With the team beset by injury and illness, Siena women’s basketball was left with just six available players heading into Thursday night’s MAAC road game against defending league champion Fairfield.
Improbably, the Saints — who played nearly the entirety of the fourth quarter and overtime with only five players after Teresa Seppala fouled out — came away with a 55-51 win.
Here are six defining numbers from a memorable Saints victory.
Time that sophomore forward Anajah Brown stayed in the game after picking up her fourth foul early in the second half. Brown finished the night with 12 points — including the go-ahead basket in overtime — and nine rebounds.
The difference in rebounding totals between shorthanded Siena (49) and Fairfield (30). Emina Selimovic led Siena with 10 boards, while Brown and freshman guard London Gamble each grabbed nine. Siena’s advantage on the glass helped the Saints overcome a season-high 29 turnovers.
Seconds into the fourth quarter when Siena found itself down to just five players when Seppala picked up her fifth foul. Seppala, the two-time defending MAAC Rookie of the Week, finished with seven points and five rebounds in 27 minutes. She was coming off a career-best 24-point performance last Saturday in Siena’s 94-45 win over Saint Peter’s.
Seconds left in overtime when Brown hit the layup that gave Siena the lead for good. Elisa Mevius’ block on Fairfield’s Lauren Beach started a transition opportunity for the Saints, which ended up with Mevius finding Brown for the shot that put Siena up 53-51. After a Fairfield miss, Mevius sealed the win with a pair of late free throws.
More minutes that freshman Savannah Wilson played in Thursday’s win than she had previously this season. Wilson played 33 minutes against Fairfield, and offered three points, five rebounds and three blocked shots as Siena’s lone available reserve. The 6-foot-1 Wilson had produced four points and six rebounds this season before Thursday’s game.
Siena players who were on the court for at least 40 minutes Thursday night. Gamble logged 41 minutes, Selimovic and Mevius each played 41 minutes, and Brown played a game-high 43 minutes.