14 missed free throws, 6-point sec­ond quar­ter lead to first league loss

Albany Times Union - - SPORTS - Staff re­port

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.).

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