LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. - Senior captain Lily Grenci could not have hoped for a better Senior Day. Grenci posted her 16th career double-double with 22 points and 14 rebounds and added a career-high six steals, leading Siena to a 64-53 win over Canisius. With the victory, Siena earns the No. 6 seed and a First Round bye in the MAAC Championships.
Siena (12-17, 8-10), which is the No. 6 seed for the fourth time in the past six years, will once again meet third-seeded Fairfield in the quarterfinals of the MAAC Tournament Friday at approximately 11:30 a.m. at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, Mass. It will be the eighth time in the past nine years that the rivals have met in the MAAC Championships and fifth time in the past six years in each team's first tournament game.
In a matchup where the winner would secure the No. 6 seed and the MAAC Tournament's final First Round bye and the loser would be relegated to playing Thursday, Grenci made sure Siena would open tournament action Friday.
Grenci sunk a pair of quick threes, the second of which was a 30-foot prayer she banked in on a broken play to beat the buzzer, and give Siena a lead they would not relinquish for the final 38 minutes. Grenci made a career-high four threes, shooting 4-6 from distance.
Canisius (11-18, 8-10) kept things close throughout and rallied to within four, 29-25 at the half. But Grenci hit two more threes early in the second half to build the lead back to nine and Siena later capped an 8-2 run to take a 53-40 lead with 6:06 remaining to put the game away.
Siena's bench came through in a big way as well, outscoring the Golden Griffins' second unit 27-0. Kanika Cummings led the reserves with a season-high 13 points, while Clara Sole Anglada added 12 as the Saints beat Canisius for the third straight year in the regular season's final game.
Ashley Wilkes led Canisius with 19 points and 10 rebounds, while Kayla Hoohuli added 14 points and four steals. Jamie Ruttle also posted double figures with 11 for Canisius which enters the MAAC Championships having lost eight of their last 11 games and will be the No. 7 seed.
Siena, which last season became the first No. 6 seed to win a MAAC Quarterfinals game in 12 years, will now rest up and look to repeat history Friday.