Senior Day Preview: Siena Women vs. St. Peter’s

women seniors

Siena Seniors Tehresa Coles, Kelsey Booth and Ida Krogh

The Siena women will conclude their regular season on Sunday as they take on St. Peter’s at the Alumni Recreation Center. Tip off is scheduled for 2 p.m. Tehresa Coles, Ida Krogh and Kelsey Booth will be honored before the game in a special Senior Day Ceremony recognizing them for the accomplishments and contributions to Siena Women’s Basketball.

The Saints enter the game with a record of 17-11 overall and 10-9 in the MAAC. They are coming off a dramatic 58-54 win over Canisius on Friday night. With that win and a Niagara loss on Saturday, Siena has secured the 5th seed in the upcoming MAAC Tournament. They will face the 4th seeded Iona Gaels on Friday, March 6th at 2:30 p.m. at the Times Union Center.

The 51 games won by this year’s senior class is the most by any senior class since 2006 (66). After winning just 9 games last season and being picked to finish 10th, the Saints secured the first winning season in 11 years and have tied for the program’s most wins in 12 years. Their 5th place position earns them a First Round bye in the MAAC Tournament.

“I couldn’t really say enough about the two that are playing (Tehresa and Ida) and Kelsey, from just the short time that I’ve been here, getting to know them and getting to understand who they are as people,” said Siena assistant coach Stephanie McCormick on the three seniors. “They’re really good people first and foremost. They have taken a sense of pride and a sense of ownership in Siena that is obviously showing on the court this year. It’s fun to watch them develop and grow and to now experience some success and have fun with it.”

A local product of nearby Colonie High School, Coles has emerged as one of the best all-around players in Siena history. Coles now holds the Siena record for career steals with 293 and she is just 1 assist away from becoming just the 6th player in MAAC history to tally 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, 250 assists and 250 steals. Gunta Basko (’99-’03) is the only other Siena player to do so. Coles is second on the team in scoring averaging 13.6 points per game (6th in MAAC). Her 3.1 steals per game ranks tops in the conference and 16th nationally. She ranks 3rd in the MAAC in free throw percentage shooting 82.3% from the line.

“I think the great thing about Tehresa is that she’s the epitome of somebody who has worked her way into success,” said Jaques. “She took last season personally and she got her butt in the gym and she became a better player and now she’s a big part of why we’ve got a winning season and we’re still rolling.”

“The best part is just the relationship now with Coach Jaques because they’ve been in her system and they understand it,” said McCormick. “I came in last year and the challenges she (Jaques) put forth for T Coles every day, it’s pretty incredible and every day T Coles responded.”

Ida Krogh has shown tremendous determination throughout her career at Siena. Suffering through injuries which sidelined her for most of her freshman season, the Aarus, Denmark native pushed through and became an incredibly versatile player meeting the needs of her team. Previously serving as a post player, Krogh was called into duty as the Saints’ starting point guard this year and has made a remarkable transition.  She ranks 4th in the MAAC in assists dishing out 4.7 per game. Her 131 assists so far this season is the most by a Siena player in a single season in 12 years when Gunta Basko also tallied 131 in 2002-2003. Krogh also ranks 4th in the MAAC in free throw percentage (82.2%).

“Ida has been the most versatile player I’ve ever known,” said McCormick. “She started out as a post player, an undersized post player. That’s not her natural position any more than point guard is but she’s taken them all and she’s adjusted to everything we’ve put at her and she does it with stride because she understands the game.”

“I don’t ever really want Ida to leave and I think it’s really funny that I’m saying that,” said Jaques. “When we started off we definitely bumped heads a little bit and we still bump heads now a little bit. I like that relationship. This kid has had a tough road. She’s had multiple surgeries. She probably should have quit a long time ago. But, she loves the game of basketball. She loves her team. She love’s having fun. It’s been a blessing to have the opportunity to coach her.”

Kelsey Booth has missed action on the court this season after undergoing hip labral repair surgery. In her first two seasons at Siena, the 6-0 forward from East Hampton Conn. established herself as a top three-point shooting specialist. Following tremendous hard work in the off season heading into her junior year, Booth was last season’s most improved player. She appeared in all 31 games, starting four, and went on to lead the Saints in three pointers (41), blocked shots (22) and free-throw percentage (.914). She played particularly well down the stretch scoring 15 points on a season-high five threes in a MAAC First Round win over Manhattan and posted a double-double with 14 points and season-highs of 13 rebounds, four blocks and four steals in the MAAC Quarterfinals against Marist. She made her final 25 free throws of the season.

“Kelsey can’t be on the floor but she’s been there as a vocal leader always encouraging, always helping out as much as she can,” McCormick said.

“You come to a program because you do want to do something special, especially when you come to a program like Siena,” McCormick directed to the three seniors. “You were picked 10th in the conference. Obviously, you’re not the 10th place team in the conference. You’ve proven that in so many other ways because you’ve reached milestones that hadn’t been reached. We’ve done it all year. Coach Jaques was elated because she knows what it means to the players. She knows what it means to these seniors. The last three or four weeks the thing she’s been saying is, ‘This is going to be the special year for you guys. You’re going to do some things that they hadn’t done here in a long time. This is your year.’ They embraced that and they’ve just taken off. We’ve been riding on their shoulders.”

“The program is losing really good people. They’re losing really good talented basketball players and I have nothing but respect for all three of them,” McCormick said.

“I love these guys,” Jaques said. “They’ve bought in and they’ve been awesome to coach. They’ve become three of the favorite players that I’ve ever had the chance to coach.”

RPI Rankings: Siena 174, St. Peter’s 333

St. Peter’s enters the game with a record of 4-24 overall and 4-15 in the MAAC. They will be the 10 seed in the upcoming MAAC Tournament. The Peacocks are coming off an impressive 66-58 upset over No. 2 seed Marist on Thursday.

In their first matchup with Siena this season, the Saints rolled to a 65-40 win led by Margot Hetzke with 16 points and Kollyns Scarbrough with 15.

St. Peter’s ranks the third worst in scoring nationally scoring just 50.1 points per game. They have no players averaging in double figures. Bethea Sajanna is the Peacock’s leading scorer with 9.9 points per game.

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