NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- Siena defended home court with a 64-51 win late Tuesday morning against Iona. Due in large part to their 13 steals, the Saints scored 25 points off turnovers and shot an effective 41.2% from the floor.
Iona began the game on a quick 7-0 spurt, spurned by the play of freshmen Toyosi Abiola and Adrienne DiGioia. Siena's play evened out and by the end of the quarter it held a 19-14 lead, anchored by a buzzer-beating three-pointer by senior Joelle Gibson.
Offense didn't come easily to either team in the second quarter as both teams had just one made field goal until 4:40 remained. The Gaels didn't have any points until junior Treyanna Clay knocked down a couple of free throws midway through the frame. Freshman Rebekah Justice scored six straight points for Iona and kept the Maroon & Gold within striking distance despite Siena ending the half on an 8-2 run.
The Saints led the Gaels 35-22 at halftime.
Abiola and Justice brought Iona back within single-digits less than a minute into the second half. Siena responded with a 9-2 run to make the scoreboard read in their favor 44-29 with under five minutes to go in the frame.
The Saints began the fourth quarter on another momentum-swelling 9-2 run. They extended the lead to 57-38, resulting in the Maroon & Gold calling their first timeout of the second half with 5:45 remaining. Gaels made a brief run and got within 12 points but Siena sealed the deal with seven made free throws down the final stretch
Justice finished the game with a career-high 15 points on 7-for-11 shooting. Abiola pulled down a career-best seven rebounds in addition to 13 points. Clay mustered 10 points, making a season-high six free throws.
Rookie Jayden Eggleston had her second straight productive game on the glass, pulling down eight rebounds. She also tied a personal-best with four assists.
Siena was led by senior Kollyns Scarbrough's 20 points, seven rebounds and four steals. Sophomore Maddie Sims scored 13 points while a team-high two blocks. Junior Hayley Winter and Gibson each had three assists.
Iona attempted a season-low seven three-point field goal attempts; both made trifectas were put home by the five-time MAAC Rookie of the Week.
The Maroon & Gold return to action at the Hynes Athletics Centeron Saturday, Jan. 6 against defending MAAC Champions Quinnipiac. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m. Watch the game live on ESPN3 or WATCHESPN.