Siena at Louisville

Siena’s Upset Bid Falls Short on the Road

Times Union

Siena trailed Louisville by just three at the break, but Louisville put an end to the Saints’ chances at an upset and won 86-60.

After falling behind 12-2 early, Siena found themselves in a close contest throughout the opening stanza and even opened up a 31-27 lead late in the half. Siena’s zone defense seemed to puzzle Louisville’s offense in the first twenty minutes, as the Cardinals turned the ball over 11 times over that span. Siena missed 10 of its last 11 shots in the first half to allow Louisville to take a 39-36 lead into halftime.

The poor shooting continued in the second half, as the Saints made just nine shots from the field in the final 20 minutes. After cutting the Louisville lead to 48-47 with 15:26 left to play, Louisville went on an 18-0 run to give themselves the lead for good. Siena was held scoreless for seven minutes and turned the ball over 6 times during that stretch.

Louisville’s defense was the difference as the Cardinals blocked 15 shots, grabbed 11 steals, and forced 21 turnovers. The Cardinals dominated the transition game, beating the Saints 15-0 in fast-break points.

Anas Mahmoud led the Cardinals with 17 points, 13 rebounds, and 9 blocks to help guide his team to the win.

One positive for the Saints out of Wednesday’s game was the play of Sammy Friday who finished with 15 points and 15 rebounds off the bench. Friday corralled 10 of Siena’s 18 offensive rebounds. If Friday can build off this performance moving forward, he could provide depth in the post which the Saints desperately need.

Junior guard Nico Clareth also scored 15 points in the losing effort.

The Saints will return home to face cross-town rival UAlbany on Saturday, December 9. Tip-off is set for 7:30pm.

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