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Siena women's basketball falls to Florida Atlantic

Siena women's basketball falls to Florida Atlantic

Piper scores 16 in defeat
Siena women's basketball falls to Florida Atlantic
Siena lost Saturday to Florida Atlantic.
Photographer: Peter R. Barber

ALBANY — A spirited comeback attempt came up short Saturday afternoon for the Siena College women’s basketball team at Times Union Center.

While Siena rallied to a single-possession deficit late in its 70-66 loss to Florida Atlantic, a defensive miscue and some missed shots kept the Saints from doing more than that.

“I think we have a communication problem,” said Siena head coach Ali Jaques, referring to the defensive issues in the game’s final critical moments. “I think our team has a hard time listening and applying, so we’re going to be working on that this week.”

Siena only trailed 68-66 with less than a minute to go, but committed fouls far from the hoop that ended up sending Florida Atlantic to the foul line with 31 seconds to play. Florida Atlantic’s Danneal Ford made the free throws to put the Owls up four after Jaques had instructed her team not to foul in the situation.

“I’m not doing a good job getting them to listen,” Jaques said.

Sandwiched around those free throws, Siena got the ball to junior Sabrina Piper for 3-pointers, but the shots missed. Piper finished with a team-high 16 points after scoring a career-high 30 points in Siena’s win Thursday against Colgate.

“I think she’s growing in her role,” Jaques said.

Piper averaged 6.5 points per game last season, but is averaging 12.6 points per game through this season’s 3-5 start for Siena.

“I’m just trying to let the game come to me,” Piper said.

Siena had won its previous two games and three of four heading into its matchup with Florida Atlantic, a program coached by former Siena head coach Jim Jabir.

Siena trailed 35-30 at halftime despite 10 points from Piper in the game’s opening 20 minutes. Florida Atlantic took a 58-49 into the final quarter, but Siena trailed by no more than five points for the final 3:18 despite playing the game with only nine healthy players and shooting 3 of 21 from 3-point territory.

“I thought there was some good things tonight,” Jaques said. “I thought our team fought back.”

Besides Piper’s 16 points, Siena received 11 from freshman Amari Anthony, and nine apiece from each of redshirt senior Joella Gibson and senior Deja Rawls.

For Florida Atlantic, Juliette Gauthier had a game-high 18 points.

Siena next plays Friday at St. Bonaventure.

FLORIDA ATLANTIC

Voss 1-5 0-0 2, Gauthier 7-1 1 0-0 18, Gaston 3-7 1-2 7, Ford 3-6 2-4 8, Harkless 4-5 0-0 11, Robinson 1-4 0-0 3, Adams 1-3 0-0 3, Matthews 3-7 1-2 7, Gabriel 5-12 0-0 11. Totals: 28-60 4-8 70.

SIENA

Gerostergiou 0-0 1-2 1, Anthony 5-9 0-0 11, Gibson 3-10 3-3 9, Rawls 4-13 1-2 9, Piper 7-17 1-1 16, Winston 3-5 0-0 7, Peterson 0-1 1-2 1, Watts 2-3 0-0 4, Sims 3-14 2-4 8. Totals: 27-72 9-14 66.

Florida Atlantic 15 20 23 12 — 70

Siena 12 18 19 17 — 66

Three-point shooting: Florida Atlantic 10-21, Siena 3-21.  Rebounds: Florida Atlantic 37 (Voss 11), Siena 39 (Piper, Sims 7). Assists: Florida Atlantic 13 (Ford 5), Siena 12 (Rawls 4). Turnovers: Florida Atlantic 17, Siena 12. Total fouls: Florida Atlantic 12, Siena 10. Attendance: 756.

Reach Michael Kelly at [email protected] or @ByMichaelKelly on Twitter.

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