ALBANY, NY - Siena Women's Basketball opens up the MAAC Tournament in the Quarterfinals against the six-seeded Niagara on Saturday at 12 p.m. at the Times Union Center in Albany, New York. Niagara swept the regular season series against the Saints with both matchups coming in January.
AJ Kanell and Steve Amedio have the call beginning with pregame coverage at 11:30 a.m. locally on WVCR 88.3 FM "The Saint" and through SienaAllAccess.com. Click on corresponding links at the top of the page to follow the action online. Follow @SienaWomenshoop on twitter for courtside updates and join in the conversation using #SienaSaints and #MAACHoops.
Siena has faced Niagara four times in the MAAC Tournament and hold a 3-1 record when playing the Purple Eagles. The two-teams have not met in the tournament since March 8, 2003 when #2 Siena defeated #3 Niagara in the MAAC Semifinals 91-56 at the Sovereign Bank Arena in Trenton, New Jersey. Niagara beat the Saints in the MAAC Semifinals on March 1, 1997 81-64 when the Saints were the 3-seed. Siena is 16-10 in MAAC Tournament Quarterfinal games.
While the Saints lead the series against the Purple Eagle, 46-31, in the last 12 meetings the series has been 7-5 in favor of Niagara. In the last 12 meetings, two have gone to overtime and nine of the 12 have been decided by nine points or less. The 46 wins over Niagara are the second most wins against any program in Siena history. The most wins over any program is Canisius as the Saints have won 50 against the Golden Griffs. Siena and Niagara have met in Albany twice in the past 12 matchups with the Purple Eagles coming away with the win both times; January 7, 2018 Niagara won 73-68 and the Purple Eagles took the victory 76-72 on January 10, 2014.
In the first meeting this season, Niagara was led by Victoria Rampado who dropped 41 points, for the second most points scored in a single game for the Purple Eagles and most point scored in a league game this season. Niagara also looked to Kaylee Stroemple who added 20 points. Between the two, they combined for 61 of Niagara's 73 points. Siena was led by Kollyns Scarbrough who tallied 27 points and grabbed eight rebounds. In the second meeting, Scarbrough had notched her fifth double-double of the season with 17 points and 10 rebounds, while Candela Hermida came off the bench and drained eight points. Stroemple led Niagara with 20 points in Niagara's 65-50 victory.
Siena enters the contest on a two-game winning streak having concluded the regular season with a 68-59 win over Canisius and 70-36 victory over Saint Peter's at the Alumni Recreation Center. The 36 points scored by the Peacocks was the least points scored in the Ali Jaques era and least since the Saints defeated Manhattan 34-33 in the MAAC Tournament on March 3, 2012. The Saints 34-point victory over Saint Peter's, in the regular season finale, was the largest margin of victory since defeating Niagara 77-37 on January 14, 2011. In four of Siena's last six games, the Saints have held opponents to 55 points or less. The Saints are averaging 61.2 points per game while holding opponents to 61.1 points, which is the first time since 2014-15 the Saints are averaging more points than their opponents. Before 2014-15, the last time was 2003-04 when Siena averaged 62.7 points and opponents averaged 58.3.
Niagara enters having defeated 11-seeded Saint Peter's in the First Round game 60-48. The Purple Eagles were led by Player of the Year Victoria Rampado who tallied 15 points and grabbed nine rebounds. Jai Moore and Jamie Sherburne added 13 and 11 points, respectively. Defensively, the Purple Eagles forced 25 turnovers from the Peacocks, coming from 18 swipes. Niagara held Saint Peter's to just eight points in the final frame to secure their fate in advancing to the Quarterfinals for the third time in four years. Niagara has won four of their last five games.
The winner of this game will take on winner of #2 Marist in the Semifinal game on Sunday, March 4 at 1:30 p.m.