Categories: College Sports
Siena College’s women’s basketball team battled major injury problems, yet used a seven-player roster to register 22 victories, including a berth in the Women’s Basketball Invitational championship game, a year ago.
This year’s group of Saints has more bodies and more balance, according to head coach Ali Jaques, but they might take a little longer to hit their stride.
“We’re in pretty good shape,” Jaques said at Tuesday’s media luncheon. “But we’re a very young team. This team is excited to play, and to play for real. We’re headed in the right direction.”
The Saints, who open the season tonight at St. Bonaventure in the Preseason WNIT, lost a couple of key players to graduation, including Colonie High School graduate Tehresa Coles, the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year and one of just four players in MAAC history to record 1,000 career points, 500 rebounds, 300 steals and 250 assists. She averaged 13.2 points and 4.8 rebounds.
Ida Krogh, who was forced into becoming the team’s point guard because of the rash of injuries, also graduated after averaging 7.7 points and 4.5 assists per game.
But Jaques has a solid core returning to mesh with her flock of newcomers. Sophomore forward Margot Hetzke, the MAAC Rookie of the Year, averaged 13.1 points and 7.4 rebounds. Captain Meghan Donohue, a 6-foot-1 junior, produced 10.2 points and 5.0 rebounds, while Kollyns Scarbrough, a 5-10 sophomore, added 7.1 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. Symone Kelly, a 6-2 forward, is the only senior on the roster.
Returning from injury are point guards Joella Gibson and Brianna Logan, as well as forward Emmanuella Edoka. Danisha Petty-Evans, who sat out last year because of transfer rules, is also set to play. Among the newcomers are freshman guard Jackie Benitz, freshman forward Katricia Perrman, freshman guard Deja Rawls and freshman guard Karolina Severova. Emia Willingham, a junior guard from Albany, is out with an injury.
“Every year, you get dealt a different hand,” Jaques said. “This is a young team that is extremely talented and ready to go. We’ve got guards that can shoot. We can shoot, score, and put the ball in the basket this year.”
Jaques also said that her team will be much more balanced offensively than last season, and that toughness will be a strength.
“Our team will play tough, and this year, we have three skilled point guards that can do different things. I feel bad that I can’t play everybody at once,” she said. “Everybody on this roster is talented.”