Siena Women's Basketball Team Advances to the 2007 Coors Classic Championship Game
Nov. 24, 2007
Boulder, Colo. - The Siena women's basketball defeated host school Colorado (1-2) 83-74 this evening in the opening round of the 21st annual Coors Classic in Boulder, Colo. Senior guard Melissa Manzer exploded for a career-high 31 points leading Siena (2-3) its first victory over a Big 12 opponent in program history. Senior Laura Menty dished in 25 points, while junior guard Shondaya Burrell also managed a season-high dropping 23 points in the winning effort. The Saints earn at date with ACC powerhouse Clemson (3-3) in the championship game tomorrow night.
"This is a significant win for this team and our program," proclaimed head coach Gina Castelli. "To beat a Big 12 program on the road is just incredible. Everyone contributed to this great effort tonight."
The Buffaloes jumped out to an early 10-4 lead courtesy of a 7-0 run which was capped off by a Jackie McFarland jumper at the 15:46 mark. She notched a double-double posting 24 points and 11 rebounds.
Siena countered by slowly chipping away at this deficit. The Saints managed to take a 37-35 advantage into intermission behind 12 first half points from Burrell and Manzer.
The Saints came out firing in the second half posting a 15-5 run to take a 52-40 edge, it's largest of the game. The Saints shot an impressive 7-for-11 from the field over the first 9:23 of the second, while Colorado was a dismal 1-for-14 from the floor.
The Buffaloes made a late surge to challenge Siena which was capped off by a Brittany Spears 3-pointer with 2:08 remaining to bring Colorado within two. Spears also delivered a double-double effort finishing with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
This was the closest the Buffaloes would get as Manzer secured the victory with a pair of free-throws and a 25 foot fade away 3-pointer with the shot clock running down to put the game out of reach. She set a Coors Classic record with six 3-point field goals. Manzer also became the first Saint to post 30+ points in a game since Gunta Basko put up 30 on January 11, 2002 against Canisius.
Menty put on a phenomenal shooting performance going 11-for-13 from the field. She moved into ninth place on the program's all-time scoring chart surpassing Kim Colunio '95 on the list.
Siena went 57.4% from the field aided by a 13-for-19 second half performance. Colorado shot 39.7% on the night and was 19-for-20 from the charity stripe.
The Saints advance to the championship game tomorrow evening at 9:30 p.m. eastern versus Clemson. The Lady Tigers got past Rice 62-59 in the earlier contest tonight.