LOUDONVILLE, NY – Sophomore center Lala Watts created a new piece of Siena Women’s Basketball history on Thursday evening, as she swatted eight total blocks to set a new program record as the Saints topped the Monmouth Hawks 51-39 at the Alumni Recreation Center. Watts’ new record breaks the previous record of seven blocks in a game, previously done four times.
Putting up 12 total blocks as a team, the Saints also had the most blocks in a game since Jan. 20, 1990 in a 69-59 win against Boston University at home in the ARC. Also only giving up 39 points to the Hawks, the Saints held a team to under 40 points for the first time since Feb. 25, 2018 when the Green and Gold defeated Saint Peter’s in the ARC 70-36.
Watts would add nine rebounds to her resume on the night, also putting up four points, an assist, and a steal. Pacing the offense was junior Rayshel Brown, who tossed in 12 points on 6-for-11 shooting from the field. Senior Sabina Piper and sophomore Amari Anthony each put up 11 points, as Piper also added eight rebounds, five assists, two blocks, and a steal. The other Saint in double-figures was sophomore Margo Peterson, who scored 10 points and snagged six rebounds.
Monmouth was led by a 17 point night from Alexa Middleton, as she also grabbed 11 rebounds for a double-double. Lucy Thomas also scored a double-double for the Hawks, putting in 10 points and 10 rebounds. On the game, the Hawks shot 23.9 percent from the field, including 1-for-21 (4.8 percent) from behind the arc.
Siena took control from the get go, as they held Monmouth scoreless over the first five minutes of play. That allowed the Saints to jump out to an early 7-0 lead, which carried over to a 16-5 lead after the first 10 minutes of play. Watts would collect six blocks in the first half, as the Saints rolled into the break with a 26-16 lead.
In the third quarter, the Hawks would get Siena’s lead down to single digits and would get within four with 4:35 to play in the third. But, the Saints would get a three-pointer from Peterson in the next possession to go back up seven, 34-27. Brown would get hot on offense, hit shots on back-to-back possessions, and lead the Saints to an eight point lead going into the fourth, 41-33.
Monmouth would struggle to score once more as the Saints defense locked down in the fourth quarter. The Hawks would only score six points in the final frame, and despite foul trouble, Watts would collect the record in the final minutes. With 2:33 to play, Watts would grab her record-tying and record-setting blocks on the same play. Thomas would go for the layup for Monmouth, as Watts rejected the attempt. Thomas would snag the rebound off the block, only to be denied once more as she attempted a shot once again. That would lead to a Siena rebound going back the other way, giving Watts the new single-game mark.
The Saints return to the floor next Thursday, Jan. 30 when they play game number two in a current three-game home stand and take on the Niagara Purple Eagles. Tip-off for next Thursday night’s game is set for 7 p.m.