JERSEY CITY, N.J.(NEWS10) – New Jersey native Denisha Petty-Evans posted career-highs of 19 points and four steals to lead Siena Women’s Basketball to a 64-55 win over Saint Peter’s at the Yanitelli Center. The Saints led by as many as 23 points in the fourth quarter in securing their 12th straight victory over the Peacocks.
Petty-Evans scored 17 of her 19 points in the second half, shooting 6-7 from the field including 3-4 from distance in the stanza. Freshman guard Jackie Benitez scored in double figures for the 10th time, recording 12 of her 14 points in the first half in a bounce back effort for Siena (12-10, 9-3) which had lost three of its previous four games.
Talah Hughes scored 11 points and Sajanna Bethea added 10 points and eight rebounds for Saint Peter’s (4-16, 2-9) which has lost five straight.
Siena broke out after a slow start, shooting an even 50% over the final three-quarters. The Saints had spotted the Peacocks the first seven points of the game and trailed 15-9 after shooting just 23.5% (4-17) through the first 10 minutes of action.
Siena shot 60% (9-15) in the second quarter and reeled off 12 unanswered points capped by a Benitez three to claim a 25-19 lead which they would not relinquish. The Saints shot 7-16 from distance after having missed 31 of their 33 three-point attempts the previous two games.
Siena ultimately ended the first half on a 21-6 run to take a 34-25 lead at the break. The Saints carried over their momentum into the third quarter where they doubled up the Peacocks 18-9 on the scoreboard. Siena outscored Saint Peter’s 43-19 in the middle two quarters.
The Peacocks, which held a 45-27 edge in rebounding including a 24-10 margin in the second half which featured 13 offensive rebounds, chipped away late in recorded a 13-2 run to rally within 11 with 2:26 to play. But Petty-Evans capped her career night with the dagger, draining a key three to push the Siena lead back to 14 with 80 seconds to go and seal the deal.
Sophomore guard Kollyns Scarbrough added 11 points and six rebounds and swiped four of Siena’s 13 steals. The Saints scored 21 points off 20 Saint Peter’s turnovers.
Siena returns to action Friday when they host defending MAAC Champion Quinnipiac in a doubleheader with the men’s team at the Times Union Center. The contest will be televised nationally on ESPNU with tip-off slated for 5 p.m.