Fairfield at Siena

Siena Stumbles on Senior Night

kadeem fairfield.jpg
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Siena lost to Fairfield on Senior Night at the Times Union Center by a score of 70-69 on Wednesday.

Redshirt junior, Kadeem Smithen, who is a senior academically, was honored before the game. His status as a member of the men’s basketball program for the 2018-2019 season is uncertain to date.

Ferron Flavors Jr. connected on a pair of free throws with 49 seconds left to give the Stags a 67-60 lead. Fairfield missed three of their next four attempts from the foul line and the Saints climbed within two, 68-66 on a layup by Smithen with 16 seconds to go. Preseason MAAC Player of the Year, Tyler Nelson, drained two foul shots to extend the Stags’ lead to 70-66 with 11 seconds remaining. Christian Bentley hit a three pointer at the buzzer to provide the final margin, but Siena’s late comeback fell just short.

In a game that featured eleven ties and eight lead changes, the Saints went on a 9-0 to take a 26-18 lead with 5:44 to go in the opening stanza. Khalil Richard gave Siena a 36-30 advantage on a jumper as time expired in the first half.

The Saints shot 52.9% from the field, compared to just 43.6% shooting for the Fairfield. Siena was unable to take advantage at the charity stripe. The Saints were successful on just 10-of-22 from the line, compared to 15-of-27 for the Stags. Fairfield forced Siena into 14 turnovers. The Saints outrebounded the Stags 37-31.

Fairfield was led by Nelson who scored 18 points, on 6-of-20 from the field, grabbed 6 rebounds, dished out 3 assists, and came away with 3 steals in the victory.

Siena was led by Smithen who tallied 16 points and corralled 6 rebounds. Prince Oduro and Richard poured in 14 points apiece. Oduro pulled down 4 rebounds, while Richard claimed 5 rebounds and 4 assists.

Evan Fished added 7 points and 6 rebounds, while Bentley finished with 6 points of his own. Jordan Horn stuffed the stat sheet with 5 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists, while Sammy Friday contributed with 5 points and 5 rebounds.

Jimmy Patsos commented on his team’s performance in his postgame press conference. “There’s nothing more glaring than shooting 45 percent from the free-throw line in a one-point game,” Patsos said. “This thing’s not over. There’s a lot of basketball to be played. That being said, if we could just get a little more consistency, we could build momentum.”

With the loss, the Saints fell to 8-22 overall, 4-13 in the MAAC, while Fairfield improved to 13-15 on the season, 8-9 in conference play. Siena stands alone in last place in the MAAC, but can still finish with either the 9th, 10th, or 11th seed in next weekend’s MAAC Tournament.

The Saints will close out the 2017-2018 regular season when they travel to Jersey City to take on St. Peter’s on Sunday at 2pm. The Peacocks enter the contest at 10-17 overall and 4-12 in the MAAC. St. Peter’s is coming off a 69-51 loss to Marist on Saturday. The Peacocks are led by Nick Griffin who is averaging 13.1 points per game. St. Peter’s will play at Quinnipiac on Friday before squaring up against Siena. The Saints will look to sweep the season series from the Peacocks. Siena defeated St. Peter’s, 59-57, in triple overtime on January 29.

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