Siena Wins Title Outright With Dramatic Rally

Feb. 24, 2002

Box Score

Poughkeepsie, NY - Siena College edged Marist 55-52 in women's basketball action today at the McCann Center. The Red Foxes lead nearly the entire game until Gunta Basko put the Saint's ahead 53-52 on a pair of free throws with 19 seconds remaining. A shot by senior Marie Fusci (Levittown, NY) rolled off the rim with four seconds left and Siena grabbed the rebound and made two foul shots to seal the victory.

Senior Diesa Seidel (Red Hook, NY) scored a game high 25 points, pulled down eight rebounds, and blocked five shots to lead the Red Foxes who also received a career high 10 rebounds and eight assists effort from sophomore Nina Vecchio (Holmdel, NJ).

The Red Foxes jumped out to an early 12-4 lead in the first five minutes of the game before taking a 27-22 advantage into the locker room at the half. They extended to lead to 14 (40-26) on a jumper by Seidel with 15:09 remaining. Then a 19-6 run by the Saints over the next 10 minutes cut the margin to one (46-45) at 4:45 in the second half.

Marist the went up by five (50-46) on two foul shots from Seidel and an offensive putback from junior Sarah Tift (N. Kingstown, RI), before Chrissy Loeliger converted a four point play for Siena with 52 seconds left that set up Basko's game winning free throws.

For the game Marist shot .379, while Siena shot .344. The Red Foxes also held a slight advantage on the glass out rebounding the Saints 40-39.

The loss put Marist at 11-16 on the season and 7-11 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC). They will be the sixth seed at the 2002 HSBC MAAC Tournament at the Pepsi Arena in Albany, NY. Siena finished the regular season at 21-5, 16-2, winning the MAAC regular season title and the top seed in the MAAC tournament.

Siena will open defense of its MAAC Championship on Friday at 7:00 p.m. against the winner of the Rider/Iona matchup.