The Sunday Saint (3/10)

MAAC Tournament Recap: Siena

kdru
Siena College Athletics

Siena entered the MAAC Tournament as the five-seed and took on fourth-seeded Rider in the quarterfinals on Saturday night. The Saints raced out to a 19-12 lead following a jumper by Jalen Pickett with 11:42 left in the first half. With the score knotted at 27, Frederick Scott’s layup gave the Broncs a two point advantage. Sloan Seymour knocked down a three-pointer to give Siena a 30-29 lead entering the break. The second stanza was a back-and-forth affair, but the Saints used a decisive 13-1 run, capped off by a layup by Kevin Degnan, to take a 77-66 advantage with 1:27 to go. Siena sunk their foul shots down the stretch and hung on to win 87-81.

Siena scored a season-high 57 points in the second half and shot a blistering 81-percent from the field in the final twenty minutes. Rider held a 44-22 edge in points in the paint and 27-3 on second chance points, but the Saints outscored the Broncs 36-21 from three-point range. For the game, Siena shot 65.1-percent from the floor and held Rider to 46.3-percent shooting. The Saints connected on 12-of-21 of their attempts from deep, while the Broncs converted on just 7-of-23 of their shots from deep.

Rider was led by their big man, Tyere Marshall, who scored 22 points, on 10-of-15 from the field, eight rebounds, and two blocks.

Siena’s balanced attack was paced by Evan Fisher’s 22 points, on 7-of-11 from the floor, and six rebounds. Pickett tallied 20 points, dished out six assists, blocked four shots, and came away with two steals. Seymour dropped career-highs of 18 points and six made threes. Degnan added 13 points and seven rebounds, while Kadeem Smithen chipped in with 11 points, three assists, and two steals off the bench.

jpru
Times Union

Pickett recorded his 65th steal of his freshman campaign, which broke Marquis Wright’s freshman record set during the 2013-14 season.

Siena faced top-seeded and defending MAAC Tournament Champion Iona in the semifinals. The Gaels jumped out to an early 7-0 lead following a layup by Ben Perez with 18:20 remaining in the opening stanza. Smithen connected on back-to-back threes to pull the Saints within one, 7-6, with 16:50 to play before intermission. Iona led by as many as 16 in the first half, but Rickey McGill’s buzzer beater gave the Gaels a 35-22 advantage at the break. Siena never trailed by less than double-digits over the course of the final twenty minutes and Iona ended the Saints’ season, handing them a 73-57 defeat.

For the fourth time in the last five years, Iona defeated Siena in the MAAC Tournament.

Iona, being the one-seed, had an extra day of rest between the quarterfinals and the semifinals. The Gaels looked well-rested, while Siena came out noticeably flat. Iona shot 49.1-percent from the field, including 9-0f-20 from three. The Gaels held the Saints to 37.3-percent from the floor. Siena converted on just       8-of-28 of their attempts from deep.

Iona was led by Asante Gist who finished with 22 points on 7-of-13 shooting.

Pickett and Fisher led the Saints scoring 15 points apiece. Pickett pulled down seven rebounds and dished out eight assists, while Fisher grabbed five rebounds and blocked two shots. Fisher was ejected after picking up his second technical foul with 2:48 to go. The senior left the Times Union Center for the final time and waived to the crowd as the student section chanted his name.

ef

Siena closed out their first season under head coach Jamion Christian with a record of 17-16, a nine-win improvement from last year’s disaster under former head coach Jimmy Patsos. In the season-ending loss to Iona, the Saints set the single-season record for three-pointers made in program history with 284.

Next year, the Saints will be without the services of seniors Kevin Degnan, Kadeem Smithen, Braedon Bayer, Paulo Morastoni, and Second Team All-MAAC selection Evan Fisher.

Two key returners to next season’s team are MAAC Rookie of the Year and First Team All-MAAC performer, Jalen Pickett, and MAAC Rookie Team Selection Sloan Seymour.

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.

prince maac
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.”

horn maac
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

kadeem st. peter's
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.

prince
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