Nov. 21, 2003
The Siena women's basketball team brought the Albany Cup trophy back to Siena with a 63-46 win over UAlbany tonight in Albany, N.Y. at the Pepsi Arena. The annual battle marked the season opener for both teams.
Siena and Albany kicked-off the first half in a battle for the lead, as the two teams paced each other in the opening four minutes. The Saints began to take a slight lead after the first official time out, going up 14-7 with a little over 10 minutes remaining in the half. The seven-point lead was short lived, however, as the Great Danes connected on a couple pairs of free throws to pull back to within three. Albany continued to close the gap, inching their way to within one, with a 16-15 score with a little under five minutes to play in the half. But the Saints would not relinquish their lead and jumped back into command with a 12-0 run and a 27-15 lead as the two teams headed into the locker room. Liene Jansone boosted the Green and Gold, scoring seven of her 12 first-half points during the run.
The second half began much like the first ended, as Siena continued to hold the Great Danes to a minimum, increasing their lead to seventeen over a five-minute span. Albany fought back to diminish the Green and Gold advantage to nine at the 12:15 mark on a pair of free throws by Tanya James. The Great Danes got even closer on their next drive down the floor, cutting the Saint lead to just six at 40-34, as Becky Ayers converted on a free throw for a three-point play. Albany continued to creep up on Siena, slashing that lead in half and pulling to within three. But the Saints again proved stubborn, scoring ten-straight to build their lead back up to twelve with a 50-38 score at the eight-minute mark. After a couple of minutes that saw only a bucket by both teams, Nathalie Marchino sank a three-pointer to go to give Siena their biggest lead of the game at fifteen with a 55-40 score. The Great Danes would get no closer, as Siena allowed just four Albany points in the final minutes of play to take a 63-46 victory in the annual Albany Cup.
Nine different Saints scored, with Jansone leading the way, pouring in a game-high 24 points while grabbing seven rebounds. Jolene Johnston and Marchino also managed double-figures scoring 10 and 13, respectively.
Albany also got scoring power from multiple player as seven Great Danes put numbers up on the board, with Becky Ayers sinking a team-high 17 points and Alicia Learn registering double-figures as well with 12 while grabbing a team-high seven rebounds.
The Saints shot 42.6 percent compared to UAlbany's 38.9 percent en route to the season-opening victory. While the two teams fared evenly on the boards with 31 a piece, Siena also held the advantage over the Great Danes in blocks (3-2) steals (9-4) and assists (17-6).
The Saints will next match-up against powerhouse Boston College this Tuesday, November 25. The game will again be played as double-header with the men's team at the Pepsi Arena. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m.