The Sunday Saint (12/2)

Saints Split a pair to Improve to 3-5

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sienasaints.com

Siena improved to 3-5 on the season this week after splitting a pair of contests against Hofstra and Harvard.

The Saints comeback fell just short on Long Island as they fell 94-86 to the Hofstra Pride Wednesday night. Hofstra sunk their first six attempts from beyond the arc and built a 45-37 lead at the break. The Pride jumped out to a 77-57 lead with 8:10 left in the game, but Siena would not go away easily. The Saints rattled off an 18-4 run that culminated with a three pointer by Sloan Seymour to pull with six (81-75) of Hofstra with 3:11 left. Siena was unable to get over the hump and the Pride escaped with the victory.

Hofstra, who shot 54.4-percent from the field and 46.7-percent from three, was led by one of the best players in mid-major college basketball, Justin Wright-Foreman. Wright-Foreman paced the Pride with 28 points.

The Saints shot 54.2-percent from the field, but connected on only 34.6-percent of their attempts from three point land. Reigning MAAC Rookie of the Week, Jalen Pickett, posted a double-double with 27 points, on 9-of-12 from the floor and 2-of-3 from deep, and 13 assists. The freshman point guard only turned the ball over once in the losing effort. He also grabbed five rebounds. Evan Fisher poured in a career-high 25 points, on 12-of-17 shooting, and pulled down seven boards. Seymour added 13 points, while Kevin Degnan finished with 10 points and eight rebounds.

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Siena looked to end their four game losing streak against the Harvard Crimson in a Saturday matinee at the Times Union Center. The Saints used a 10-3 to take a 27-22 lead into the locker room at halftime. The 22 points Siena held Harvard to in the first 20 minutes were the fewest points the Saints have allowed in a half all season. Siena used a 9-4 run to take their largest lead of the game, 52-39, with 9:12 to go. The Crimson ended the game with a 12-5 spurt, but Justin Bassey missed a potential game tying three at the buzzer. The Saints emerged with a 67-64 victory, the first home win under first year head coach Jamion Christian.

Harvard shot 50-percent from the field, but the Crimson were clearly bothered by Siena’s defensive pressure. The Saints forced the Crimson into 15 turnovers. Bassey led the Harvard with 15 points, seven rebounds, and three assists.

Siena shot 44.6-percent from the field and 34.8-percent from distance in the win. The Saints were led by Degnan, who tallied career-highs with 16 points and three blocks. He also corralled four rebounds. Pickett chipped in with 14 points, four rebounds, and eight assists. Sammy Friday IV provided a spark off the bench with 10 points and three boards.

Evan Fisher left the game in the second half with what appeared to be an ankle injury and did not return. His status moving forward is yet to be determined.

Player of the Week: Kevin Degnan

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Times Union

To keep things interesting and to not give the player of the week to Jalen Pickett for the third time in four weeks, this week’s player of the week for Siena is Kevin Degnan. Degnan averaged 13 points and six rebounds and was a key reason as to why the Saints pulled of the win over Harvard. If Degnan can provide a third option to Pickett and Fisher, Siena could really benefit, especially if Fisher’s injury is serious.

Up Next: St. Bonaventure and Robert Morris

The Saints begin a two game road trip when they look to win back the Franciscan Cup against St. Bonaventure on Wednesday at 7pm. The Bonnies are 3-5 and are coming off a 90-61 win over Delaware State on Saturday. St. Bonaventure is led by Jalen Poyser, who is averaging 16.5 points per game. Last year, the Bonnies defeated Siena 75-55 in Albany.

The second game of the road trip will be at Robert Morris on Saturday at 4pm. The Colonials are 4-4 on the season and are coming off an 82-69 loss at Drexel on Saturday. Robert Morris is led by Josh Williams who is averaging 12.3 points per game. Last season, the Saints defeated the Colonials 76-74 at the Times Union Center.

The Sunday Saint (11/25)

Saints Struggle at Home

After starting off the season 2-2, the Saints dropped a pair of games to Patriot League opponents this week and are in the midst of a three game skid heading into the final week of November. Siena lost 80-69 in their home opener Wednesday night and suffered an 84-79 defeat at the hands of Colgate at the Times Union Center on Saturday afternoon.

The Saints found themselves trailing Patriot League favorite, Lehigh, 42-37 at halftime after a back-and-forth opening stanza. The Mountain Hawks kept Siena at an arm’s length throughout the second half, but the Saints did manage to cut the lead to three (64-61) with 6:39 remaining. Lehigh used a 10-0 run to pull away and win 80-69. The Mountain Hawks shot 58-percent from the floor, including a blistering 63.2-percent from beyond the arc. Siena shot just 40.6-percent from the field and connected on just 8-of-30 (26.7-percent) three point attempts. The Saints failed to make 10 or more three pointers for the second consecutive game after doing so in their first three contests. Kyle Leufroy led Lehigh with 25 points, on 8-of-11 shooting and 4-of-5 from distance, five rebounds, and three assists. Freshman point guard Jalen Pickett paced Siena with 25 points, on 10-of-19 from the field and 4-of-8 from deep, six boards, seven assists, and three steals. Senior forward Evan Fisher contributed with 13 points, on 5-of-13 attempts from the floor, and seven rebounds in the losing effort.

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The Daily Gazette

The Saints hosted the Colgate Raiders in a Saturday afternoon matinee and fell 84-79 in an up tempo affair. Colgate led for 14 of the first 20 minutes and took a six point lead (43-37) into the break. Siena rallied to take a 69-65 lead after a three point play by Fisher with 5:13 left in the game, but the Raiders used a 10-2 run to take a four point lead (75-71) that they would not relinquish. Sophomore guard Manny Camper missed three free throws in the final minute and Colgate escaped the Times Union Center with a victory. The Raiders shot 54.7-percent from the floor and 47.8-percent from three, while the Saints shot 53.3-percent from the field, but just 21.7-percent (5-of-23) from three point land. Siena failed to connect on 10 or more three point field goals for the third straight game—a trend that will need to be reversed if the Saints want to get back into the win column. Jordan Burns poured in 25 points, on 9-of-14 shooting and 5-of-9 from three, to lead Colgate. He also dished out four assists. Siena was led by Fisher who netted a career-high 22 points, on 9-of-12 shooting, and six rebounds. Pickett stuffed the stat sheet with 21 points, on 9-of-16 from the floor, five boards, nine assists, seven steals, and two blocks. Camper added 10 points, on 4-of-9 from the field, and seven rebounds. Junior forward Sammy Friday IV finished with 10 points, on 4-of-6 shooting in the loss.

Player of the Week: Jalen Pickett

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Times Union

For the second time in the season’s first three weeks, Siena’s player of the week is Jalen Pickett. The freshman point guard was impressive in his first two starts at home. Pickett averaged 23 points and shot 54.3-percent from the floor in two games. He quarterbacked the offensive attack well, posting a 4:1 assist to turnover ratio against Lehigh and Colgate. Defensively, Pickett has proven that he is a tremendous two way player as he recorded totals of 10 steals and three blocks this past week. Jamion Christian’s first recruit to Siena has done everything asked of him over the early portion of the Saints’ schedule and will look to be one of the best freshman in the MAAC moving forward.

Up Next: Hofstra Pride and Harvard Crimson

After their two game home stand, Siena will travel to Long Island to take on Hofstra on Wednesday at 7pm. The Pride are 3-3 and are coming off a 69-67 overtime loss to VCU on the road. Hofstra is led by one of the best players in mid-major college basketball, Justin Wright-Foreman, who is averaging 28 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 4.2 assists per game. Last year, the Saints beat the Pride 85-76 at the Times Union Center.

Siena will return home on Saturday, December 1 to play Harvard. Tip-off is set for 3pm. The game is part of a doubleheader with the Siena women who will tip off against Florida Atlantic at 1pm. This game was added to the schedule to replace the Albany Cup that was suspended this year as Siena and UAlbany could not come to an agreement as to where the game should be played. The Crimson are 3-3, coming off a 74-68 win over St. Mary’s on the road. Harvard will play Holy Cross before heading to Albany to battle with the Saints. The Crimson are led by Chris Lewis who is averaging 15.8 points per contest.

Hofstra at Siena

Siena Shoots Past Hofstra for First Win of the Season

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sienasaints.com

Siena defeated Hofstra 85-76 on Saturday to pick up their first win of the season. Three freshman combined for 42 points in the win.

Defensively, Siena held Hofstra to 36.8% shooting and limited Hofstra’s 3-point shooting attack to making just 9 of its 34 attempts from behind the arc. Hofstra outrebounded Siena on the offensive boards 20-9, 12 of which came from Rokas Gustys. Siena will need to improve on the defensive glass to limit their opponent’s second chance opportunities.

Offensively, the Saints were led by the freshman trio of Prince Oduro, Roman Penn, and Christian Bentley. Oduro scored 17 points, grabbed 8 rebounds, and distributed 4 assists. Penn poured in 14 points, dished out 11 assists, and corralled 4 rebounds. Bentley scored 11 points and pulled in 5 rebounds in his first career start.

Junior captain Nico Clareth was limited due to foul trouble, but managed to score 17 points in the win.

Former Saint Kenny Wormley scored 0 points for Hofstra in his return to Albany. Hofstra fell to 3-3 on the year.

Siena will look to build off this win when they play their second game of a three game home stand Wednesday, November 29 in the Franciscan Cup against St. Bonaventure. Tip-off is set for 7pm at the Times Union Center.