HORSHOLM, DENMARK - For 11 years Maja Gerlyng spent countless hours both practicing and competing in Fire Arena. Tonight, the Saints' senior tri-captain returned home for the first time as a visitor. But the court did not yield the home-court advantage Gerlyng and the Saints were hoping for as the host Danish National Team topped Siena, 77-58.
Denmark led throughout the contest, as the Saints got off to a slow start and trailed 16-8 after the first quarter. The teams played under FIBA rules which included four, 10-minute quarters, a 24-second shot clock and 8-second back court rule.
The margin would remain right about the same throughout as every time the Saints' seemed to be closing in, Denmark would hit a back-breaking three. The sharpshooting Danes shot an impressive 10-for-14 (.714) from beyond the arc while Siena missed all seven of its attempts from distance.
The Saints surged and pulled within six (56-50) to start the fourth quarter but after a long day of sightseeing, Siena ran out of gas down the stretch.
Playing less than a mile from her home in front of a large group of family and friends and in the gym in which former Saint Heather Stec also once competed in for the Horsholm 79ers, Gerlyng chipped in six points.
Junior tri-captain Lily Grenci led the way for the Saints with 19 points to go along with six rebounds and six steals. Allison Mullings also finished in double figures with 11 points, while Cristina Centeno contributed nine and incoming freshman Tehresa Coles had an impressive debut adding six points, five rebounds and five steals.
Emilie Hesseldahl led the Danish National Team while 19 points while Ida Tryggeson added 14.
Following the game, the travel party traced the same steps Gerlyng had taken thousands of times before from Fire Arena down the street to her home when everyone enjoyed a traditional Danish dinner.
The Saints will get their chance for revenge tomorrow when they once again meet up with the Danish National Team at 7 p.m. local time in the Copenhagen suburb of Farum. Remember to check back daily to the Official Tour Webpage as well as Grenci's Times Union blog, pictures, videos and more.