Conference Play Tips-Off for the Saints
Since losing to Holy Cross on December 22, Siena closed out their non-conference schedule with a home win over Cal Poly. The Saints opened up conference play Thursday night with a loss at St. Peter’s and followed that up with a loss to Canisius at home on Friday night.
Siena defeated Cal Poly, 75-54, to round out the non-conference portion of their 2018-19 campaign. The Saints used a 10-0 run to build a 36-25 advantage at the break. The Mustangs used an 11-0 spurt out of the locker room to tie the score at 36 with 15:05 remaining. Siena opened up an insurmountable lead with a 25-6 run to earn the victory.
The Saints drilled 14 triples in the win which is tied for the most in a game by a Siena team in 17 years. Siena shot 51-percent from the field and held Cal Poly to a 44.2-percent clip. The Saints also outrebounded the Mustangs 30-27 and forced the visitors into 14 turnovers.
Mark Crowe led Cal Poly with 13 points on a perfect 5-of-5 shooting.
Siena was led by Evan Fisher who poured in a career-high 26 points, on 11-of-19 from the field, and eight rebounds. Freshman point guard Jalen Pickett posted a double-double with 16 points, on 6-of-12 from the floor, and 11 assists. Pickett also corralled five rebounds. Sloan Seymour chipped in with 12 points on 4-of-9 from three.
The Saints began their conference slate at St. Peter’s. The Peacocks took a 31-25 lead into halftime and used a 12-0 spurt to go ahead 51-32 with 12:25 left. Siena refused to go away. The Saints ripped off a 12-0 run of their own to trim St. Peter’s’ to seven, 51-44, with 9:18 on the clock. The Peacocks hung on to win 65-60. Siena has now lost nine consecutive games in Jersey City.
It was an evenly matched affair in which St. Peter’s shot 52-percent from the field, compared to the Saints, who shot it at a 51-percent clip. The Peacocks outrebounded Siena 27-25 and forced the Saints into eight turnovers. St. Peter’s only turned the ball over seven times.
Davauhnte Turner paced the Peacocks with 21 points on 8-of-17 shooting.
Fisher led Siena with 23 points, on 11-of-18 from the field, and six rebounds. Pickett added 16 points, on 7-of-13 from the floor, four rebounds, and eight assists. Seymour finished with 12 points on 4-of-6 from deep.
The Saints returned to the Times Union Center Saturday night to host Canisius in hopes of avoiding an 0-2 start in MAAC play. Siena raced out to an early 15 point lead, 32-17, at the 6:44 mark in the opening stanza and took a 40-30 advantage into the half. The Golden Griffins used a 16-4 run and took a 53-51 lead with 10:06 remaining. Jalanni White connected on a jumper with 5:47 left to take a one point advantage that they would not relinquish the rest of the way. Seymour drained a trey to pull the Saints within one, 64-63, with 35.7 ticks on the clock, but Canisius connected on six free throws to earn a 70-66 victory.
The Golden Griffins shot 45.5-percent from the floor and held Siena to 38.1-percent shooting. Canisius outrebounded the Saints 39-33 and forced the Saints into 13 turnovers.
Takal Molson scored 23 points, on 8-of-16 shooting, and eight rebounds to lead the Golden Griffins. Preseason MAAC Player of the Year Isaiah Reese tallied 20 points and grabbed eight boards in their win over the Saints.
The trio of Fisher, Pickett, and Seymour led Siena in scoring for the third consecutive game. Fisher posted a double-double with 21 points, on 9-of-19 from the field, and 17 rebounds. Pickett recorded a double-double of his own with 14 points and 11 assists. He also pulled down seven rebounds. Seymour contributed with 15 points on 5-of-12 from beyond the arc.
Siena, who is 5-10 overall and 0-2 in the MAAC, has relied heavily on Fisher, Pickett, and Seymour and dressed only eight scholarship players against Canisus as Sammy Friday IV (out for the rest of the year), Jimmy Ratliff, and Manny Camper were all sidelined due to injury.
Player of the Week: Evan Fisher
This week’s player of the week for Siena was senior forward Evan Fisher. Fisher averaged 23.3 points, on 55.4-percent from the floor, and 10.3 rebounds per game this week. If he continues to play like this, Fisher may have himself in the conversation for First-Team All-MAAC.
Up Next: Marist
Siena will travel down I-87 to take on arch rival Marist on Friday night. Tip-off is set for 7pm. The game will be nationally televised on ESPNU. The Red Foxes are 5-8 on the season, 0-1 in league play, and are coming off a 75-72 loss to Canisius. Marist will host Manhattan on Tuesday before taking on the Saints. The Red Foxes are led by Brian Parker who is averaging 15 points, 4 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per contest. Last year, the teams split their season series with each school winning on their home court.