14 missed free throws, 6-point second quarter lead to first league loss
Saints lose to Rider in a clash of women’s basketball teams that were unbeaten in league play.
Siena’s strong start to the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference portion of the women’s basketball season hit a bump Sunday afternoon.
The Saints lost at home to Rider, 55-52, after a six-point second quarter had them playing from behind the rest of the way.
Siena (7-8) suffered the first loss in four MAAC games. Rider is 3-0 in league play and 7-7 overall after erasing a 17-12 deficit at the end of the first quarter. The Saints shot 6-for-12 from the field in the first quarter, but just 2-for-11 in the second period to trail 29-23 at intermission.
Rider took a 55-52 lead after two made free throws with 23.2 seconds left, following a pair of Siena free throws with 45 seconds left that had pulled the home team within a point. The Saints took a timeout, advanced the ball to the frontcourt, but ultimately couldn’t get a gametying 3-pointer made before the final horn.
The Saints trailed 43-40 heading into the final period.
Siena shot 19-for-33 from the free-throw line.
Maddie Sims, with 12 points, and Joella Gibson, with a teamhigh 14, each was 4-for-8 from the field.
Stella Johnson led Rider with 25 points on 8-for-18 shooting, including 2-for-3 accuracy from 3-point range on a day when neither team was spectacular from the arc. Siena was 3-for-10 and Rider missed 10 of its 15 tries.
Johnson added seven rebounds, four steals, three assists and three blocked shots.
Redshirt senior Aaliyah Jones and junior Sabrina Piper each notched eight points for Siena, while Piper added five rebounds and a season-high three steals.
Siena will play Thursday at Marist (7 p.m.).