Siena Falls to Florida Gulf Coast in Home Opener
Siena fell to Florida Gulf Coast 86-53 in their home opener at the Times Union Center Monday night. The Saints kept it close in the first half and trailed 40-27 at the break. Early in the second half, the Saints cut the Eagles lead to 8, but that was the closest they would get as Florida Gulf Coast and “Dunk City” cruised to a 33 point victory. The defeat was tied for the worst home loss in program history.
The Saints struggled offensively yet again as they shot 30.2% from the field, 20% from 3, and 27.1% from the free throw line. The Eagles outrebounded the Saints 48-33. In my opinion, a more indicative stat regarding the struggles of the Saints offense was the fact that they assisted on only 7 of their 19 made field goals. Too many possessions ran late into the shot clock and set up isolation plays that produced shots that were rushed and ill-advised.
Florida Gulf Coast dominated the offensive glass; they grabbed 18 offensive rebounds, while Siena was only able to clear the defensive boards 16 times. If the Saints are going to try to limit their frontcourt foul trouble by playing the 2-3 zone, they will need to rebound better out of it. Junior guard Kadeem Smithen led the team on the boards with 6 rebounds to go along with his 5 points.
Offensively, the Saints were led by sophomore guard Khalil Richard who scored 12 points off the bench (the only Siena player to score in double figures on the night). Freshman big man Prince Oduro scored 7 points and corralled 3 rebounds in his Times Union Center debut.
Florida Gulf Coast held junior captain Nico Clareth in check as he scored only 6 points on 3-of-12 shooting.
Although they are 0-2 the Saints are far from done yet. They have a young team with a lot to learn. It may be rough, as they play a very tough nonconference schedule, however, it is the best way to try and prepare this team for the MAAC slate come January.
The Siena Saints travel to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania to take on the Lehigh Mountain Hawks for a 7pm tip on Friday, November 17.