LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. - Siena's 11th Annual Pink Zone was a smashing success Friday night as the Saints honored local breast cancer survivors and raised money in support of the Capital Region Action Against Breast Cancer (CRAAB!) in front of a crowd of 1,276. On the court, the Saints battled hard but No. 21/21 Marist proved to have too much as the Red Foxes posted a 64-48 win.
"I thought it was great," said Castelli about the Pink Zone atmosphere. "I thought everything went well, especially considering the weather. So many people still came out. I thought the pre-game reception was terrific, I thought the ceremony went well, and I thought the kids were terrific to the survivors. I thought it was a huge success, and it's a credit to the Capital District. Everyone came out and supported us."
Marist (26-2, 17-0) however kept it from being a completely perfect evening as they extending the nation's longest active winning streak to 22 games and improved to a perfect 12-0 on the road.
Siena (12-15, 10-7) meanwhile saw its three-game winning streak come to an end and in the process assured itself of a first round matchup in the MAAC Tournament against Fairfield for a fifth time in the past six years. The Saints can still sew up the No. 4 seed with a win over Canisius Sunday or a Fairfield loss at Marist.
Regardless, Siena and Fairfield will square off next Friday at 3:30 p.m. in the Spark Energy MAAC Championships at Webster Bank Arena at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport, Conn.
The Saints kept it close in the early going, trailing 15-13 at the 12:34 mark. But Marist countered with a 22-6 run to build an 18-point lead. Siena never got any closer than 13 the rest of the way.
MAAC Preseason Player of the Year Erica Allenspach sunk three huge three pointers during the run and tied her career-high with six threes for the game. Allenspach, who shot 6-for-8 from distance, finished with a game-high 20 points.
Siena made several attempts to get back in it in the second half, but playing against the nation's top scoring defense and sixth best field goal percentage defense, the Saints struggled to score. The Green and Gold shot just 25% (15-for-60) from the floor compared to 42.3% (22-for-52) for Marist and had 10 of their shots swatted.
Serena Moore and Maja Gerlyng paced the Saints with 10 points apiece, but shot just a combined 7-for-35 (20%) from the field. Cristina Centeno added nine points and Cathy Cockrum six points and nine rebounds as the Saints fell to 0-13 all-time against ranked opponents.
In addition to Allenspach, Marist placed three others in double figures. Corielle Yarde posted 11 points, seven rebounds and six assists and Kate Oliver and Elise Caron added 10 apiece as Marist defeated the Saints for a 14th straight time and eighth consecutive meeting in the Capital Region.
The Saints close out the 2010-11 regular season Sunday at the ARC against Canisius for Senior Day. Prior to tip-off at 2 p.m., Siena will recognize graduating seniors Cathy Cockrum, Serena Moore and Missy Ramsey in a special pregame ceremony.