March 7, 2008
Loudonville, N.Y. - The Siena women's basketball team shot just 30.6% from the floor this afternoon as their season came to end as the Green and Gold fell to Fairfield 67-52 at Times Union Center in the 2008 Citizens Bank MAAC Basketball Championships Quarterfinals. It was the third time in the past four seasons that the Saints' MAAC Championship aspirations came to an end at the hands of the Stags. Senior tri-captain Laura Menty finished her brilliant career with 11 points to lead all Siena scorers.
Atter the #3 seed Fairfield (22-8) jumped out to an early 3-0 lead on a trifecta courtesy of Megan Caskin, the #6 seed Saints (11-18) responded with seven quick points to secure a 7-3 lead at the first media timeout. The four point lead was Siena's biggest of the game.
Matching up with Fairfield in the MAAC Tournament for the seventh time in the last nine years, Siena would take their final lead of the game at 15-14 on a Heather Stec lay up with 9:39 remaining. The Stags' Meka Werts answered back with a three moments later to give Fairfield the lead for good. Werts led all scorers posting 18 points coming off the bench.
Werts' three sparked a 12-1 Fairfield run over the next four minutes as the Stags surged into intermission with a 29-20 lead. Siena shot just 25.9% (7-27) from the floor during the opening stanza.
In the second half, Fairfield continued to build its lead to as much as 20 points (48-28) following yet another Werts three at the 11:43 mark. Siena made a late run to cut the deficit to 12 with 4:49 to go (54-42) but could inch no closer as their season ended.
Fairfield placed three in double-figurers as in addition to Werts, Baendu Lowenthal added 16 points and Megan Caskin had 10. Caskin also finished with 12 assists, without committing a turnover. As a team, the Stags posted 23 assists and just nine team turnovers.
Junior guard Shondaya Burrell complimented Menty's performance with 10 points, eight rebounds and five assists, while Melissa Manzer added eight in her final game for the Green and Gold, finishing just shy of 1,000 career points. Fellow senior Liga Alpe-Luka also played well in her final collegiate effort adding seven points, nine rebounds, five assists and three steals.
Despite being out-shot for the game, the Saints harbored a 42-36 edge on the glass over the top rebounding team in the league, including 16 on the offensive end.
With the win, Fairfield advances to the MAAC Semifinals tomorrow morning where they will meet up with the #2 seed Iona in a 9:30 a.m. tip.