Iona at Siena

Siena Downs Iona in Overtime

khalil iona
The Daily Gazette

It was an all too familiar scene for Siena fans at the Times Union Center Monday night, but the ending was different. The Saints defeated Iona 82-78. The win was the first win over the Gaels in the Times Union Center since 2012 (0-8 since).

It was a back-and-forth game throughout. Siena opened up a 24-20 lead with 7:54 left in the first half on a three pointer from Evan Fisher. Iona took a 36-33 lead into the break on a jumper from E.J. Crawford with 1 second remaining in the opening stanza.

The Gaels took a six point lead on a three point basket by Crawford with 9:35 to go in the second half. Siena battled back and took a 64-63 lead on a jumper by Khalil Richard with 3:26 on the clock. A free throw by Schadrac Casimir tied the game and a layup by Rickey McGill gave Iona a 66-64 advantage with 1:26 remaining in regulation. Jordan Horn connected on a jumper with 27 tics left to tie the game a 66. The Saints got a stop on the final possession of the second half to send the game to overtime.

Fisher lit it up in the overtime period. The junior forward tallied 10 points in the extra session, including two free throws with 12.4 seconds to go to give Siena an 81-78 lead. A late free throw by Kadeem Smithen iced it for the Saints.

evan iona

Siena shot 48.4% from the field, including 36.8% from behind the arc, while Iona shot 42.9% from the field and 31.6% from three-point land. The Saints outrebounded the Gaels 40-34 and assisted on 17 of their 31 made baskets.

The Gaels were without their third leading scorer Deyshonee Much who was averaging 11.9 points and 4.2 rebounds this season. Much did not make the trip to Albany after not venturing with the team to Jersey City in their win over St. Peter’s on Saturday. Much was reportedly restrained by Iona Coach Tim Cluess after he was frustrated by the Gaels’ blowout loss to Monmouth on Thursday.

Iona was led by Roland Griffin who scored 21 points and grabbed 9 rebounds in the losing effort.

Siena was led by Richard who scored a career-high 22 points, on 9-of-19 shooting, corralled 5 rebounds, and dished out four assists. Fisher finished with 21 points, including three made treys, and 9 rebounds. Horn tallied 18 points, on 6-of-14 shooting from the field and 4-of-11 from deep, and pulled down 5 rebounds. Prince Oduro added 12 points and 6 rebounds. Smithen stuffed the stat sheet with 5 points, 10 rebounds, and 6 assists.

Jimmy Patsos commented on his team’s performance in his postgame press conference. “Gutty effort,” Patsos said. “Proud of the players, proud of the team, but I’ve been proud of them all year. We’re learning on the fly. We practiced well and that’s why we played well. We were all disappointed with our effort against Canisius. That’s what character is. Siena players have character. It’s what you do next.”

With the win, Siena improved to 8-19 overall, 4-10 in the MAAC, while Iona fell to 16-11 on the season, 10-5 in conference play.

The Saints return to action on Thursday when they travel to Lawrenceville, NJ to take on the Rider Broncs. Tip-off is set for 7pm. This will be the only time the two teams meet this season due to the restructuring of the conference schedule. Rider enters the contest at 19-7 overall and 12-2 in the MAAC. The Broncs are coming off an 89-79 win over Marist on Saturday. Rider is led by Dimencio Vaughn who is averaging 15.3 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. Last year, the two teams split the season series with each team protecting their home court. The Broncs won 71-69 in Lawrenceville, while Siena came away with a 78-68 win in Albany in a game that made national headlines, as a fight broke out between the two teams in the waning seconds.

Wake Forest at Syracuse

Syracuse Shoots past Wake Forest

tyus wake

Syracuse avenged an earlier loss to Wake Forest with a 78-70 win in front of a crowd of 24,018 on Sunday at the Carrier Dome.

Syracuse led by as many as 14 points in the second half, but Wake Forest connected on four consecutive three pointers to pull within six with 9:42 to go. The Orange extended their lead to 10, 65-55, but an 8-0 run by the Demon Deacons pulled them to within two with 4:24 remaining. A successful free throw by Oshae Brissett gave Syracuse a 73-68 lead with 49 seconds left, but Wake Forest refused to go away easily as Keyshawn Woods drained a trey to pull the Demon Deacons to within four. With the Orange leading 74-70, Tyus Battle sunk two free throws. A thunderous block by Paschal Chukwu, led to a run out and a dunk by Battle to provide the final margin of victory for Syracuse.

The Syracuse defense held Wake Forest to 43.6% shooting, but the Demon Deacons lit it up from deep—drilling 10 three pointers. The Orange forced the Demon Deacons into 14 turnovers, including 8 steals.

Syracuse shot 46% from the field and 50% (6-of-12) from three, but struggled from the charity stripe. The Orange converted on just 26-of-39 (66.7%) of their attempts—well below their season average of 72.3%.

Wake Forest outrebounded Syracuse 38-29 in their win in Winston-Salem, NC in January, but the Orange won the battle on the glass 35-32 on Sunday.

The Demon Deacons were led by Bryant Crawford who scored 24 points and dished out 7 assists.

Syracuse was led by Battle who scored a game-high 34 points on 10-of-18 from the field (including 3-of-4 from deep) and 11-of-13 from the free throw line. Battle also grabbed 4 rebounds and distributed 4 assists. Brissett posted his eighth double-double of the season with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Frank Howard came up one assist shy of a double-double as he finished with 12 points, 9 assists, and 5 steals. Chukwu added 7 points, 11 rebounds, and 3 blocked shots in the win.

Marek Dolezaj started his fifth consecutive game after Matthew Moyer suffered an ankle injury in the win over Boston College and poured in 6 points. Moyer did not play on Sunday as the injury is still bothering him.

Bourama Sidibe received an injection of plasma rich platelets a week ago to help ease the pain caused by his ongoing complications with tendinitis in his left knee. Sidibe logged 17 minutes and 4 points.

With a dwindling bench, former walk-on, Braedon Bayer, played four minutes in the opening stanza as Dolezaj went to the bench after picking up his second foul. Bayer finished with 2 rebounds.

Jim Boeheim commented on his team’s performance in his postgame press conference. “I though the defense was the best it’s been all year,” Boeheim said. “If we just make our free throws we win by 10 or 12 points. Tyus just made big plays and Frank made a big play to Paschal at the end and that was the difference.”

With the win, the Orange improved to 17-8 overall, 6-6 in the ACC, while Wake Forest fell to 9-16 on the season, 2-11 in conference play.

Syracuse will return to action on Valentine’s Day when they host North Carolina State in a primetime “Bubble” match-up at 9pm. The Wolfpack are 16-9 overall and 6-6 in the ACC. North Carolina State has been a giant-killer this season. The Wolfpack have wins over Arizona (neutral site), Duke, Clemson, and at North Carolina. North Carolina State suffered a 96-89 loss to North Carolina at home on Saturday. The Wolfpack are led by Allerik Freeman who is averaging 14.1 points and 4 rebounds per game. Last year, the Orange came away with a 100-93 overtime win on the road.

Weekly Round-Up (2/10)

Winners, Losers, and What to Watch

Here’s a look at this week’s winners and losers and Saturday’s premier match-up.

Winner: St. John’s Red Storm



If St. John’s had a chance to make the NCAA Tournament this year, their performance this past week would go a long way in sealing their bid. Congratulations to the Red Storm for defeating #4 Duke and #1 Villanova over the course of the last week. Last place St. John’s, losers of their last eleven games before their win over Duke, will likely only make the “Big Dance” if they win the Big East Tournament. Sophomore Shamorie Ponds finished with 33 points and 7 rebounds against the Blue Devils and followed that up with 26 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists in the upset of the top-ranked Wildcats. The Red Storm will look to build a three-game win streak when they host Marquette on Saturday at noon.

Loser: Kentucky Wildcats

Just when Kentucky fans thought their team was growing up, the young Wildcats proved to be even more unpredictable that most thought. Kentucky lost at Missouri last Saturday and home to Tennessee on Tuesday for the first time since 2006. After averaging 81.3 points per game over the course of their three game win streak, Kentucky averaged just 60 points per game in their last two losses. The Wildcats’ leading scorer, Kevin Knox, averaged only 7.5 points per game in the two losses this past week. If Kentucky hopes to make a deep run in March, Knox will need to step it up. The Wildcats will travel to College Station, TX to take on Texas A&M on Saturday at 8:15pm.

Premier Match-Up: #3 Purdue at #4 Michigan State (4pm ESPN)

Purdue v Indiana

Saturday’s premier match-up features a Big Ten battle between two of the nation’s top five teams. Purdue enters the game coming off a heartbreaking loss to #14 Ohio State on Wednesday—this snapped their program-record 19 game win streak. The Boilermakers were leading 63-62 until an offensive rebound put-back by Keita Bates-Diop with 3 seconds to go powered the Buckeyes past Purdue. The Boilermakers will look to rebound from Wednesday’s loss with a big win over Michigan State on the road. Purdue is the only team in the top five in both offensive and defensive efficiency in the country and have four players (Carsen Edwards, Vincent Edwards, Isaac Haas, and Dakota Mathias) averaging double figures in scoring this season. Purdue will face their toughest test to date on the road in the Breslin Center versus the Michigan State Spartans.

miles bridges weekly
Detroit Free Press

The Michigan State community has been under fire in the wake of the Larry Nassar trial, but the basketball team has given the school something to smile about recently. Michigan State is on a seven-game win streak and, most recently, defeated Iowa 96-93 on Tuesday. With all five starters (Miles Bridges, Nick Ward, Joshua Langford, Cassius Winston, and Jaren Jackson Jr.) averaging double figures in scoring, the Spartans have a chance to tie the Boilermakers in the Big Ten standings and pick up a win that would give them an edge to claim a one seed in March. If Michigan State is able to keep turnovers to a minimum, they will have a chance to beat Purdue. Purdue will be prepared for Michigan State and eager to avenge Wednesday’s loss. I expect the Boilermakers’ defense to be the difference in a close game.

Purdue 72, Michigan State 70

Siena at Canisius

Siena Stumped by Canisius

prince canisius

Siena suffered their third consecutive loss, 89-65, at Canisius on Thursday night.

After the Saints led 12-8, the Golden Griffins went on an 8-0 run to take a 16-12 lead—one they would not relinquish the rest of the way. Canisius took a 38-29 lead into the break. The Golden Griffins used a 12-4 run to open up a 50-33 lead with 16:43 left. Siena would get no closer than 14 points throughout the remainder of the game.

Canisius shot 48.4% from the field including 9-of-28 from distance, while the Saints made just 36.8% of their shots and connected on only 2-of-17 of their three point attempts. In addition to the poor shooting effort, Siena turned the ball over 16 times—a recipe for a poor offensive night. The Golden Griffins outrebounded the Saints 42-35. In a season where Siena needs to defend and slow the game down, Canisius did everything in their power to take the Saints out of their game plan.

The Golden Griffins were led by Jermaine Crumpton’s 24 points.

The Saints were led by Prince Oduro who scored 12 points and 8 rebounds. The trio of Evan Fisher, Ahsante Shivers, and Khalil Richard tallied 10 points apiece. Richard added four rebounds in the losing effort.

Jimmy Patsos commented on his team’s performance in his postgame press conference. “They [Canisius] was ready for us,” Patsos said. “We have to play defense. We’re not gonna come back down 13 or 17 points. Canisius is really good. They’re [Siena] just not quite hungry enough to get the wins. We gotta buy into playing defense.”

With the loss, Siena fell to 7-18 overall, 3-10 in the MAAC while Canisius moved to 16-9 on the season and 10-2 in conference play.

Siena will continue their three game stretch against the top three of the top four teams in the MAAC when they host Iona on Monday. The Gaels enter the contest at 15-10 overall, 9-4 in the league. Iona is coming off a 72-50 loss to Monmouth on Thursday. The Saints will look to avenge an earlier loss to the Gaels this season. Siena lost a heartbreaker, 71-69, in New Rochelle, NY to Iona on January 11.

Syracuse at Louisville

Syracuse Stuns Louisville

tyus louisville

Syracuse pulled out a much needed 78-73 victory over Louisville on Monday night.

After the Orange led 67-57 with 6:16 remaining, an 8-0 run by the Cardinals cut the Syracuse lead to two with 4:05 to go. The Orange outscored the Louisville 11-6 the rest of the way to hang on for a big win on the road.

After scoring just 44 points against #2 Virginia on Saturday, Syracuse erupted for 39 points in the first half on 48.2% shooting. The Orange finished the game shooting 47.2% from the floor and held the Cardinals to 46.2% from the field. Syracuse outrebounded Louisville 32-31. The Orange forced the Cardinals into 11 turnovers, and committed just 8 of their own to come away with the win.

Ray Spalding led Louisville with 18 points and 9 rebounds off the bench in the losing effort.

Tyus Battle led Syracuse with 25 points, on 7-of-15 shooting from the field and a perfect 11-of-11 from the charity stripe, and 4 rebounds. Frank Howard scored 22 points and grabbed 5 rebounds. Oshae Brissett finished with 16 points and 8 rebounds before fouling out. Marek Dolezaj tallied 8 points and corralled 6 rebounds, while Paschal Chukwu added 5 points and 8 rebounds to help the Orange to the win.

Jim Boeheim commented on his team’s performance in his postgame press conference. “It was one of the best efforts we’ve ever had, to come in here and get in such foul trouble” Boeheim said. “Our guards stepped it up. Frank made big shots. They got the ball inside and we couldn’t stop it. But we made big plays when we had to. Marek got a great tip. It was everybody.”

With the win Syracuse improved to 16-8 overall, 5-6 in the ACC, while Louisville dropped to 16-8 on the season, 6-5 in conference play.

The Orange return home to take on Wake Forest on Sunday at 1pm. The Demon Deacons are 9-14 overall, 2-9 in the ACC, and are coming off a 75-67 loss to Clemson on Saturday. Syracuse will look to avenge a 76-67 loss to Wake Forest in Winston-Salem, NC on January 3. Howard led Syracuse with 23 points and 5 assists in the loss, while Bryant Crawford poured in 19 points and dished out 5 assists to lead the Demon Deacons to the win.

Siena at Fairfield

Siena Sunk by Fairfield

richard fairfield
Times Union

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.

Virginia at Syracuse

Syracuse Stumbles in Loss to Virginia


Syracuse suffered a 59-44 defeat at the hands of #2 Virginia on Saturday.

The 44 points were the fewest points the Orange has scored in the Carrier Dome since it began playing its home games there in 1980.

Syracuse trailed 31-21 at the half and would get no closer than nine in the final stanza as the Cavaliers ran away with it down the stretch.

Virginia’s defense held Syracuse to just 33.3% shooting from the field, while the Cavaliers connected on 48.9% of their shot attempts. Virginia also outrebounded the Orange by a 35-26 margin and held a 27-0 advantage in bench points.

De’Andre Hunter led the Cavaliers with 15 points off the bench. The freshman also dished out 6 assists. Kyle Guy fell short of his season average for points, scoring just 14 points on an inefficient 5-for-15 from the floor. Guy also grabbed 4 rebounds.

Syracuse was led by Tyus Battle’s 15 points. Frank Howard scored 11 points. Marek Dolezaj finished with 9 points on 4-of-6 shooting and grabbed 7 rebounds. Oshae Brissett added 9 points and 6 rebounds.

Battle, Howard, and Brissett played all 40 minutes as only one reserve (Matthew Moyer) checked in for the Orange. Syracuse plays Louisville on Monday where fatigue hopefully won’t be a factor in that one.

Jim Boeheim commented on his team’s performance in his postgame press conference. “We rely on our two guards to score and make plays and when they don’t we have a problem offensively,” Boeheim said. “That’s really the bottom line the last three games.”

Bourama Sidibe was inactive versus Virginia as the freshman center was suffering from discomfort due to tendinitis that has lingered and impacted him all season.

Syracuse dropped to 15-8 overall, 4-6 in the ACC, while Virginia improved to 22-1 on the season and 11-0 in conference play.

The Orange return to action on Monday night when they travel to the Bluegrass State to take on Louisville at the KFC Yum! Center at 7pm. The Cardinals are 16-7 overall and 6-4 in the ACC. Louisville is coming off an 80-76 loss to Florida State at home on Saturday. The Cardinals are led by Deng Adel who is averaging 15.7 points and 5 rebounds per game. Last year, Louisville swept the season series over Syracuse. The Cardinals won 76-72 in overtime in the Dome and 88-68 at the Yum! Center.