Dec. 9, 2007
New Rochelle, N.Y. - Senior forward Jessica Smith led four Iona players in double figures with 16 points as the Siena women's basketball team dropped its second straight conference game falling to the Gaels 81-69 this afternoon at the Hynes Athletics Center. Senior tri-captain Laura Menty paced the Saints (4-6, 0-2 MAAC) posting 19 points and eight rebounds in the defeat.
The Gaels, (3-5, 1-1 MAAC) opened an early nine point lead following a Catherine Lutz 3-pointer at the 12:17 mark. The Saints responded with a 9-0 run over the next three minutes to even the score at 16-16.
It was a seesaw battle throughout the opening 20 minutes of action with the Saints never able to open more than a two point lead. With 2:18 remaining in the first half, Iona embarked on a 7-0 run to enter intermission with a 36-29 advantage.
Early in the second stanza the Saints crawled their way back into the contest pulling within a single point (42-41) on a pair of Sarah Fullmer free throws with 15:16 left. Fullmer had a stellar afternoon for the Saints tallying a season-high 12 points.
This would be as close as Siena would get as the Gaels exploded for a 17-0 run over the following six minutes to put the game out of reach.
In addition to Smith's 16 points, she also added seven offensive rebounds to Iona's winning effort. Teammate Anna McLean was equally impressive, notching a double-double with 15 points and 12 boards, complimented by a career high six blocks.
Siena senior guard Melissa Manzer also posted double-figures finishing the afternoon with 18 points. Sophomore guard Merrick Volpe gave the Saints some relief coming off the bench as she led the second unit with career-highs of seven points and three steals.
Iona won the battle of the boards out-rebounding the Saints 49-30, including a 27-13 advantage in the second half.
The Saints will enjoy an 11 day break before returning to action against Oakland (Mich.) on December 20 at the Alumni Recreation Center. Tip time is slated for 7 p.m.