Siena women’s basketball falls to Marist


For a nine-minute stretch,  the Siena women’s basketball didn’t just outplay Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference leader Marist on Sunday afternoon. The Saints dominated the Red Foxes during a stunning 23-2 run that put them ahead midway through the second quarter.

It showed the best the young Saints have to offer as they try to become a league contender.

“We were more locked in, more focused,”https://www.timesunion.com/” Siena junior guard Rayshel Brown said. “We were probably communicating better at that point in time than we did the rest of the game.”

It was the other 31 minutes that were the problem. Marist opened a 15-point lead in the first quarter before the Saints’ flurry and then dominated the second half in a 78-55 victory over Siena at Times Union Center.

“We got off to a tough start, but I was proud of our effort in the first half to actually come back and take the lead,”https://www.timesunion.com/” Siena head coach Ali Jaques said. “Kind of the same tale in the second half. Marist came out on a run and we just didn’t respond. I think Rebekah Hand is quite a player, and so is (Alana) Gilmer.”

Hand, a senior guard, matched her career high with 32 points on 14-of-17 shooting. She made all 10 of her attempts inside the arc and hit four 3-pointers. Gilmer, a redshirt senior forward, added 20 points and 12 rebounds.

Marist held a 39-21 rebounding advantage and a 22-4 edge in second-chance points.

“It’s been something we’ve had issues with all year,”https://www.timesunion.com/” Jaques said. “It’s not as easy to box out out of a matchup (zone) as it is man-to-man, and that (zone) is how we play. So we need everybody boxing out and rebounding.”

Senior guard Sabrina Piper led the Saints with 18 points and Brown scored 10. The Saints fell to 8-15 overall, 6-8 in the MAAC, which puts them in seventh place.

Siena faced the MAAC’s iron the past two games. The Saints lost to second-place Rider by 31 at the Alumni Recreation Center on Thursday, then put up a better fight against the Red Foxes before falling by 23.

“We had a good first half, but we’ve got to be focused for 40 minutes,”https://www.timesunion.com/” Piper said. “Marist is a really good team. They have good shooters. We just didn’t respond. We’ve just got to work on our defense and listen to Coach.”

Marist (20-4, 13-2) jumped to a 19-4 lead before Piper scored eight straight points on a drive and back-to-back 3-pointers to trigger the Saints’ run.

Siena went ahead 21-19 on Brown’s jumper and took its largest lead at 27-21 on Amari Anthony’s layup with 4:47 left in the half. Hand broke the run with a layup and made a 3-pointer with nine seconds left to shave Siena’s lead to 33-32 at halftime.

“I just through our energy was really good (during the run),”https://www.timesunion.com/” Jaques said. “We were being very specific with who we were attacking and how, and our team executed extremely well, so I was really proud of that.”

Siena plays at Iona on Thursday.

msingelais@timesunion.com • 518-454-5509 • @MarkSingelais



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