The Sunday Saint (1/6)

Conference Play Tips-Off for the Saints

jpcp
Times Union

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.

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The Daily Gazette

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

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The Daily Gazette

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.

The Sunday Saint (12/23)

Saints Stumble Heading into Christmas Break

jpcoc
The Daily Gazette

After a long break for final exams, the Siena Saints returned to the court for games against the College of Charleston and Holy Cross.

On Tuesday, the Siena welcomed the College of Charleston to the Times Union Center. After a back-and-forth opening 20 minutes, the Cougars took a 33-28 lead into the break. The College of Charleston put the Saints in their rear-view mirror as they used a 16-4 run to establish a commanding lead that they would not relinquish. The Cougars shot a blistering 66.7-percent in the second half to roll to an 83-58 win.

The College of Charleston shot 61.5-percent from the floor and outrebounded Siena 33-24. The Cougars held the Saints to just 38.9-percent from the field to earn the win.

Preseason All-CAA first team selection, Jarrell Brantley, led the College of Charleston with 23 points on a perfect 8-of-8 shooting, all of which came in the final stanza. Brantley also corralled five rebounds and dished out three assists.

Evan Fisher returned to the starting lineup for Siena after he missed two games with a lower body injury. The senior forward led Siena with 18 points, on 7-of-14 from the field, and seven rebounds.

The Saints traveled to Worcester, Massachusetts for a rematch against the Holy Cross Crusaders, who beat them, 57-45, in the Hall of Fame Classic in November.

Siena took a 31-26 lead into the locker room following a 16-3 run to close the half.

The Saints took a 10 point lead, 47-37, on a three-pointer by Sloan Seymour. Holy Cross, who shot 61.9-percent in the second half, ripped-off a 17-2 run and took a 54-49 lead on a jumped by Austin Butler with 6:39 remaining in the game. Siena refused to go away and regained a one point advantage (57-56) on a corner triple by Kevin Degnan with 2:17 left. Butler’s layup with 1:15 to go gave the Crusaders the lead for good. Caleb Green made a layup with 23 ticks on the clock to provide the final margin of 60-57. After missing a free throw, Jalen Pickett got the rebound tapped back to him, but misfired on a potential game-tying three-point attempt at the buzzer and Holy Cross defeated the Saints for the second time this season. Siena enters the holiday break after losing two consecutive games, giving them a 4-8 record.

The Crusaders shot 54.3-percent from the floor and held Siena to a 42.6-percent clip.

Butler led Holy Cross with 18 points, on 7-of-14 from the field, including 4-of-8 from deep, and five rebounds.

Fisher led the Saints with 17 points, on 8-of-14 from the floor, and nine rebounds. Pickett scored 14 points, on 6-of-13 shooting, pulled down four boards, and distributed eight assists. Jimmy Ratliff added 11 points off the bench.

Siena lost junior forward Sammy Friday for the rest of the season due to a lower body injury.

Player of the Week: Evan Fisher

efhc
The Daily Gazette

This week’s player of the week for Siena was Evan Fisher. The senior forward returned to the lineup this week after sitting out against St. Bonaventure and Robert Morris with a lower body injury. Fisher averaged 17.5 points, eight rebounds and shot 53.6-percent from the field. It is clear that the Saints are a better team with Fisher on the floor. His play will be an integral factor if Siena plans to compete in the MAAC.

Up Next: Cal Poly

The Saints will look to snap their two game skid when they return home after Christmas to take on Cal Poly next Saturday in the non-conference finale. Tip-off is set for 2pm. The Mustangs are 3-8 and are coming off a 75-70 loss to the University of Texas at Arlington on Saturday. Cal Poly is led by Donovan Fields who is averaging 16.2 points and 3.9 assists per game.