Siena Closes Out Non-Conference Play Strong
Siena defeated Holy Cross 71-65 at home Friday night to close out their non-conference slate with a 4-9 record. With the win, Siena improved to 7-0 all-time versus the Crusaders.
Holy Cross’ head coach, Bill Carmody, was not on the sideline for the game due to undisclosed reasons.
The Saints fell behind 10-0 in the early going, but Coach Patsos inserted Nico Clareth into the lineup and everything changed, as the junior captain scored 18 points in the first stanza and took a 40-33 lead into halftime. Siena used a 10-1 run in the second half to claim their largest lead of 12 with 8:47 remaining. Holy Cross made it close late, but Siena hung on for the win.
Clareth led all scorers with 29 points on 8-for-14 shooting and connected on 3 triples; he also added 3 assists and 3 steals. Roman Penn finished with 13 points and 4 rebounds.
Patrick Benzan paced the Crusaders with 12 points and 5 rebounds.
Despite their 4-9 record, the young Saints have improved throughout their tough non-conference schedule, which has been demonstrated in their last three games (a blowout of Bryant, a tough loss at Memphis, and a win over Holy Cross). The Saints will look to take this momentum and continue to improve as conference play starts next week. Although there a no easy games in the MAAC, the Saints, who were picked sixth in the MAAC Pre-Season Coaches’ Poll will face off against Marist, Quinnipiac, and Canisius in their of their first four conference games-all of which were selected to finish in the bottom three of the league. The Saints will need to show that playing a tough non-conference has prepared them for the grind of league play against those teams if they want to have any chance at making their projected sixth place finish.
Siena opens MAAC play at arch rival Marist on Friday, December 29. Tip-off is set for 7pm.