FAIRFIELD, Conn. (NEWS10) – Entering its rematch with the defending MAAC champions inside the brand-new Leo D. Mahoney Arena with only six active players, Siena Women’s Basketball once again had the odds stacked high against them on paper Thursday evening. The Saints (12-6, 6-2) displayed as much grit and poise as they have all season by grinding out a 55-51 overtime victory over Fairfield (9-8, 5-3) in Connecticut, giving the program its first sweep of the Stags since the 2010-11 season.

After both teams combined for just 13 first quarter points, the home team used an 11-point run in the second quarter to lead by 11, 16-15 at the half, with Siena putting forth its lowest halftime scoring total of the season. With injuries leaving the Green and Gold with their lowest active player pool of the year thus far, the Saints used freshman Savannah Wilson as its lone sub off the bench and endured a carousel of substitutions while out-scoring Fairfield, 19-12 in the third quarter of play.

Despite losing two-time defending MAAC Rookie of the Week Teresa Seppala to foul trouble with 9:40 remaining in regulation, Siena began the quarter with a 9-0 that gave them a 40-38 lead with 7:42 to play. Fairfield was held to only eight fourth quarter points and shot 17.6 percent (3-22) from the field during the final ten minutes of play, but rallied back to take a 46-44 lead with 2:06 remaining thanks to late scoring from leading scorer Callie Cavanaugh. After nearly two minutes of back-and-forth action with no scoring, Siena freshman London Gamble hit a 12-foot jumper with nine seconds left to knot the game at 46 and send the Saints to their first overtime contest in three years.

Siena went 3-5 from the field in extra time while the Stags went 2-9, with four of five active Siena players contributing scoring in the final five minutes of play. The go-ahead bucket came in the form of a left-side layup from sophomore Anajah Brown, who went under a defender to score following a threading pass from freshman point guard Elisa Mevius. Mevius made a pair of free shots with less than a second to play to seal the team’s first overtime win since Feb. 22, 2019.

Siena shot nearly 48 percent from the field and held a 49-30 rebounding advantage, while tying a season-best of 66.7 from the field in each of the final two quarters of play. The Saints held the Stags to their worst shooting event of the year at 27.4 percent, and claimed victory despite committing a season-high 29 turnovers and going 2-10 from beyond-the-arc.

With five of six Siena players tallying 30 or more minutes and four of those going over 40 minutes in the contest, the team was led in scoring by Mevius with 14 points, while sophomore Emina Selimovic recorded her first career double-double with 12 points and 10 boards. Brown added 12 points and nine rebounds, while Gamble went for seven points and tied a career high with nine rebounds. Wilson – who had played 22 combined minutes on the season prior to tip-off – endured 33 minutes and finished with a career-best three points, five rebounds and three blocks.

In addition to claiming its first-ever overtime victory over Fairfield in eight tries, the Green and Gold won on the road against the Stags for the first time since 2015, and did so on Fairfield’s campus for the first time since 2001. Siena is off to its best MAAC start through eight games (6-2) since the 2015-16 campaign, and continues its best overall start to a season through 18 games (12-6) in 20 years. 

The Saints return home for a quick turnaround on Saturday afternoon to host first-place Iona, who will carry a 7-1 conference mark to the Capital Region two days after setting the NCAA record for most consecutive three-point shots made in a single game