LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — In Jim Jabir’s first game back on the sidelines since Dec. 19, the Siena women’s basketball team was met at home by the top team in the MAAC on Saturday afternoon. The Saints (12-7, 6-3) overcame an early double-digit deficit, but fell just short to rival Iona (13-5, 7-1) by a score of 68-66 in a game that changed hands 14 times at the UHY Center.
En-route to running its league-leading win streak to seven, the Gaels held an early 17-5 lead in the first quarter, only for the Saints to fire off a 13-point run and take their first lead to end the period. Siena held a six-point advantage at the half, but the Gaels regrouped to set the stage for a back-and-forth battle during the game’s final ten minutes of play.
Entering the fourth quarter with the game tied at 54, no team led by more than four points, with freshman Teresa Seppala knocking down a three-point shot at the 6:44 mark the tie the game at 59, and sophomore Anajah Brown giving them a 61-59 lead nearly two minutes later with a layup in the paint.
Iona’s Kate Mager – who led the team in setting NCAA records for most consecutive three-pointers made in a game (15) and three-point percentage (88.9) on Thursday evening, capped off a six-triple day with a go-ahead three with 3:31 remaining, while reigning MAAC Defensive Player of the Year Juana Camilion hit a jumper to put Iona up three moments later, and gave the Gaels the lead for good with a right-side pull up shot with 31 seconds remaining, ending the Saints’ seven-game home win streak.
Iona shot 44 percent from the field and connected on nine total three-point shots, while Siena shot 38 percent from the field and held a 38-35 rebound advantage. Despite boasting just five total scorers and no bench points, Camillion’s 21 points and Mager’s 20 guided the visitors to their second straight win in Loudonville.
After playing shorthanded on Thursday, Siena returned four players to its bench, with Seppala hitting a trio of three’s and going 8-9 from the free throw line to lead the team with 17 points. Brown compiled her fifth double-double of the year with ten points and ten boards, while junior Ahniysha Jackson went for 11 points in her return to the lineup.
Siena will remain home to begin next week by looking for a season sweep over Rider at the UHY Center on Thursday, January 26 at 7 PM, with the contest serving as the team’s Gold Rush Game.