Siena Sunk by Fairfield
Siena fell 78-65 at Fairfield Monday night.
The Saints fell behind 6-0 early, but clawed back to tie the game at 24 with 3:34 remaining in the first half on a layup by Ahsante Shivers. Fairfield-transfer Kevin Degnan would tie the game at 28 with a trey with 1:26 to go in the opening stanza. Siena trailed just 33-30 at the break, but would never get any closer the rest of the way.
Siena outshot Fairfield as they shot 48.1% from the field compared to just 45.6% shooting from the Stags. Fairfield’s pressure defense forced the Saints into 14 turnovers, while the Stags valued the ball—turning the ball over just 6 times all game.
Preseason MAAC Player of the Year, Tyler Nelson, poured in 27 points on 9-of-17 shooting, including four made three pointers, and dished out 5 assists to power Fairfield to victory.
Khalil Richard led Siena with 16 points, on 7-of-12 shooting, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists. Shivers scored 14 points and grabbed 4 rebounds. Prince Oduro finished with 11 points and 4 rebounds.
Degnan added 9 points and 4 rebounds in his first action at Webster Bank Arena since he transferred to Siena from Fairfield.
Thomas Huerter, Jr. scored 8 points as well in the losing effort.
Jimmy Patsos commented on the state of his team in his postgame press conference. “The kids are staying positive, but during the games, they get a little frustrated,” Patsos said. “They know the Siena brand means winning.”
The Saints fell to 7-18 overall, 3-9 in the MAAC, while Fairfield improved to 10-13, 5-7 in conference.
Siena returns to action on Thursday night when they travel to Buffalo to take on Canisius at 7pm. Due to the rescheduling of the conference schedule, the Saints will only play one game on the Western New York trip this year. Siena does not play Niagara on the road this season. Canisius enters the contest with a 15-9 overall record, 9-2 in the MAAC. The Golden Griffins are coming off a 73-58 win over St. Peter’s on Sunday. The Saints will look to sweep the season series after they took down Canisius 65-62 thanks to a game-winning three-pointer by Jordan Horn on January 7.