Siena at Lehigh

Siena Loses their Third Straight to Start the Year in Heartbreaking Fashion on the Road

Times Union

Siena lost its second overtime game on the road falling 91-90 to the Lehigh Mountain Hawks on Friday night. The overtime classic featured 14 ties and 15 lead changes and kept the crowd on the edge of their seats throughout. Ahsante Shivers missed a key free throw with under 10 seconds left in regulation to allow Kyle Leufroy to drive down the floor and hit a jumper in the lane to send the game to overtime tied at 80. Ed Porter missed two free throws with 3.4 seconds left in overtime to give the Saints a chance to win it, but Nico Clareth’s shot was too late and the Mountain Hawks hung on to win a nail-biter at home.

Siena, now 0-3, had its best offensive game of the season, shooting 49.3% from the floor, however, the offense was stymied in the overtime session, as the Saints made only one field goal in the final five minutes of the game. Defensively, the Saints switched from a 2-3 zone, to man-to-man, and even showed some 1-3-1 to try and confuse the hosts in the up-and-down affair. The Mountain Hawks converted 46.2% of their field goals for the game.

Nico Clareth led the way for the Siena offensive attack with 30 points on 11-for-22 shooting, making 6-of-14 from 3, and sunk both of his free throw attempts. Clareth added 5 rebounds as well. Ahsante Shivers turned in his best game of his young season as he scored 16 points and grabbed 5 rebounds after coming off the bench. Kadeem Smithen ran the point all night for the Saints and chipped in with 11 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists. Khalil Richard contributed 10 points to round out the double-figure scorers for the Saints.

Freshman Prince Oduro and Roman Penn played big minutes off the bench as Oduro finished with 9 points and 10 rebounds and Penn added 9 points of his own.

One thing to note is that Siena Coach Jimmy Patsos elected to go with a five guard lineup (Penn, Richard, Smithen, Shivers, and Clareth) late in the second half, rather than giving minutes to Sammy Friday or Kevin Degnan, neither of whom played in the loss. The lineup kept the Saints in it defensively and the unit looked good on the offensive end. I doubt this is an experiment that Coach Patsos will continue to test in the future, but he could get away with it due to Lehigh’s lack of depth in the front court.

The Saints will look to build off of Friday’s performance as they continue their Pennsylvania road trip with a meeting against defending Patriot League champion Bucknell on Monday. Tip time is scheduled for 7pm.

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