Siena Gets By Manhattan, 54-51
RIVERDALE, N.Y. - On Friday night at Draddy Gymnasium, the Manhattan College women's basketball team dropped a 54-51 decision to Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) rival Siena. The Jaspers (6-16, 3-8 MAAC) trailed 54-51 with six seconds remaining and the ball, by a potential game-tying three-point attempt by Nicole Isaacs (Fair Haven, N.J.) was blocked at the buzzer, securing the victory for the Saints (9-13, 5-6 MAAC).
Manhattan rallied from 10 points down early in the second half, taking a 51-50 lead with 1:21 left, but Siena immediately went right back in front. It was still 52-51 when the Saints' Tehresa Coles missed a jumper that went out of bounds to Manhattan at the 33-second mark. However, Kate Zarotney stole the ball and handed off to Ida Krogh with 19 seconds to go. Krogh was immediately fouled and sank both free throws, increasing Siena's lead to 54-51.
After Maggie Blair (Briarcliff, N.Y.) missed a trey on the ensuing Manhattan possession, Toni-Ann Lawrence (Elmont, N.Y.) grabbed a clutch offensive rebound with six seconds remaining. Head Coach John Olenowski then used his final timeout and sent his three-point shooters into the game. No Jasper had a good look, but Isaacs had the best, and she fired a three from the top of the key. However, Coles got a hand on it as time expired to seal the win for Siena.
"We held them to 54 points, which is a good total," Olenowski said. "I just think that we didn't make the plays that were key down the stretch in order to win the basketball game. When it comes down to one or two possessions, the team that makes the plays wins. They did, and we didn't."
Manhattan got three-pointers from Monica Roeder (Marlton, N.J.) and Blair on their first two possessions to open up an early 6-2 advantage before Siena went on a 6-0 run to take its first lead, 8-6. The Jaspers rallied to go back in front, 13-12, on a Lawrence jumper with 15:02 left before halftime. However, the Saints responded with an 11-2 rally to make it 23-15 at the 8:44 mark. Manhattan pulled within five at 27-22, but Krogh hit a trey just before halftime to give the Saints a 30-22 cushion at the break.
Krogh hit a jumper to increase Siena's lead to 32-22 with 19:10 remaining in the game before a steal and layup by Allison Skrec (Roselle, N.J.) started an 8-0 rally that brought the Jaspers within two, 32-30, at the 16:37 mark. After the Saints pushed the margin back to five points, 35-30, a Roeder trey and a Skrec free throw cut Manhattan's deficit to one, 35-34, with 14:01 remaining.
The Saints went on a 7-1 run to go back in front by seven, 42-35, before Roeder scored five straight points to again pull the Jaspers within two, 42-40. Manhattan pulled even at 46-46, and it would be deadlocked twice more before the Jaspers took their first advantage since it was 13-12 when a Shayna Ericksen (Hackettstown, N.J.) free throw made it 51-50 with 1:21 left.
"We had every opportunity. We had the lead down the stretch," Olenowski said. "We didn't execute down the stretch, and I think that really hurt us."
Roeder finished with a game-high 18 points and added four rebounds. Lawrence contributed 12 points and a career-high four blocks, while Skrec tallied 11 points, four boards, six assists and five steals. Blair made her return to the lineup after missing the last 11 games and recorded six points. The Jaspers shot 38.8 percent (19-of-49) from the field, 28.6 percent (6-of-21) from long range, and 53.8 percent (7-of-13) at the line.
Lily Grenci had a double-double to pace Siena. She recorded 14 points and 14 boards to go along with three steals. Krogh notched 11 points, while Coles tallied nine points and three steals. Kate Zarotney added seven points and eight rebounds off the bench. Siena shot 40.9 percent (18-of-44) from the field and outrebounded Manhattan 38-22. The Saints went 4-for-13 (30.8 percent) from downtown and 14-for-15 (93.3 percent) at the charity stripe.
The Jaspers conclude their three-game homestand with a 2 p.m. matchup against Fairfield (13-9,7-4 MAAC) on Sunday. It will be "Pack the House Day" at Draddy Gymnasium, and Manhattan will also be celebrating "National Girls & Women In Sports Day."NOTES: Siena swept the season series for the first time since 2008-09 and has won four straight against Manhattan...The Saints lead the all-time series 36-19...Manhattan's last three games have each been decided by three points...The Jaspers used a different starting lineup for the third straight game, with Blair getting the start...The game featured five ties and seven lead changes...Lawrence's previous career-high was three blocks, set twice this season, including the Jan. 31 contest at Rider...As a result of the blizzard conditions across the Northeast, the attendance was limited to just 102.