LOUDONVILLE — A couple days after the Quinnipiac women’s basketball program did something it hadn’t done in three years, Siena tried to do something it had never done.
For extended parts of Saturday’s 66-52 win for Quinnipiac, it looked like the Saints might find a way. In the end, though, Quinnipiac — which lost its first MAAC game Thursday since the 2016-17 season — secured its 14th win against Siena in as many tries.
“But we’ve got to keep taking steps so that we get better,” Siena head coach Ali Jaques said.
The Saints played better Saturday at Alumni Recreation Center against the MAAC’s three-time defending champion than they did Thursday against Fairfield, when they lost 65-35 in their league opener. Siena (0-2, 2-9) led 14-8 after one quarter, but Quinnipiac (1-1, 4-7) used a long run that started in the second quarter and went into the third to take control. After Siena moved ahead 24-18 late in the second quarter, Quinnipiac scored the game’s next 16 points as part of a 26-4 run.
Once down 44-28, Siena answered with a 14-2 run and appeared poised to head into the fourth quarter with momentum on its side. Instead, Quinnipiac ran a set play out of an out-of-bounds situation to get a shot for senior Taylor Herd, and the Saints left the shooter open to drain a corner 3 in the final seconds of the period to move Quinnipiac’s lead to seven points.
“That’s just — that’s inexperience,” Jaques said of the missed defensive assignment.
Jaques, whose team has one senior in Sabrina Piper, added: “That’s an automatic play that I think when you have more seniors on the court, you recognize that coming.”
Siena got within 49-45 in the first minute of the final quarter, but never seriously threatened Quinnipiac from there. Quinnipiac scored the game’s next five points and maintained at least a three-possession lead the rest of the way, as the Saints dropped their fourth consecutive game since defeating UAlbany in early December.
“I thought it was a really good start. We’ve just got to get better at rebounding, boxing out and making free throws,” Piper said.
Quinnipiac outrebounded Siena 42-27, and the Bobcats earned 25 free-throw attempts to Siena’s 11. The Saints only made four of their foul shots.
Quinnipiac senior Paige Warfel had 16 points and 13 rebounds, while three other Bobcats scored at least 10 points. Freshman Cat Almeida, a Shenendehowa High School graduate who has appeared in 10 games this season for the Bobcats, did not enter the game for Quinnipiac, which also played without leading scorer Shaq Edwards.
For Siena, junior Rayshel Brown had a season-high 16 points and Piper added 11. Those two players, though, were the only Siena starters to score, as the Saints’ other 25 points came from bench players.
Jaques pointed to freshmen reserves Julia Hauer and Ashley Williamson as Saints capable of eventually helping out the starting lineup in terms of adding scoring punch to it, but said that Hauer — who missed Siena’s last game with an injury — wasn’t quite ready to return to a starting role and that Williamson “hasn’t earned it from a defensive standpoint” to this point.
“Those two players, I think, can help us — and I thought what Margo [Peterson] did today . . . was tremendous,” said Jaques, whose team received eight points off the bench from Peterson.
Williamson added nine points in 21 minutes, while Hauer had six points and five rebounds in 22 minutes before fouling out.
Siena next plays Monday at Saint Peter’s. While the outcome wasn’t the one the Saints wanted, Jaques said Saturday’s game served the purpose of getting them back on track after Thursday’s 30-point loss.
“Really proud of our team’s effort tonight,” Jaques said. “I thought we got back to Siena basketball a little bit more than we were the other night, so I’m proud of that.”
Haywood 4-6 4-4 13, Warfel 3-8 10-11 16, Morris 0-5 0-0 0, Herd 5-9 0-0 12, DeWees 2-9 4-5 8, Ward 2-6 1-2 5, Bonner 3-5 2-3 10, Bacchini 1-1 0-0 2. Totals: 20-49 21-25 66.
Gerostergiou 0-3 0-0 0, Watts 0-0 0-0 0, Brown 7-16 2-3 16, Blasetti 0-0 0-4 0, Piper 4-13 2-2 11, Hauer 3-8 0-0 6, Williamson 4-9 0-0 9, Anthony 1-2 0-0 2, Peterson 3-6 0-2 8, Winston 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 22-57 4-11 52.
Quinnipiac 8 21 20 17 — 66
Siena 14 10 18 10 — 52
Three-point shooting: Quinnipiac 5-13 (Haywood 1-3, Herd 2-5, DeWees 0-2, Bonner 2-3), Siena 4-17 (Gerostergiou 0-1, Brown 0-1, Piper 1-4, Hauer 0-2, Williamson 1-5, Peterson 2-4). Rebounds: Quinnipiac 42 (Warfel 13), Siena 27 (Gerostergiou 6). Assists: Quinnipiac 9 (DeWees 4), Siena 9 (Blasetti 4). Turnovers: Quinnipiac 21, Siena 15. Total fouls: Quinnipiac 16, Siena 23. Fouled out: Hauer. Attendance: 692.
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Categories: College Sports, Sports