FAIRFIELD, CONN. - Blair Koniszewski converted both free throws on a one-and-one with 1.5 seconds remaining as defending Northeast Conference Champion Sacred Heart stunned Siena 61-60 at the Pitt Center. The Pioneers rallied from a five-point deficit in the final 36 seconds to win.
Siena (4-7) seemed primed for the upset taking a 59-54 lead with 36 seconds left. But the Saints, which had made 24 of their first 25 free throws in the game, couldn't make them when it mattered most. Siena missed four of their final five free throws in crunch time leaving the door open for Sacred Heart (7-4).
Gabrielle Washington made consecutive baskets for the Pioneers, the second of which was a three to pull Sacred Heart within 60-59 with 10 seconds left. The Pioneers then fouled Ida Krogh who went to the line with 6.9 seconds remaining, but she missed both shots.
Koniszewski grabbed the rebound and dribbled down the right side attempting to take a 30-foot fade away for the win. The shot went awry, but a pair of Saints bumped Koniszewski who was awarded the decisive foul shots.
In an exciting game which featured 11 ties and 15 lead changes, Siena went on a seemingly decisive 11-0 run over a four-minute span to rally and reclaim a 58-52 lead with 1:37 remaining.
Senior captain Lily Grenci took over scoring seven of her season-high 21 points during the run. Grenci scored 15 of her points in the second half and added nine rebounds in her best performance of the season.
The reigning Northeast Conference Rookie of the Year, Washington came up huge for the Pioneers with 25 points on 10-19 shooting including 5-8 from three. Washington scored all 13 of her second half points over the final 7:36.
Tehresa Coles added 12 points and four steals for the Saints and Kate Zarotney contributed eight points on 4-4 shooting and six rebounds for Siena which scored 38 second half points shooting a much improved 47.8% (11-23) in the final stanza.
Morgan Merriman added 15 points and Koniszewski came off the bench for 10 for Sacred Heart which improved to 4-0 at home this season and 3-0 against MAAC opponents.
The Saints turn the page to 2013 and conference action next weekend when they open MAAC play at Canisius. Tip off is set for 11 a.m. from Buffalo in the Golden Griffins' annual Kid's Day Game.