LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Claudia Ortiz led four Huskies in double figures with 19 points as Northeastern held off Siena Women’s Basketball 70-67 to spoil the Saints’ home opener. Red-shirt sophomore guard Denisha Petty-Evans led Siena with 16 points in her ARC debut.
Northeastern (2-0) controlled the interior, out-rebounding the Saints (0-2) 45-36 which included 19 offensive rebounds leading to 22 second chance points. The Huskies scored 45 of their points in the paint en route to securing the program’s first 2-0 start in 31 years.
Sophomore guard Kollyns Scarbrough recorded her first collegiate double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds for Siena and freshman point guard Deja Rawls – appearing in just her second collegiate game and start – excelled as the Saints’ floor general in dishing out eight assists to along with her five points.
A seesaw first half saw Northeastern takes as much as a nine-point lead at 20-11 just over a minute into the second quarter following an 18-5 run. However Siena responded with the next 16 points spanning just 3:21. Rawls capped the run with a three to give the Saints their biggest lead of the game, 27-20 with 5:22 left in the half. Siena would ultimately takes a 32-28 lead at the break.
Northeastern came out strong to start the second half, scoring 24 third quarter points to rally for a 52-46 lead heading to the fourth. But the Saints scored the first six points of the final quarter to knot the score once more and the game would be nip-and-tuck down the stretch.
In a second half which featured five ties and seven lead changes, Petty-Evans drilled a three to give Siena its final lead at 62-59 with 2:54 remaining. But on the ensuing possession, Ortiz answered with a three of her own and Samantha DaFreese hit the go-ahead jumper with 1:59 remaining to put Northeastern back in front for good.
Trailing by six points in the waning seconds, freshman guard Jackie Benitez canned a three to give Siena a chance. Following a timeout in which Northeastern was allowed to advance the ball to half court, the Huskies threw away the inbounds. Petty-Evans tracked down the loose ball and ran to the three-point line for a shot at the tying score, but her heavily contested attempt was off the mark as the final horn sounded.
Petty-Evans finished 4-for-7 from distance and added three steals in an impressive home debut. Reigning MAAC Rookie of the Year Margot Hetzke added nine points and Benitez contributed eight points off the pine.
DaFreese tallied 13 points and nine rebounds for Northeastern, while Delmar native Gabriella Giacone added 11 points and six rebounds in 16 minutes off the bench.
The Saints return to action next weekend for a pair of Preseason WNIT consolation games hosted by Southern Illinois. The Saints play the host Salukis Friday at 7:30 p.m. in Carbondale, Ill., before facing either Alabama State or Tennessee State Saturday to conclude tournament action.