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.

MAAC Tournament First Round: #10 Siena vs. #7 Quinnipiac

Siena’s Season Ended by Quinnipiac

khalil maac
The Daily Gazette

Siena lost to Quinnipiac, 67-58, in the first round of the MAAC Tournament.

The Bobcats connected on their first eight shots and jumped out to a 21-5 lead and took a 40-16 lead into halftime.

The Saints rallied back to cut the deficit to 63-55 with 1:29 left, but were unable to get any closer the rest of the way.

Quinnipiac shot 50% from the field, including 11-of-26 from three point range. Siena shot just 32.3% from the field and connected on only 4-of-20 of their attempts from distance. The Bobcats outrebounded the Saints 31-21.

Quinnipiac was led by Rich Kelly’s 18 points and 5 rebounds. Jacob Rigoni tallied 17 points, on five made threes, and grabbed 8 rebounds. Second Team All-MAAC selection, Cameron Young, recorded a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds.

Siena was led by Khalil Richard who scored 12 points. Jordan horn added 10 points and 5 rebounds. MAAC All-Rookie team selection, Prince Oduro, finished with 8 point and 4 rebounds.

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Times Union

Manny Camper and Christian Bentley poured in 7 points apiece of the bench, while starters Evan Fisher and Kadeem Smithen contributed 6 points each. Fished corralled 4 rebounds as well.

Jimmy Patsos commented on his team’s performance in the game and reflected on the season after the loss. “I underestimated the ability of guys that were role players to turn into stars,” Patsos said. “We lost four real players and I thought some guys could come from the fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth hole and step in. Not only did we not do that very well statistically and physically, I didn’t think we did that very well mentally. I did a bad job recruiting. That’s on me, but that’s not really fair because I don’t want to put that on the kids. Horn’s a really good shooter and Prince might be the best player in the league in two years. I could have coached better, clearly. This was the ship and we lost the four most important rowers and I didn’t value them enough. We didn’t even fill one or two of their spots with consistency, so that’s on me. Believe me, we’re going to get better, trust me. We’re going to have to figure out how to reward our great fans because our fans are amazing and they supported us.”

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sienasaints.com

With the loss the Saints completed their 2017-18 campaign 8-24, while Quinnipiac advanced to take on the 2-seed Canisius at 9:30pm on Friday.

Other MAAC Tournament Action:

St. Peter’s 60, Monmouth 58

Fairfield 71, Marist 57

 

Regular Season Finale: Siena at St. Peter’s & A Look Ahead to the MAAC Tournament

Siena Stumped by St. Peter’s

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Times Union

Siena closed out its 2017-18 regular season with a 65-48 loss at St. Peter’s on Sunday.

With the win, St. Peter’s secured the 9 seed in this year’s MAAC Tournament, while Siena settled for the 10 seed, as Marist lost 98-74 at Canisius on Sunday.

The Saints raced out to a 19-12 lead, but the Peacocks closed the half on a 14-3 run to take a 26-22 lead into the break.

Siena cut St. Peter’s lead to one, 28-27, with 16:18 to go on a jumper by Prince Oduro, but the Peacocks responded with a layup by Elijah Gonzales on the subsequent possession and the Saints would not get any closer the rest of the way.

St. Peter’s shot 51.1% from the field and 45.5% from three point range to overcome their 16 turnovers. Siena, on the other hand, shot just 32.7% from the floor and 33.3% from deep.

Cameron Jones led the Peacocks with 14 points and 4 rebounds off the bench, while Gonzales contributed a double-double with 10 points and 10 assists.

The Saints were led by Kadeem Smithen who scored 11 points, grabbed 4 rebounds, and came away with 5 steals. Oduro tallied 10 points. Ahsante Shivers finished with 8 points and 4 rebounds in the losing effort.

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sienasaints.com

Jimmy Patsos commented on his team’s performance in his postgame press conference. “We’re struggling to find someone who can shoot the ball right now,” Patsos said. “St. Peter’s is an excellent defensive team. There was five free throws in a row missed and you’re not gonna win at the MAAC level. It’s an energetic, passionate, hard league. Gonna have to get a lot tougher next week that’s for sure. It’s the MAAC Tournament or bust. It’s one game at a time now.”

Siena closed out the 2017-18 regular season with an 8-23 overall record and a 4-14 mark in the MAAC. St. Peter’s finished with a 12-17 overall record and went 6-12 in conference play.

The Saints will open the MAAC Tournament in Thursday’s first round at the Times Union Center in Albany for the first time since the 2014-15 season. Siena is the 10 seed and will take on the 7 seed Quinnipiac. Tip-off is set for 7pm. This will be the first meeting in the conference tournament between the two schools since Quinnipiac joined the MAAC in the 2013-14 season. The Bobcats swept the season series over the Saints winning 71-70 in Albany on New Year’s Day and 76-69 in Hamden, CT on January 21. Both teams have lost seven of their last eight games leading up to the MAAC Tournament. The winner will face the 2 seed Canisius, who shared the regular season MAAC Championship with Rider, at 9:30pm on Friday.

Here’s a look at the 2018 Men’s Basketball MAAC Tournament Bracket:

MAAC

Monmouth at Siena

Siena Falls Short in Triple Overtime Heartbreaker

Khalil Monmouth
nycbuckets.com

Siena lost 93-89 in triple overtime to the visiting Monmouth Hawks on Sunday afternoon at the Times Union Center.

Ahsante Shivers fouled Austin Tilghman with 3.1 seconds to go in the third overtime session and he converted two free throws to give the Hawks the lead for good. Tilghman was also fouled after Siena turned the ball over and pushed the margin of victory to four on two additional free throws.

Jordan Horn connected on a jumper to tie the game at 89 with 4.3 seconds left in triple overtime. Many thought the game was headed to a fourth overtime until Shivers was unaware of the score and fouled Tilghman.

In a back-and-forth affair, which featured 18 ties and 18 lead changes, Monmouth took a 36-34 lead into halftime. After Tilghman connected on a pair of free throws with one minute left, Thomas Huerter, Jr. sank a short jumper to tie the game at 66 and send the game to overtime.

Shivers put the Saints ahead with a layup with 30.1 seconds to go in the first overtime, but Ray Salnave responded and hit two free throws to tie the game at 74 with 6.1 seconds left, sending the game to a second overtime period.

Monmouth jumped out to an 85-80 lead with 25.8 seconds remaining in the second overtime. With that, many fans made their way to the exits, but the Saints were not done yet. Christian Bentley converted an old-fashioned three-point play and Horn buried two free throws to send the game to a third overtime tied at 85.

Tilghman led the Hawks with 24 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, and 4 steals in the victory.

Siena was led by Khalil Richard who scored 23 points off the bench before fouling out. Evan Fisher tallied 19 points and grabbed 5 rebounds. Horn poured in 14 points and corralled 4 rebounds. Shivers added 10 points and 6 rebounds.

Huerter, Jr. and Prince Oduro stuffed the stat sheet for the Saints before they both fouled out. Huerter, Jr. recorded 9 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals, while Oduro finished with 6 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 blocks.

Jimmy Patsos commented on his team’s performance in his postgame press conference. “This is Shivers’ 27th game of the year, it’s a three-overtime game and he played a lot last year,’” Patsos said. “That’s why I wanted to be very clear. I’ll take responsibility as the head coach. You can’t control everything. We just lost a hard basketball game. This thing is far from over because I saw a little more fight from my team that may have even surprised me.”

With the loss, Siena fell to 8-21 overall, 4-12 in the MAAC, while Monmouth improved to 10-18 on the season, 6-10 in conference play.

The Saints will return to action on Wednesday night when they host Fairfield for Senior Night at 7pm. Kadeem Smithen will be honored before the game. The Stags enter the contest at 12-15 overall and 7-9 in the MAAC. Fairfield is coming off a 102-98 double overtime win over Quinnipiac on Saturday. The Stags are led by MAAC Preseason Player of the Year, Tyler Nelson, who is averaging 21.9 points, 4 rebounds, and 3.3 assists per game. In the win over the Bobcats, Nelson became the all-time leading scorer in Fairfield’s program history. Siena will look to avenge an earlier loss to the Stags this season. Fairfield came away with a 78-65 win in Bridgeport, CT on February 5.

Siena at Rider

Siena Romped by Rider

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The Daily Gazette

Siena lost 97-71 to Rider on Thursday night. The Saints have now lost their last two road games (to the top two teams in the league) by a combined 50 points.

A layup by Tyere Marshall with 18:18 to go in the first half gave Rider a 5-4 lead—one they would not relinquish the rest of the way.

The Broncs shot 59.5% from the field in the opening stanza to take a 50-38 lead at the break. Rider cooled off and shot 54.8% from the floor in the second half to build their 26 point margin of victory.

Siena shot just 38.7% from the field, but continued to shoot well from distance as they connected on 10-of-23 (43.5%) of their attempts from beyond the arc.

The Saints were within one (39-38) in the battle on the boards against the MAAC’s leading rebounding team.

The Broncs used their relentless full court press and forced Siena into 18 turnovers.

Rider was led by Dimencio Vaughn who scored 19 points and grabbed 7 rebounds.

Siena was led by Jordan Horn’s 18 points and 4 rebounds. Kadeem Smithen and Evan Fisher tallied 10 points and corralled 4 rebounds apiece. Smithen also blocked four shots. Prince Oduro finished with 9 points and 8 rebounds. Sammy Friday added 7 points and 4 rebounds.

Jimmy Patsos commented on his team’s performance in his postgame press conference. “They [Rider] were ready for us,” Patsos said. “They’re really good. They’re physical. When it got away from us, we lost our focus in the defensive end.”

With the loss Siena fell to 8-20 overall, 4-11 in the MAAC, while Rider improved to 20-7 on the season and 13-2 in conference play.

The Saints will return home to take on the Monmouth Hawks on Sunday afternoon at 2. Iona enters the contest at 9-17 overall, 5-9 in the league. The Hawks are coming off a 73-57 win over St. Peter’s on Tuesday. Before making the trip to Albany, Monmouth will host Canisius on Friday. The Saints will look to avenge an earlier loss to the Hawks this season. Siena lost to Monmouth 67-56 on the Jersey shore on January 25.