The Sunday Saint (2/17)

Siena Slips in the MAAC Standings

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Siena College Athletics

After winning seven of eight, the Siena Saints have slipped back into a tie for fifth place in the MAAC after losing to Iona and Quinnipiac at home this week.

Siena looked to sweep the season series from Iona when they hosted the defending MAAC champions on Wednesday night. The Saints took a 30-26 lead into halftime. The Gaels opened the second stanza with a 10-0 run and took a 36-30 advantage after Asante Gist converted an old-fashioned three-point play with 16:47 left. Siena responded and used a 21-2 spurt to build a 51-38 lead on a triple by Jalen Pickett with eight minutes remaining. Iona refused to go away. The Gaels closed the contest with a 19-1 run to close out a 57-52 win on the road.

Iona held Siena to 37.5-shooting, while the Gaels shot it at a 40.4-percent clip. Iona also outrebounded the Saints 38-31.

Tajuan Agee led the Gaels with 25 points, on 9-of-17 shooting, 13 rebounds, and two steals.

Evan Fisher paced Siena with 17 points, on 7-of-18 from the field, four rebounds, a steal, and a block. Sloan Seymour added 12 points on 4-of-10 shooting from beyond the arc, while Pickett stuffed the stat sheet with 10 points, five rebounds, four assists, four steals, and three blocks.

The Saints looked to rebound from their loss to MAAC rival with a win over Quinnipiac. The winner would be tied with Canisius atop the conference. The lone regular season meeting between the two schools this year was an epic fight. Siena held a 20-18 advantage after a layup by Pickett with 6:10 to go before intermission. The Bobcats ended the half on a 21-4 spurt and took a 39-24 lead into the break. Quinnipiac built a 20-point advantage, 54-34, on a trey by Rich Kelly with 14:46 to play. The Saints would not go away. Siena rallied all the way back and took a 71-70 lead on a layup by Pickett with 1:27 remaining in regulation. Trailing 75-73, the Saints’ Manny Camper stole the ball from the Bobcats’ Jacob Rigoni. Camper sent the game into overtime tying it at 75 after converting a layup with five seconds left in regulation off an assist from Pickett.

Trailing by two, 86-84, Siena forced a second overtime when Pickett converted a layup with 0.5 seconds left. Seymour gave the Saints a 93-90 advantage when he connected on a three-pointer with 37 seconds to go in double overtime. On the ensuing possession, Cameron Young drew Quinnipiac even when he nailed a three of his own with 24 ticks on the clock. Pickett’s three at the buzzer was unsuccessful, and the game was sent to a third overtime. Young converted on an “and-one” opportunity with 4:43 to play in the third overtime period and gave the Bobcats a 96-93 lead that they would not relinquish. Quinnipiac pulled away to win 107-100 in three overtimes.

With the loss, Siena slipped to a tie for fifth place in the league with Iona and are now 13-14 overall and   8-6 in the MAAC. However, the Saints sit just one game out of first place.

The game was a tale of two incredible individual performances. Cameron Young of Quinnipiac scored 55 points, the highest individual scoring output by anyone in a game in Division I college basketball this season. The senior guard shot 15-of-24 and pulled down 10 rebounds to help his team secure the win on the road. Siena’s Jalen Pickett tallied 46 points, on 14-of-26 shooting, dished out 13 assists, and came away with four steals in the losing effort. With these performances, Young will likely land MAAC Player of the Week honors, while Pickett will be in contention for his ninth MAAC Rookie of the Week honor of the season.

Siena plays Monmouth in a MAAC game
Konitono

Rich Kelly poured in 24 points, on 9-of-15 from the floor, for the Bobcats.

The Saints’ Manny Camper dropped in a career-high 21 points, on 8-of-14 from the field, and five rebounds before fouling out in the third overtime. Kevin Degnan finished with 15 points and eight boards.

With his final three against Quinnipiac, freshman Sloan Seymour tied Scott Knapp’s program record for the most three-pointers made in a season by a newcomer. Seymour will have the chance to break the record over the course of Siena’s final four games of the regular season.

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Times Union

The Bobcats shot 50.7-percent from the field, including 15-of-30 from beyond the arc, while Siena shot 42.9-percent from the floor and 11-of-33 from deep. Quinnipiac bullied the Saints on the boards, winning the battle on the glass 50-31.

With the win, Quinnipiac moved into a tie with Canisius for first place in the MAAC.

Player of the Week: Manny Camper

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Pikbee

Although Jalen Pickett’s performance against the Bobcats was one of the best individual performances in the country this season, this week’s player of the week for Siena was Manny Camper. His 21 points against Quinnipiac was a welcomed surprise. Coach Jamion Christian had mentioned that Camper needed to be more of a threat on the offensive end for the Saints moving forward and the sophomore certainly stepped up. If Siena hopes to earn a bye in the MAAC Tournament (which is now only three weeks away), Camper’s continued improvement on the offensive end would be crucial to their success in securing a top seed.

Up Next: St. Peter’s and Marist

Siena continues their four-game home stand when they host St. Peter’s and Marist at the Times Union Center this coming week. The Saints will look to split the season series with St. Peter’s when the schools meet on Tuesday night at 7pm. The Peacocks won the first meeting between the two schools, 65-60, in Jersey City, New Jersey on January 3rd. St. Peter’s is 6-19 overall, 3-10 in the league, and are coming off a 71-65 loss to Rider. The Peacocks are led by Davauhnte Turner who is averaging 16.6 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per game.

The Saints will host Marist on Sunday in a Senior Day matinee at 2pm. Siena will honor seniors Evan Fisher, Kevin Degnan, Kadeem Smithen, Braedon Bayer, and Paulo Morastoni before the game. The Saints will hope to sweep the season series from the Red Foxes. Marist is 12-14 overall, 7-7 in conference, and is coming off a 75-67 win over Monmouth. The Red Foxes will host St. Peter’s on Friday before traveling up to Albany on Sunday. Marist is led by Brian Parker who is averaging 14.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per contest.

The Sunday Saint (2/10)

Saints Marching through MAAC Play

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The Daily Gazette

In the preseason, Siena was picked to finish last in the MAAC. After Sunday’s win at preseason favorite Rider, the Saints sit just half a game out of first place, tied for second with Canisius.

Looking to build a winning streak following their triumph over Iona on the road last Saturday, Siena hosted Fairfield on Monday at the Times Union Center. Both teams shot the ball over 50-percent from the floor in the first half and the Saints took a 38-32 lead into the break. The Stags tied the game at 47 on a layup by Wassef Methnani with 10:05 left. Siena used an 8-0 run to pull away capped off with a layup by Kadeem Smithen with 3:43 remaining. Siena picked up 12 consecutive defensive stops over that stretch and won 61-50.

After allowing Fairfield to shoot 52-percent in the opening stanza, the Saints held the Stags to 29.2-percent shooting over the course of the final twenty minutes. Siena’s defense also forced Fairfield into 17 turnovers. The Saints shot it at a 47.9-percent from the field, including 56.3-percent from three.

Landon Taliaferro led the Stags with 14 points.

Siena was paced by Evan Fisher who tallied 18 points, on 8-of-16 shooting, and four rebounds. Jalen Pickett stuffed the stat sheet with 13 points, five boards, three assists, a block, and a steal. Kevin Deganan chipped in with 10 points, five rebounds, and three steals.

The Saints hoped to push their win streak to three when they traveled downstate to take on the Manhattan Jaspers at Draddy Gymnasium. It was a defensive affair throughout. Manhattan held Siena to 25-percent from the field in the first half and took a 17-16 advantage into the intermission. Siena turned it around in the second half and took a 14 point lead, 43-29, on a jumper by Fisher with 6:59 to go. The Jaspers rallied all the way back within two, 51-49, when Nehemiah Mack made a layup with four seconds left in the contest. Pickett missed the front end of a one-and-one, but Mack’s heave at the buzzer fell short and Siena prevailed.

Siena flexed its muscles on defense yet again holding Manhattan to 40-percent from the floor and forced the Jaspers into 16 turnovers. Siena pulled out the win despite shooting a dreadful 37.3-percent from the field.

Tyler Reynolds led Manhattan with 18 points, on 6-of-10 from the floor, and nine rebounds.

Fisher scored 18 points, on 8-of-15 shooting, and pulled down six boards to lead the Saints to victory.

Siena traveled to Lawrenceville, New Jersey Sunday afternoon to battle with the Rider Broncs. Entering the game, the Saints were engaged in a four way tie with Rider, Canisius, and Quinnipiac for second place in the MAAC. Siena opened up a 31-21 lead on a layup by Degnan with 3:26 to play in the opening stanza, but the Broncs came back to cut the Saints’ lead to 33-32 at halftime. Siena opened up a 46-36 advantage with 13:48 left when Smithen connected on a pair of free throws. As they did in the first twenty minutes, Rider stormed back and used a 13-3 run to tie the game at 49 with 8:14 remaining. With the game tied once again at 57, Manny Camper connected on a free throw with 36 ticks on the clock to give the Saints a 58-57 lead. Smithen connected on a free throw to extend Siena’s advantage to 59-57 with four seconds left on the clock. Jordan Allen missed a three-pointer at the buzzer and the Saints hung on to win another close game on the road.

Siena’s defense was stout throughout yet again. The Saints held the Broncs to 33.9-percent from the field, including an abysmal 1-of-16 (6.3-percent) from three-point land. Siena forced Rider into 13 turnovers as well. The Saints hung on even though they only shot 36-percent from the field.

Tyere Marshall led the Broncs with 19 points, on 8-of-14 shooting, and five rebounds.

Siena’s senior leadership proved to be the difference in the game as Fisher poured in 21 points, on 8-of-19 from the floor, and eight rebounds, while Smithen finished with 16 points, six boards, and four steals.

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The Daily Gazette

The Saints rank 30th nationally in scoring defense, holding opponents to 64.7 points per game, and are forcing their opponents into 16.5 turnovers per contest (40th in the nation).

Siena, who has won seven of their last eight games, is 13-12 overall, 8-4 in the MAAC and is tied for second place in the conference with Canisius – just a half game behind Monmouth.

Player of the Week: Evan Fisher

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The Daily Gazette

This week’s player of the week for Siena is Evan Fisher. The senior big man has been a key cog in the Saints’ success of late. Fisher averaged 19 points, on 48-percent shooting, and six rebounds as Siena extended their win streak to four this week. His play on the court and leadership are pivotal to fuel Siena as they enter the home stretch.

Up Next: Iona and Quinnipiac

Siena begins its four game home stand when they host MAAC rival Iona on Wednesday at the Times Union Center. Tip-off is set for 7pm. The Saints will look to sweep the season series from the Gaels. Last Saturday, Siena defeated Iona 56-54 in New Rochelle. The Gaels are 8-15 overall, 6-6 in the MAAC, and are coming off a 79-76 win over Niagara on Sunday. Iona is led by EJ Crawford who is averaging 17.9 points and five rebounds per game.

Next Sunday, the Saints will play host to Quinnipiac. Tip-off is set for 2pm. This will be the only meeting between the two schools this season. The Bobcats are 12-10 overall, 7-4 in the MAAC, and are coming off a 66-65 win over Iona on Friday. Quinnipiac is led by Cameron Young who is averaging 21.1 points and 4.8 rebounds per contest. Last year, the Bobcats swept the season series from Siena and ended their season in the MAAC Tournament winning 67-58 in Albany.

The Sunday Saint (2/3)

Siena Challenging in the MAAC

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The Daily Gazette

Siena enters February as winners of four of their last five and have put themselves in position to contend for a bye in next month’s MAAC Tournament.

After beating Niagara, the Saints traveled to Bridgeport, Connecticut last Thursday to take on the Fairfield Stags. Siena took a 29-24 lead into the break after holding the Stags to 26.7-percent shooting in the first twenty minutes. Fairfield pulled to within six, 38-32, on a layup by Jesus Cruz with 10:47 remaining in the game. The Saints used a 7-2 run to pull away and earn a 57-48 win on the road in conference play.

Siena’s defense was stout throughout the contest and held the Stags to 35.7-percent from the field and 17.4-percent from three. The Saints also forced Fairfield into 18 turnovers. Siena buried the Stags by shooting 42.6-percent to earn the win.

Wassef Methnani came off the bench to lead Fairfield with 15 points, on 6-of-10 from the floor, five rebounds, two blocks, and two steals.

Jalen Pickett paced the Saints with 20 points, on 8-of-10 shooting, four rebounds, three assists, and four steals. Evan Fisher chipped in with 11 points and six boards.

Siena extended their win streak to three with a 53-40 victory over Manhattan last Saturday night in front of a season record 7,146 fans in attendance at the Times Union Center. The Saints took a 23-17 advantage into intermission as their defense was stout yet again in the first half—holding the Jaspers to a just 30-percent from the field in the opening stanza. Siena shot a blistering 56.5-percent from the floor in the final 20 minutes and used a 15-6 spurt midway through the second half to earn the win.

The Saints held Manhattan to 36.6-percent shooting and forced the Jaspers into 15 turnovers as their defense continued to puzzle opponents. Siena shot 46.9-perent from the field and held a 13-2 advantage in points off turnovers in the victory.

Tyler Reynolds led Manhattan with 12 points and four rebounds and was the only Jasper to score in double figures in the game.

Pickett was the lone Saint in double figures as he scored 18 points, on 8-of-14 from the floor, and grabbed five boards.

Siena looked to extend their win streak to four when they traveled to the Jersey Shore to battle with the Monmouth Hawks. The Saints were looking to avenge a 63-60 overtime loss to Monmouth on January 14th at home. Siena raced out to a 27-13 lead, but the Hawks used a 21-0 run to close the first half and open the second twenty minutes to take a 34-27 advantage. Sloan Seymour stopped the bleeding with a triple with 17:31 left in the contest. The Saints tied the game at 46 with 8:07 to go. Siena trailed 53-52 with 4:51 to play, but Monmouth closed the game on a 13-3 spurt to claim a 66-55 win.

The Hawks shot 47.6-percent from the field and held the Saints to a 36.4-percent clip. Monmouth outrebounded Siena 34-28 and forced the visitors into 14 turnovers.

Deion Hammond led the Hawks with 16 points and four rebounds in the win.

Seymour paced the Saints with 15 points on 5-of-12 shooting from beyond the arc. Fisher added 14 points and three boards, while Pickett finished with 11 points, four rebounds, and five assists in the losing effort.

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Times Union

Siena looked to get back above .500 in conference play when they traveled to New Rochelle, New York to square off against Iona in a clash between MAAC rivals in a Saturday matinee. The Saints took a 27-26 lead into halftime. After falling behind 46-39 with 9:05 remaining in the game, Siena rattled off a 15-0 run, capped off by a free throw by Manny Camper, to gain a 54-46 with 3:24 to go. The Gaels would not go away easily and pulled to within two as Ricky McGill converted a free throw with 15 ticks on the clock. McGill stole Fisher’s inbound pass, but Iona missed four consecutive shots and Siena held on for a 56-54 victory on the road.

The Saints shot 41.2-percent from the field and held the Gaels to 36-percent shooting. Siena also outrebounded Iona 34-32 to emerge victorious.

EJ Crawford tallied a game-high 19 points, on 6-of-11 from the floor, and four rebounds to pace the Gaels.

Pickett poured in all 17 of his points in the second half to lead the Saints. Fisher contributed with 12 points, on 5-of-11 shooting, and five rebounds in the win.

Siena is 10-12 overall, 5-4 in league play, and sits in a tie with Quinnipiac for fourth place in the MAAC. The Saints can taste a first round bye in the MAAC Tournament as they enter the first full week of February.

Player of the Week: Jalen Pickett

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Times Union

This week’s player of the week for Siena is Jalen Pickett. Pickett has emerged as the best freshman in the conference and has claimed the MAAC Rookie of the Week Award seven times this season, including each of the last five weeks. Over the past four games, he has averaged 16.5 points, on 50-percent shooting, 3.8 rebounds, and 3 assists per game. After being picked to finish last in the conference, the Saints are making noise near the top of the standings, and Pickett is a major reason why.

Up Next: Fairfield, Manhattan, and Rider

Siena concludes a stretch of three games in five days when they host Fairfield Monday night. Tip-off is set for 7pm. The Saints will look to sweep the season series from the Stags. Fairfield is now 7-16 on the season, 4-7 in the MAAC, and is coming off a 57-52 win at Marist on Saturday. The Stags are led by Landon Taliaferro who is averaging 12 points per contest.

Siena travels to Draddy Gymnasium to face Manhattan on Friday night. Tip-off is set for 7pm. The Saints will look to sweep the season series from the Jaspers. Manhattan is tied for seventh in the conference with Niagara with an overall record of 6-16 and 4-6 in the MAAC. The Jaspers are coming off a 64-50 victory over St. Peter’s on Saturday. Manhattan will host Rider before Siena comes into town. The Jaspers are led by Warren Williams who is averaging 8 points and 3.7 rebounds per game.

The Saints will travel to Lawrenceville, New Jersey for a meeting with the Rider Broncs next Sunday. Tip-off is set for 2pm. This will be the lone regular season meeting between the two schools this season. Rider stands atop the MAAC at 12-9 overall, 7-2 in the league, and is coming off a 75-71 loss at Monmouth on Saturday. The Broncs will play at Manhattan and home against Canisius before tipping off against Siena next Sunday. Rider is led by Frederick Scott who is averaging 12.1 points and 5.8 rebounds per contest.

The Sunday Saint (1/20)

Siena Splits Home Stand

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Siena College Athletics

The Siena Saints were two free throws away from a three game win streak, but settled with splitting a pair of contests at home last week against Monmouth and Niagara.

Siena looked to begin a win streak when they hosted Monmouth Monday night. The Hawks have had a down year thus far, but have really hit their stride in conference play. The Saints opened up a 20-10 lead, thanks to four early triples by Jalen Pickett. Monmouth closed the first half with a 12-0 run and took a 34-27 lead into intermission. The Hawks continued the run as they took a 41-29 lead with 17:04 left on a free throw by Ray Salnave. Siena responded and went on a 15-0 spurt of their own to earn a 44-41 advantage with 11:08 remaining. In a back-and-forth affair, Deion Hammond nailed a three to give Monmouth a 55-54 lead with 1:36 to go. Salnave connected on a pair of free throws to build a 57-54 advantage with 26.4 to play, but the Saints refused to go away. Sloan Seymour sent the game to overtime as he drilled a trey with 6.8 ticks on the clock. With Siena trailing the Hawks by one, 61-60, Evan Fisher stepped to the charity stripe with 8.5 seconds left in overtime with hopes of giving the Saints the lead. Fisher missed both free throws and Samuel Chaput put the game away with a two free throws at the other end to send Monmouth home with a 63-60 overtime win.

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The Daily Gazette

Hammond led the Hawks with 16 points, on 6-of-12 shooting, and three rebounds.

Kevin Degnan paced Siena with 17 points, on 5-of-7 from the field, and seven boards. Pickett stuffed the stat sheet for the Saints with 15 points, seven rebounds, six assists, three steals, and two blocks. Fisher finished with 12 points and four boards.

Siena looked to rebound from their heartbreaking loss to Monmouth when they took on the Niagara Purple Eagles on Thursday night at the Times Union Center. Niagara jumped out to an early 12-2 lead. The Saints outscored the Purple Eagles 29-12 the rest of the first half to take a 31-24 advantage into the break. Siena pulled away with a 14-2 run capped off by a jumper by Degnan to take a 55-35 lead with 7:06 remaining in the game. The Saints hung on to earn a 66-57 victory.

James Towns led Niagara with 21 points, on 8-of-13 from the floor, and four rebounds.

Pickett paced the Saints with 17 points, on 5-of-11 shooting, four boards, on seven assists. Fisher added 13 points, on 6-of-12 from the field, six rebounds, and three assists. Kadeem Smithen provided a spark off the bench for Siena as he tallied 13 points on 5-of-9 from the floor.

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Times Union

With the win, the Saints improved to 7-11 overall and 2-3 in the MAAC.

Player of the Week: Kadeem Smithen

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The Daily Gazette

Although Pickett and Fisher continue to be leaders for Siena on the court, this week’s player of the week for the Saints was Kadeem Smithen. The senior guard had yet to break out this year, but he came off the bench against Niagara and was just what the doctor ordered for first-year coach Jamion Christian. Smithen has always been a solid defender, but rarely gets it going offensively. Siena could use Smithen as a viable option off the bench as MAAC play continues.

Up Next: Fairfield and Manhattan

The Saints will travel to Bridgeport, Connecticut to take on the Fairfield Stags on Thursday night. Tip-off is set for 7pm. Fairfield is 5-14 on the season, 2-5 in conference, and are coming off a 73-68 loss to Canisius on Saturday. The Stags are led by Landon Taliaferro who is averaging 12.5 points per game. Last year, Fairfield swept the season series from Siena.

The Saints will return home on Saturday night when they square off against the Manhattan Jaspers. Tip-off is set for 7pm. Manhattan is 4-14 overall, 2-4 in the MAAC, and are coming off a 60-47 loss to Rider on Saturday. The Jaspers host Marist on Monday night before they travel to Albany to battle with Siena. Manhattan is led by Pauly Paulicap who is averaging 8.5 points and 3.9 rebounds per contest. Last season, the Jaspers swept the season series from the Saints.

The Sunday Saint (1/13)

Siena Takes Down Rival Marist

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The Daily Gazette

Siena traveled down I-87 to battle with arch rival Marist on Friday night in a MAAC matchup.

The Saints were looking for their first MAAC win under first year head coach Jamion Christian. With neither team shooting well in the first half, the score was tied at 22 at intermission. The contest featured 10 ties and 17 lead changes and was tightly contested until the Red Foxes opened up a 51-44 lead on a free throw by Isaiah Lamb with 8:08 remaining in the game. The Saints responded with a 22-8 run capped off by a triple by Sloan Seymour to build a 66-59 edge with 1:33 to go. Siena hung on and Coach Christian picked up his first MAAC win with a score of 71-66.

The Saints earned the victory from behind the arc where they converted on 45.5-percent of their attempts (10-of-22), compared to Marist who shot just 22.7-percent (5-of-22) from three.

Lamb led the Red Foxes with 13 points, on 5-of-8 shooting, and eight rebounds.

Evan Fisher paced Siena with 23 points, on 8-of-10 from the field, and four rebounds. Seymour finished with 12 points in the win.

With the victory, the Saints improved to 6-10 overall and 1-2 in the MAAC.

Player of the Week: Sloan Seymour

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Siena College Athletics

Although Evan Fisher has been playing at an All-MAAC level in conference play, this week’s player of the week for Siena is Sloan Seymour. In MAAC play, the freshman forward has been averaging 13 points per game on 46.4-percent shooting from three-point land. Continued efficiency from deep by Seymour is critical moving forward for the Saints as defenses will need to guard against his shot, which will open up the floor for Fisher and Jalen Pickett.

Up Next: Monmouth and Niagara

This week, Siena returns to the Times Union Center for a two-game home-stand with games against Monmouth and Niagara.

The Saints host the Monmouth Hawks on Monday at 7pm. Monmouth is 3-14 on the season, 2-2 in the MAAC, and is coming off a 65-49 win over Manhattan on Saturday. The Hawks are led by Ray Salnave who is averaging 12.4 points and 4.2 rebounds per game. Last year, Monmouth swept the season series, including a 93-89 win over the Saints in triple overtime at the Times Union Center.

Siena will square off against the Niagara Purple Eagles on Thursday night. Tip-off is set for 7pm. Niagara is 8-8 overall, 1-2 in the MAAC and is coming off a 95-90 win over Iona on Friday. The Purple Eagles will face Rider at home before traveling to Albany to duel with the Saints. Niagara is led by Marvin Prochet who is averaging 17.4 points and 8.6 rebounds per contest. Last season, the Purple Eagles emerged victorious in the lone meeting between the two schools, 84-76, in Albany.

The Sunday Saint (1/6)

Conference Play Tips-Off for the Saints

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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

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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.