Alpe-Luka, Melissa Manzer and Laura Menty in a pregame ceremony.