Saints March On As Siena Women Beat Stony Brook in WBI

kollyns scarbrough shot

All season long the Siena women have found a way to win and they did just that once again on Thursday as they beat Stony Brook 53-46 to advance to the quarterfinals of the Women’s Basketball Invitational. The Saints move to 20-12 with the win in their first postseason tournament appearance in 12 years and their third postseason victory in program history.

Appearing a bit rusty after an 11-day layoff since their MAAC Tournament Semifinal loss to Quinnipiac, the Saints struggled at times to get things going offensively. But, they seemed to be able to make a play and score when they needed it most to hold off the Seawolves who finish their season 17-14.

“I think that not playing for a week and a half caused us to be a little but rusty,” said Siena coach Ali Jaques. “But I give our team and our players a lot of credit for just sticking with the game plan and keeping their nose to the grindstone, making hustle plays and just basically finding a way to win.”

“It took a lot of effort, a lot of hard work and just a lot of belief,” continued Jaques. “When things don’t go well and you miss layups and you miss free throws, that’s not typical of how we play. I give our players a lot of credit for sticking together and just finding a way against a really tough, well-coached Stony Brook team.”

Although she did not shoot particularly well (5-15 FG), senior Tehresa Coles continued to make plays as she has done her entire career scoring 13 points with 8 rebounds and 5 assists.

“It means a lot,” said Coles on obtaining the 20th win. “Like Coach said it wasn’t exactly pretty but it’s a chance to play another day. We get to play more basketball.”

Freshman Kollyns Scarbrough, a MAAC All-Rookie Team selection was a major factor for the Saints scoring 13 points on 5-7 shooting from the field, including 3-3 from three-point range.

“I just think I came out a lot more confident today,” said Scarbrough. “We’re still honored to be playing so we might as well step onto the court and take every game we can.”

Junior Symone Kelly was huge off the bench scoring 12 points with 5 rebounds. Freshman Margot Hetzke was held to just 5 points but managed to pull down 9 boards and senior Ida Krogh finished with 5 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 4 steals.

“Kollyns and Symone gave a great spark for us offensively,” said Jaques. “I’ll tell you what, Symone, I don’t know what happened this week. She’s been unstoppable in practice. She’s been unbelievable. It showed tonight. I’m glad it carried over for her. She played really well.”

Stony Brook was playing without their leading scorer, Sabre Proctor (14.8 ppg.) who was out due to an injury suffered in their last game. Chris Scognamiglio led the Seawolves with 16 points and 9 rebounds. Kori Bayne-Walker added 12 points and Jessica Ogunnorin added 9 points and 8 rebounds.

The No. 3 seed Saints advance to the WBI quarterfinals as they head to Cincinnati, Ohio to face No. 2 seed Xavier of the Big East on Sunday at 2 p.m.

For updated WBI brackets, Click Here: WBI Tournament Bracket

More postgame comments from Siena coach Ali Jaques:

“Overall, we won 20 games so we’re happy to keep playing in Spring. When you like the people you’re around, you want to stay around them as much as you possibly can. I don’t just like this team. I LOVE this team. This team has bought in. This team has fought through so much. We had people with the flu this week. We had people with other things going on physically and we just found a way. That’s all we’ve done all year long. I think it shows that they love each other too. It’s been a really special year and I don’t want it to end and I don’t think they do either.”

On Stony Brook coach Caroline McCombs (Jaques and McCombs served as assistants together at Northwestern):

“Stony Brook’s a very well-coached team. When I had the chance to work with Caroline McCombs, I was excited because I knew I was gonna learn a lot from her. I think she’s one of the best recruiters in the country. I think everybody in the America East should be scared because Caroline McCombs is a really, really good coach. I’m a Stony Brook fan unless they’re on the other sideline.”

“What Tehresa and Ida have been able to do as seniors has now set a different expectation for us. Our freshmen now don’t know anything other than playing in March. When we first got here we talked about that but we still had some players going on cruises for Spring Break. They had vacations planned out.” (Coles: “I’ve never been on a cruise. Scared of boats. I can swim though.”) It changes expectations. Kollyns could have gone a lot of places but she came to Siena because she wanted to be a part of a change and influence change. She saw what could happen here and she believed. We’re lucky to have her and lucky to have the young players we have. But, what made this team special is that our young players respect everything our older players have done and they just want to extend that season for them one more day.”


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