March 2, 2008
MAAC Touranment Bracket
Loudonville, N.Y. - For the fourth consecutive season, the Siena women's basketball team will face Fairfield in the MAAC Tournament. The sixth seeded Saints will take on the #3 seeded Stags on Friday morning in the 2008 Citizens Bank MAAC Women's Basketball Championships Quarterfinals in an 11:30 a.m. tip from Times Union Center in Albany, N.Y.
Siena enters the tournament following a pair of wins to close out the regular season over the Stags and Rider. Shondaya Burrell recorded a career-high 31 points, while Menty added 27 as the Saints downed the Broncs in overtime on Friday in Lawrenceville, N.J. 84-81. The Green and Gold embark on postseason play with an 11-17 overall record and finished 7-11 in the MAAC.
The Stags meanwhile have posted the second most wins of any team in the league as they enter the championships with an impressive 21-8 record, including an 11-7 conference ledger. After an 0-4 MAAC start, Fairfield rebounded to win 11 of its final 13 MAAC games and has won 11 of their past 14 games overall entering the tournament.
The teams split their two regular season meetings this season with each winning at home. On Feb. 16 in Bridgeport, Laura Menty netted a career-high 31 points but it was not enough as the Stags overcame the Saints, 60-57. Then, just eight days later, Siena earned the split, topping Fairfield 62-56 on Senior Day in Loudonville. Menty added 28 more points as the Saints recorded their lone win of the year at the Alumni Recreation Center. Menty has dominated Fairfield this season posting 59 points in the two meetings while shooting an unbelievable 21 of 25 (84%) from the floor.
This will be the 48th all-time meeting between the Saints and Stags, with Fairfield harboring a slim 24-23 advantage. It also marks the ninth time since the 1992 MAAC Tournament and seventh time in the last nine years that these two teams will square off in postseason play. The Stags have won five of the eight previous meetings, however Siena defeated Fairfield to win their lone MAAC Tournament Championship in 2001. Moreover, each of the past three seasons the teams have met in the tournament with each game decided by just one point.
In the 2005 MAAC Tournament Quarterfinals in Buffalo, the Saints overcame a seven point halftime deficit to force overtime before falling to the Stags, 66-65. The following year it was Déjà Vu as remarkably Fairfield escaped again with a one point overtime triumph, rallying from 16 down at intermission to pull out a 60-59 win in Albany.
Then once more last season the teams locked horns this time on the Stags home court in Bridgeport, Conn. in the Quarterfinals. This time the Saints would be redeemed however as they returned the favor by defeating the Stags on their home floor one year after they had done the same to Siena on theirs. Melissa Manzer hit an off-balance three with four seconds to go in yet another one point thriller, 56-55.
Friday's game will be televised regionally on the Madison Square Garden Network (MSG). Saints fans will also have the opportunity to listen in to the broadcast on WVCR 88.3 FM "The Saint" or online at SienaSaints.com. Friday's pregame show begins at 11 a.m.
The winner of this game will advance to the semifinals to take on the winner of the Iona-Loyola/Rider game on Saturday at 9:30 a.m.