Niagara takes Down Siena
Siena lost their third straight to begin MAAC play as they fell 84-76 to Niagara on Friday night.
It was a game of runs. Niagara got out to a 12-3 lead early, but Siena battled back to tie the game at 30 late in the first half, only to have a Kahlil Dukes 3-pointer silence the crowd and give the Purple Eagles the lead for good.
Niagara took a 37-31 lead into the half. The Saints would get as close as three when they cut the Niagara lead to 65-62 with 7:34 remaining, but the Purple Eagles used a 16-5 run late to put the game out of reach.
Siena was aware that Matt Scott and Dukes were ranked 14th and 28th in scoring nationally, but it was Marvin Prochet’s 20 point performance that led Niagara to the win. Scott and Dukes tallied 18 and 17 points, respectively.
Siena was without their leading scorer Friday night as junior captain Nico Clareth was home in Baltimore due to a family matter.
Freshman guard Jordan Horn stepped up in Clareth’s absence scoring a career high 29 points in the losing effort. Freshman big man Prince Oduro also finished with a career high 19 points and added 5 rebounds.
Evan Fisher followed up his career performance on Monday against Quinnipiac with a solid 8 points and 9 rebounds against Niagara. Thomas Heurter, Jr. contributed with a career high 5 points off the bench. The sophomore also grabbed 7 rebounds and blocked two shots, playing in just his second game in the last month.
Despite the loss, Jimmy Patsos was happy with the play of his freshman Friday night. “Their [Niagara’s] two best players are seniors,” Patsos said. “Today, our two best players were freshman.”
Siena fell to 4-12 overall and 0-3 in conference play. Niagara improved to 8-8 and 1-2 in the league. Due to the restructuring of the conference schedule, this was the only time these two teams will meet this season.
Siena returns to action on Sunday, January 7 at 3pm when they host the first place Canisius Golden Griffins in the last game of a three game home stand. Canisius enters Sunday’s contest coming off of a 82-74 win over Quinnipiac Friday night. The Golden Griffins are 9-7 on the season and are 3-0 versus MAAC competition. Canisius is led by Isaiah Reese who is averaging 16.3 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 4.4 assists per game. Last year, the Golden Griffins swept the season series versus the Saints winning 82-79 in Buffalo and 80-73 at the Times Union Center.