By Tom Benoit
February 14, 2013 1:07 PM

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The Siena women return to the ARC on Friday night to face Rider in the 13th annual Pink Zone Game. Tip off is scheduled for 7 p.m. The event is a benefit for the Capital Region Action Against Breast Cancer (CRAAB!).

Siena coach Ali Jaques discussed her thoughts on participating in the event for the first time.

“Our players love this game. It’s become a fantastic tradition on this campus and in this community and I’m just lucky to be a part of it.”

“I think most everybody’s been touched by cancer at some point in their life whether it’s a loved one, a friend or a family member”, said Jaques. “I have. My father has battled cancer. So, anything we can do to promote research and promote raising money is really important.”

The Saints (9-14, 5-7) enter the game in 7th place but with 6 MAAC games remaining have a great opportunity to move up in the standings as they face Rider (11-12, 6-6) for the first time this season.

Coach Jaques looks forward to facing the team where she began her coaching career as an assistant in 1998-99.

“Obviously for me, I got my start there so I have ties but it’s an important game for both teams. I’m happy we’re home. They’re a dangerous team” , said Jaques. “They’ve got weapons on the outside and they’ve got a post player inside. We’ve got to really play well.”

Rider is led in the back court by MyNeshia McKenzie averaging 13.8 points and 9.6 rebounds and Sironda Chambers who averages 12.8 points per game. Caitlin Bopp adds 9.5 points and 8.1 rebounds in the front court.

For Coach Jaques, the importance of the game matches well with the significance of the Pink Zone Game event.

“I think women’s basketball in general nationally has made great strides and having the chance to have coached against someone like Kay Yow as an assistant coach was special. It’s like Coach Valvano is for the men and Coaches vs. Cancer.”

” It’s going to be a great atmosphere”, said Jaques. ” It makes you take a step back and realize there’s bigger things than just the game of basketball.”

Here is all the info on the event courtesy of Siena Athletics.

LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. – The 13th Annual Pink Zone Game presented by Berkshire Bank will be held Friday night when Siena Women’s Basketball hosts Rider at the ARC at 7 p.m. The Saints have set a goal of raising $30,000 for the Capital Region Action Against Breast Cancer (CRAAB!).

“Our Pink Zone game is traditionally the biggest event our program supports here at Siena,” said head coach Ali Jaques. “I am so proud of the groups and people that collaborate to promote such an important cause and hope that once again the community will rally behind this event and continue to show their generous support.”

Since the game’s inception, the Saints have raised a total of $75,708 for CRAAB! Last year’s game raised a new record of $25,853 for CRAAB! and the Saints need the community’s support to help reach their goal of $30,000 for this year’s game. Fans who wish to support the cause can do so by making a donation at the game.

The first 500 fans in attendance will receive pink pom-poms and a pink t-shirt and all fans are asked to wear pink in an attempt to “Pink Out” the ARC.

Children are encouraged to take part in the Patricia Brown Camp Scholarship Sign Competition. The competition is open to kids age 6-17 who create a poster using an acrostic of either the word CRAAB or SAINTS and have it relate to breast cancer awareness. The two most creative and well-designed signs will be announced at halftime and will win a Siena Summer Sports Camps Scholarship (restrictions apply).

Tickets to the Pink Zone Game are just $6 for adults, $4 for seniors, $3 for kids and Siena Students can show their school ID and get in FREE.

Groups of 10 or more who wish to attend the game should contact Marketing Manager and Siena Athletics Pink Zone Coordinator Laura Menges for more details. She can be reached at lmenges@siena.edu or (518) 782-6769.

Just before tip-off the Saints will hold a special veterans recognition honoring local breast cancer survivors on to the court recognizing their courageous battles against the disease.

CRAAB! will have tables and displays set up around the gym with vital information on the fight against breast cancer and there will also be a silent auction and raffle items.

Additionally, the Saints will once again honor local individuals who have made a difference in the Capital Region’s battle against breast cancer. Janice Pastizzo, Mandy Marchesini and Barbara McHale will be celebrated as the “Power Up The Pink” awardees.

For more information on the 2013 Pink Zone Game and how you can get involved, please visit the Official Pink Zone page at www.SienaSaints.com/pinkzone.

About Capital Region Action Against Breast Cancer
CRAAB! is a community-based non-profit organization created in 1997 by a diverse group of caregivers, health practitioners, educators, advocates and several breast cancer survivors who know first-hand about the shock of a cancer diagnosis and the need to find support. The late Patricia Brown of Siena College co-founded this organization. Dr. Brown served the Siena College biology department for 35 years. She inspired colleagues and students with her passion for teaching and her endless energy to create change.

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