LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. - Siena is going to have nightmares of Orla O'Reilly. The Binghamton forward erupted for 23 of her career-high 29 points in the second half, halting a valiant Siena comeback bid in an 80-70 Bearcats' victory Friday night at the ARC.
Siena (0-2) showed great fight, battling back from an 18-point deficit late in the first half to make it a game. The Saints closed to within as few as four points at 59-55 with 7:12 to play following a Lily Grenci three-point play.
But every time the Saints rallied, O'Reilly was there to hit the dagger and quiet the crowd. She hit consecutive back breaking threes on the Bearcats' (2-0) following two possessions and sunk her free throws late to preserve the win.
Over the game's final six and a half minutes, O'Reilly scored 14 points which included a trio of threes and five clutch free throws.
But Binghamton would need every bit of what it got from O'Reilly to hold off the feisty Saints.
Trailing by 13 with 11:36 to go, Siena reeled off an impressive 11-2 run over the next four-plus minutes to make it a two possession game. The Saints received solid contributions from a number of players, but it was Grenci and sophomore guard Kanika Cummings' play which stood out the most.
Grenci scored all of her career-high 22 points over the game's final 22 minutes, while Cummings added a career-high 15 points in 25 minutes off the bench.
Cummings scored 10 of her points in the first half and combined with Maja Gerlyng to score the Saints' first 16 points. Gerlyng also finished in double figures, scoring 16 points on 6-10 shooting.
Siena closed back to within as few as five points on a twisting lay in by Cristina Centeno with 45 seconds to go, but O'Reilly hit her free throws to close out the Saints.
Binghamton shot 46.9% (30-64) for the game including an impressive 9-19 from three-point range. The Bearcats also dished out 21 assists as opposed to just nine turnovers.
O'Reilly shot 8-13 from the field and 6-9 from three to go along with five assists. Andrea Holmes added 17 points and Viive Rebane contributed 13 points, eight rebounds and seven assists for Binghamton.
Siena also shot well from the field (46.6%) and received strong post play inside. The Saints outscored Binghamton 36-16 in the paint.
Siena returns to the hardwood when it closes out its season opening three-game homestand Saturday at Rhode Island. The Saints and Rams are scheduled to tip-off at 2 p.m.