LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. - After early season struggles each of the past two seasons, the Saints finally put the November jinx to rest. Led by a sold, all-around team effort, Siena defeated Colgate 66-56 this evening at the ARC.
"It was a really good win for our team tonight," commented head coach Gina Castelli. "I thought it was a great team effort and thought we played really well across the board and received great contributions from everybody."
The Saints (1-1) have scheduled a grueling non-conference slate the past few seasons and as a result had lost 12 straight games in the month of November. With the victory, the Saints claimed their first win in the month of November since a 59-55 triumph at Drexel on Nov. 28, 2007.
Senior forward Serena Moore was a key reason for the victory and had a monster second half, showing why she's a MAAC Player of the Year Candidate. Moore poured in a game-high 20 points to go along with seven rebounds and a career-high six assists in a solid all-around effort. She tallied 14 of her points during the decisive second half.
"You saw tonight why she was picked to the Preseason First Team," noted Castelli. "She really showed tonight what she is capable of doing. She had a really good second half, rebounded well and was tremendous on the press for us."
After Siena and Colgate (0-2) exchanged seven ties and 10 lead changes in an entertaining first half, the Saints pressure defense and timely shooting spurred a decisive second half run.
Trailing 39-36 at the 15:19 mark, Siena responded with a 22-5 run over the next 10 minutes to build a 14-point lead and all but put the game away. During the decisive final stanza, the Saints shot 52.4% (11-for-21) from the floor, while limiting the Raiders to just 21.2% (7-for-33) after Colgate had shot 50% in the opening half.
The Saints received solid contributions up and down their roster. In addition to Moore's dominant effort, freshman Allison Mullings had a sensation collegiate debut. After missing the season opener rehabbing from an injury, Mullings made up for lost time in a big way. She came off the bench to score 13 points on a perfect 5-for-5 shooting in just 19 minutes of action.
Cristina Centeno added nine points, three assists and three steals, while Cathy Cockrum chipped in eight points and six rebounds as the Saints improved to a perfect 9-0 all-time at home against Colgate. Tricia Oakes meanwhile led the Raiders with 19 points and 12 rebounds, while Jhazmine Lynch added 11 points and four steals off the bench.
The Saints return to action Saturday afternoon against Wagner. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m. here in the ARC.