LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. - It wasn't pretty, but in the end Siena's Senior Day was a success. Propelled by a game-high 21 points from senior Serena Moore, the Saints hung on late to defeat Canisius 40-32 Sunday afternoon at the ARC.
With their victory, the Saints (13-15, 11-7) clinched the No. 4 seed in next week's 2011 Spark Energy MAAC Championships. Siena will square off with tournament host and No. 5 seed Fairfield in the First Round on Friday at approximately 3:30 p.m. at Webster Bank Arena at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport, Conn.
In the early going, it appeared as if the Saints would cruise to a senior day victory. The Saints closed the first half on a 22-6 run to take a 17-point lead, 28-11 into the lockerroom.
Siena got it done on the defensive end in the opening half, forcing 17 Canisius (10-19, 6-12) turnovers leading to 17 points for the Saints. Additionally, Siena swiped 10 steals in the stanza and limited the Golden Griffins to just 3-for-17 (17.6%) shooting.
But in the second half, the Saints would struggle on the offensive end, missing their first eight shots. Trailing 37-20 with 9:23 remaining, Canisius would take advantage and go on a 12-0 run to pull within five, 37-32 with 3:21 left.
Needing a field goal to secure the win, the Saints seniors came through. With 2:17 remaining, Missy Ramsey came out of a scrum with the loose ball and fed her classmate Moore for the layup that put the game away.
Siena shot just 3-for-23 (13%) in the second half, with all three field goals coming from Moore and none more important than that final one.
Moore shot 8-for-16 from the field and added four steals and three blocks. Cristina Centeno added seven points and Kanika Cummings came off the bench to chip in six for the Saints.
Tauralee Tenn led Canisius, scoring all nine of her points in the second half for the Golden Griffins which will be the No. 7 seed in the MAAC Tournament. Canisius shot just 20% (9-for-45) for the game.
With the triumph, the Saints have won their most games (13) and most MAAC games (11) since the 2003-04 season.
Siena will now have a few days to rest up before heading to Connecticut to for a First Round matchup against the Stags for a fifth time in the past six years.