ALBANY, NY - After Niagara swept the regular season series, Siena Women's Basketball was able to seek revenge and knocked the Purple Eagles out of the MAAC Tournament with a 71-60 victory in the MAAC Quarterfinals at the Times Union Center. Senior guard Aaliyah Jones set a new MAAC Tournament record of nine steals in the victory.
With the victory, the Saints (17-13) advance to the MAAC Semifinals where they will take on #2 seeded Marist on Sunday, March 4 at 1:30 PM at the Times Union Center. The two teams split during the regular season with Marist winning in Poughkeepsie and Siena defeating the Red Foxes at the Times Union Center.
Jones set the tournament record of nine steals, two more than the previous record which was seven set by Jessica Grossarth of Fairfield on March 5, 1995, and Kayla Stroman of Niagara on March 2, 2012. Jones also tied her career-high 21 points on seven-for-10 shooting (.700) from the field. Kollyns Scarbrough tallied her eighth double-double of the season with 20 points and 10 rebounds while also being a perfect seven-for-seven for the charity stripe.
MAAC Player of the Year, Victoria Rampado, recorded her 15th double-double with 17 points and 14 rebounds, 13 of her points came in the second half for Niagara (13-18). Jamie Sherburne and Maggie McIntyre add 15 and 12 points, respectively.
Siena came out of the jump looking to take down the Purple Eagles and advance to the Semifinals for the first time since 2015. While Niagara started off hot holding the Saints to just four points in the opening seven minutes of play, Siena knocked down 14 points and held the Purple Eagles to just one free throw made to close out the frame leading 18-11. The Saints 18 points scored in the first quarter were the most since tallying 22 against Quinnipiac on February 11.
The Saints, who came into the game averaging 12.7 points in the second quarter shot an impressive 57.1-percent from the floor to notch 22 points in the frame, the second most all season. Siena had only committed two turnovers in the first quarter, but the Purple Eagles forced the Saints to turn the ball over four times in the second frame and turned that into seven of their 12 points, but the Saints held on to take a 17-point lead, 40-23, at halftime.
Niagara came out of the locker room and produced a 16-3 run to trail by as little as seven, 47-40. However, Jones found a way to pick up her eighth steal in the frame to be just the third MAAC player this season to record eight steals in a game, Casey Foley from Fairfield and Amani Tatum from Manhattan both recorded eight this season. While the Purple Eagles outscored the Saints 19-12 in the third quarter, Siena was able to stay ahead 52-43.
While the Purple Eagles opened up the fourth quarter hitting four-of-four from the field and drawing the Saints closer, 57-50 with just under six minutes to play, Siena did not commit a turnover in the final frame and would not back down. In the final 90 seconds, the Saints hit eight from the free-throw line and held on to last another day in the MAAC Tournament defeating Niagara 71-60 in the Quarterfinals.
Siena has now won eight of 10 games when they have scored 70 or more points. In the last seven games, the Saints have caused 155 turnovers of their opponents to average 22.1 turnovers per game and have averaged 17.6 points off of those turnovers.
The Saints will look to take down No. 2 Marist on Sunday, March 4 at 1:30 p.m. in the hopes of advancing to the Championship game for the first time since 2003.