LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. - Getting a double-double from Lily Grenci and collecting 19 offensive rebounds, Siena College defeated the Canisius women's basketball team 64-53 at the Alumni Recreation Center on Sunday afternoon. Canisius finishes the regular season with an 11-18 overall record and 8-10 record in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.
Canisius and Siena finish tied for sixth place in the conference standings, and the Saints win the tiebreaker for the No. 6 seed. The Griffs will be the No. 7 seed in next week's MAAC Championship and will play No. 10 seed Saint Peter's in the first round. Tipoff at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, Mass. is set for noon.
Senior Ashley Wilkes posted fourth double-double of the season with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Sophomore Kayla Hoohuli had 14 points and four steals while junior Jamie Ruttle had 11 points and six rebounds.
"When we were trying to dig back into the game in the second half, we were getting stops but couldn't finish defensive possessions. Those offensive rebounds for Siena were huge," Canisius coach Terry Zeh said. "I didn't think we attacked Siena's zone very well and were a little stagnant offensively."
Both teams struggled with turning the basketball over early in the game, with Canisius committing seven turnovers in the opening seven minutes while Siena (12-17, 8-10 MAAC) had 11 turnovers in eight and a half minutes. The Saints took a 7-4 lead on a 30-foot, banked 3-pointer from Grenci that just beat the shot clock. The Griffs would never lead the rest of the way, but used a 6-0 run later in the half, capped by a layup from Wilkes to make it 18-17. Siena pushed its lead to eight points on two occasions, but the Griffs got a jumper from Ruttle and another layup from Wilkes in the final minute of the half to trail by four at the half.
Grenci drained 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions early in the second half to push Siena's lead to 37-28 with 16:27 remaining. The Griffs could never make a serious run in the second half as they couldn't cut the deficit to fewer than five points. Wilkes scored six straight points and made it 39-34 with just under 13 minutes left. Siena responded with a 6-0 run during the next three and a half minutes to push the lead back to 11 points.
A 3-pointer from Hoohuli cut the deficit to 45-38, and Canisius got a stop on the defensive end but turned the ball over in transition, one of seven turnovers in the final eight minutes for the Griffs. Siena went on an 8-2 run to extend the lead to a game-high 13 points. Canisius got as close as six points at 55-49 with 2:52 left as the Griffs held Siena to two points over a four-minute stretch. Canisius forced missed shots on the next two Siena possessions but gave up an offensive rebound each time as Siena had 12 offensive rebounds in the second half. The Saints made nine free throws in the final two and a half minutes to put the game away.
Grenci had 22 points and 14 rebounds, going 5-of-15 from the floor but 4-for-6 on 3-pointers. Clara Sole Anglada had 12 points while Kanika Cummings scored 13 points.
Notes: Siena defeated the Griffs in Loudonville for the fourth consecutive season, and the teams split the season series for the third time in the last four years... Canisius will play in the first-round of the MAAC Championship for the fourth consecutive season... Siena held a 27-0 lead in bench points as the Griffs didn't score a bench point for the first time this season... The Griffs held their opponent under 30 percent from the floor for the third time in the last four games... The 21 turnovers for the Griffs were the most since they had 22 against Marist on Jan. 18.