Siena Falls to Division II LeMoyne in Exhibition
Siena fell to Division II Le Moyne College 73-71 Saturday on campus despite 33 points on 11-25 shooting from junior captain Nico Clareth. The Saints dug themselves into a fourteen point deficit in both the first and second halves. After Coach Jimmy Patsos was ejected for picking up two quick technical fouls, the Saints valiant effort to come back came up just short. The Saints became the third Division I team that LeMoyne has defeated (Syracuse 2009, Monmouth 2013).
With junior Evan Fisher out, Coach Jimmy Patsos started four guards: Clareth, freshmen Roman Penn and Jordan Horn, and sophomore Ahsante Shivers around freshman big man Prince Oduro.
With that starting lineup, the Saints lost the fight on the boards 37-28 to the Dolphins. Oduro and Clareth led the way for the Saints on the glass with 5 rebounds each while Kevin Degnan grabbed four rebounds off the bench in limited minutes. The Dolphins took advantage of the Saints on the offensive glass, corralling 14 offensive rebounds. The Saints need to get better on the defensive glass; getting Fisher back and more minutes for Degnan could be answers to that problem. The young Saints struggled to defend without fouling as they committed 27 fouls, sending the Dolphins to the line 26 times.
Offensively, it was not a shock that Nico Clareth had the green light; taking 25 shots. His 33 led the way for the Saints. He will be the number one option this season and will draw the most attention on opponent’s scouting reports. Clareth looked better defensively and is clearly an emotional leader for the team. His thunderous block in the first half sparked a Saints run in which they cut the Dolphins lead from 14 to 4 at the end of the first half. After Coach Patsos was ejected in the second half, Clareth led the comeback which fell just short in the final seconds. It astounds me as to how he was voted to the preseason-second team all MAAC when he could possibly lead the conference in scoring.
One positive I took from the scrimmage was the spark Khalil Richard provided off the bench. Richard added 13 points on 4/6 from the field and 3/4 from 3. He was the only Saint aside from Clareth that the Dolphins needed to respect. Look for him to be an X-factor this year for the Saints.
It is no surprise that the Saints struggled in their exhibition game. The Saints are a young team; starting three freshman as they are trying to fill the shoes of four seniors who graduated last year—all of which were 1,000 point scorers for their careers.
The Saints begin their 2017-18 campaign on the road against the College of Charleston on Friday, November 10. Tip-off is scheduled for 7pm.