Nov. 19, 2007
Brooklyn, N.Y. - Senior co-captain Laura Menty posted a season-high 21 points and nine rebounds to lead the Siena women's basketball team to a 57-47 victory over Long Island (2-2) this evening in Brooklyn. Menty advanced to 10th all-time on the program's career scoring chart (1,300 points). Junior guard Shondaya Burrell dished in 18 points of her own going 9-for-12 from the field.
"It was a great team effort," explained head coach Gina Castelli. "They played hard on every possession. It was a great win for us today."
Siena took a 29-26 advantage into intermission behind 11 first half points courtesy of Menty. It marked the first halftime lead for the Saints this season. Siena shot a solid 56.5% from the field, while Long Island connected on 42.9% of its shots.
Blackbirds guard Valerie Nainima exploded for 18 first half points shooting 8-for-13 from the field. She finished with a game-high 22 points. Only three Long Island players scored in the first 20 minutes of action.
The Saints defensive pressure in the second contained Nainima who went a dismal 1-for-8 from the field over the final 20 minutes. On the game, the Blackbirds went 28.8% from the field and 17.7% from 3-point territory.
Siena's (1-3) bench gave the team a lift outscoring Long Island 26-6 after accounting for just 10% of the team's scoring entering today's contest.
"We had great bench production tonight," Castelli confirmed. "Laura (Menty) and Shondaya (Burrell) helped lift the team with their great play."
With just 54 seconds remaining, Long Island cut the Siena advantage to 49-47 off a Nainima steal and lay-up. Burrell responded for the Saints immediately when she drove the left side and laid one in to give Siena a four point edge.
Menty hit six straight free-throws in the final 30 seconds to secure the Saints first victory of the season. Her game-high nine rebounds sent her over the 500 career rebound plateau. Menty became just the 13th player in program history to score 1,000+ points and 500+ rebounds, and just the eight since the program turned Division I.
With the victory, Siena improves to 1-3 overall. The Saints return to action on Friday in Boulder, Colo. when the square off with host school Colorado in the 2007 Coors Classic. Game time is slated for 9:30 p.m. eastern.