Nov. 28, 2009
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -
Siena women's basketball lost its first game of the NAU Thanksgiving Classic to host Northern Arizona 71-62 Friday evening in Flagstaff, Arizona. Siena led 36-33 with 15 ½ minutes remaining in the game, but the Lumberjacks went on a 17-0 run in the next four minutes and held on for its first win of the season. Senior guard Merrick Volpe led the Saints with 14 points and five steals and Allie Lindemann added 12 points. Junior forward Cathy Cockrum pulled down a career-high 11 rebounds.
Cockrum kick-started the Saints (0-4) early as she scored the team's first two points on a jumper, then on the next possession stole the ball from Vickie Toney and passed to Serena Moore running the floor for the easy layup.
Siena's defense suffocated Northern Arizona (1-5) in the first half, holding it to 25 points and keeping team leading scorer Amy Patton in check. She shot 1-for-9 from the field and 0-for-3 from 3 for three points in the first half. She came into the game averaging 17.8 points. Lindemann and Volpe were all over the floor, getting active hands in the passing lanes and diving on the floor for loose balls. Lindemann shot 3-for-6 from the field and 2-for-4 from 3 to lead the Saints with eight points at the half.
Siena failed to make a field goal in the last six minutes of the first half and Northern Arizona went on an 8-0 run to tie the game 25-25 at the half.
The Saints came out strong in the second half. Volpe made a quick steal, passed it to Moore and she moved it to Lindemann for the easy layup. After Jenna Galloway hit a jumper for the Lumberjacks, Maja Gerlyng and Cockrum both scored to put the Saints up four (31-27), its largest lead of the second half.
With 15:32 remaining, Cockrum drilled a 3-pointer to make it 36-33 Saints. But Northern Arizona went on a decisive 17-0 run in the next four minutes to take a 14 point lead. Katy Huntington fueled the game-changing run with nine points. She tied her career-high with 21 points.
Siena whittled the Lumberjacks' lead down to six points (61-55) with 1:44 left to play on five consecutive free throws by Volpe. But Northern Arizona made 12-of-14 free throws in the final 1:40 to secure its first victory of the season.
The Saints return to action Saturday when they face Belmont in the NAU Thanksgiving Classic consolation game. Game time is scheduled for 4:05 p.m. Eastern (2:05 p.m. local time).