BUFFALO, N.Y. (NEWS10) — What started as a tough weekend on the road ended on a golden note for Siena Women’s Basketball Saturday afternoon. The Saints (18-12, 12-8) matched the program’s most regular season wins in 20 years and locked up the No. 4 seed in the 2023 MAAC Women’s Basketball Championship with a convincing 76-58 win over Canisius (9-20, 6-14) at the Koessler Athletic Center.
The Saints capitalized on controlling their own destiny in the final game before postseason play and will enter the MAAC Tournament with its highest seeding in five years after being picked to finish tied for ninth in the 2022-23 MAAC Preseason Coaches’ Poll. Siena also collected its fifth regular season sweep of a conference opponent this season to match the program’s most in a season since the 2002-03 campaign.
Following a back-and-forth opening period in which the home team held an early six-point lead, the Green and Gold exploded to score 25 of 37 total points in the second quarter, including a monster 19-0 run that put them up by as many as 18. Freshman Teresa Seppala came off the bench to provide 13 first-half points.
Having already clinched the No. 9 seed in the postseason entering Saturday’s contest, the Golden Griffins ended the half on a 7-2 run en-route to scoring 20 of 25 points up to the 4:20 mark in the third quarter to pull back within three points.
The Saints took over from there on out, closing the quarter on a 9-3 run and out-scoring the home team, 30-15 in the final 14 minutes of play. After managing just 25 percent from the field (4-16) in the third quarter, Siena shot a game-best 53.8 percent (7-13) in the final ten minutes of play to finish the game at nearly 44 percent from the field.
Seppala finished with her team-best third 20-point performance of the season with 22 points and was joined in double-figure scoring by junior Ahniysha Jackson (15) and sophomore Anajah Brown (14). Brown nearly turned in a double-double with eight rebounds to lead in that category and helped the Saints hold a 37-27 advantage on the boards.
In the absence of the leading scorer Dani Haskell, Canisius got 13 points each from sophomore Athina Lexa and freshman Sisi Eleko to lead the team offensively. The Griffins will face No. 8 Mount St. Mary’s in the opening game of the 2023 MAAC Tournament on Tuesday, March 7.
With the regular season now behind them, Siena will aim to advance to the MAAC Semifinals for the first time since 2018 and claim a postseason win for what would be the third time in the last four years. The team’s postseason journey begins on Thursday, March 9 at 3:30 PM against No. 5 Fairfield at Jim Whalen Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey.