LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. — The Canisius women’s basketball team shot 57.4 percent, its highest field goal percentage in the last 20 years, and closed the game on a 25-9 run to come from behind for a 75-66 win at Siena College on Sunday afternoon. The Golden Griffins improve to 8-12 overall and 4-7 in the MAAC.
Junior Kayla Hoohuli matched her career high with 19 points, including eight straight points in the final 90 seconds to put the game away. Freshman Lauren D’Hont scored 11 points, all in the second half while sophomore Crystal Porter had 13 points and five assists. Sophomore Tiahana Mills had eight points, six rebounds and six assists, posting at least six assists for the sixth time this season.
The 57.4 field goal percentage was the seventh-highest in the program’s Division I history and highest since Jan. 12, 1993, when the Griffs shot a program-record 61.1 percent. Canisius shot 64.3 percent in the second half, its highest field goal percentage in the second half in the last 13 years.
“We came out really strong but hit a little bit of a lull in the middle portion of the game,” Canisius coach Terry Zeh said. “Once we stopped committing turnovers, we were able to get on a run and get open looks that we knocked down. Lauren and Kayla made some big-time shots and for us."
Siena (6-13, 1-9 MAAC) went up by seven, taking a 57-50 lead with 6:21 left before Canisius made its run. The Griffs scored on their last nine possessions and 13 of its final 15 possessions in the game while holding Siena to two field goals during the final six minutes. D’Hont drained her third 3-pointer of the half while Hoohuli made a 3-pointer with a hand in her face in front of the Canisius bench to make it a one-point game. The Griffs tied the game at 60-60 on a layup from senior Jamie Ruttle with 3:04 left.
The Griffs took the lead for good on two free throws from Mills, who made four free throws in the final 2:39. After another basket from D’Hont, Hoohuli would score eight straight points to put the game away. The junior made a 3-pointer and converted a three-point play on back-to-back possessions followed by two free throws to extend the lead to double digits and close out the Saints.
Tehresa Coles had a double-double with 25 points and 12 rebounds. Kelsey Booth scored 13 points as Siena forced 21 Canisius turnovers and had 15 offensive rebounds but couldn’t overcome 34.4 percent shooting.
To start the game, Canisius drained 3-pointers on their opening three possessions and also used a layup from redshirt junior Courtney VandeBovenkamp to build a 11-5 lead just over four minutes into the game. The Griffs led by as many as 11 points in the first half, going up 18-7 after a three-point play from Porter with 11:21 left in the second half. Canisius shot 47.8 percent in the first half, but didn’t maintain its early aggressiveness. The Griffs committed 13 first-half turnovers and Siena scored 17 of the final 20 points to take a 29-25 lead into the locker room.
Up and down action to start the second half with the Saints extending their lead to 36-29 before the Griffs used a 3-pointer from the corner from D’Hont and a transition layup from VandeBovenkamp to make it a two-point game. Siena kept trying to pull away, but the Griffs hung around with another 3-pointer in the corner from D’Hont make it 50-46 with 9:22 left.
Canisius returns to Western New York to face rival Niagara University on Wednesday night. Tipoff in the Gallagher Center for the Battle of the Bridge contest is set for 7 p.m.
Notes: Canisius ended a four-game losing streak at Siena, winning on the road in the series for the first time since 2009… In the last five games, Canisius is shooting 53.1 percent in the second half… Canisius scored 50 points in the second half, the most since scoring 52 at Iona last season… Canisius was 9-for-14 on 3-pointers, with the 64.3 percentage serving as a season-high… Mills had at least six points, six rebounds and six assists in a game for the fourth time this season… Canisius improved to 7-0 when scoring 60 or more points… Canisius committed 21 turnovers, but only two turnovers in the final 10 minutes… Porter scored in double figures in back-to-back games for the first time in her career.