Report from Marist College Athletics Department
ALBANY, New York – The second-seeded Marist women’s basketball team defeated third-seeded Siena, 67-51, in the semifinal round of the 2018 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Women’s Basketball Championship at the Times Union Center on Sunday afternoon.
The win secured a postseason berth for the Red Foxes, who will advance to their 11th NCAA Tournament with a victory over top-seeded Quinnipiac in Monday’s MAAC championship game. If the Red Foxes do not prevail, they have clinched an automatic berth to the Postseason WNIT.
Marist scored the game’s first four points. After Siena answered with three straight points, the Red Foxes countered with a 10-0 run.
The Red Foxes led 25-14 after the first period, as Siena shot .125 (2-for-16) from the field in the first 10 minutes.
A three-pointer by sophomore guard Rebekah Hand gave Marist a 40-24 advantage with 1:58 left in the second quarter. This gave the Red Foxes their largest lead of the first half.
However, Siena forced turnovers on Marist’s final four possessions of the first half. The Saints scored five straight points, and cut their deficit to 40-29 at the intermission.
Over a span of 3:25 in the third quarter, Siena went on an 8-0 run to close its deficit to three – the closest the game had been since the first four minutes.
With Marist leading 44-41, Hand hit a three-pointer and jumper on consecutive possessions. This began a 10-2 run to close the third quarter for the Red Foxes, who led 54-43 after 30 minutes.
Marist held Siena off the scoreboard for a stretch of 5:18 in the fourth quarter.
Marist outscored Siena 13-8 in the final period.
The 16-point final margin tied Marist’s largest of the game.
Red-shirt sophomore forward Alana Gilmer led all scorers with 22 points.
Freshman center Willow Duffell and Hand each had 11 rebounds to pace the Red Foxes. Hand also contributed 15 points and a team-high six assists.
Junior guard Maura Fitzpatrick gave three double-digit scorers with 13 points on 6-for-8 shooting. She also grabbed seven boards.
Marist held a +13 edge in rebounds (44-31).
Marist shot .500 (26-for-52) from the field, while holding Siena to .262 (16-for-61).
Kollyns Scarbrough led Siena in both points (16) and rebounds (nine).
Siena forced 20 turnovers, while committing just 11.
Gilmer has now scored 20 points in four straight games.
Hand had her fourth double-double of the season, and set a career high with six assists.
Duffell tied her career high in rebounds.
In the tenure of head coach Brian Giorgis, Marist is 37-1 in the MAAC Championship as the better seed.
Marist is now 4-1 against Siena in the MAAC championship. This was the first tournament meeting between the teams in Albany. The previous four took place in Trenton, Bridgeport (twice), and Springfield.
Marist advanced to its 13th MAAC championship in program history. The Red Foxes previously reached the conference final for 12 consecutive years from 2004-15.
“You always know you’re going to be in for a battle against Siena, and you’re going to get pressed as soon as you get out of the locker room,” Giorgis said. “We got off to a good start and maintained it, and survived a couple of their runs.”
Marist is 20-12. Siena is 17-14.
Marist faces Quinnipiac at 2:30 on Monday with an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament at stake. The game will be televised live on ESPNU. Visit Marist’s Tournament Central for tickets and bus information.