Brookins Beats Griffins at the Buzzer

11 game losing streak… OVER

6 game home losing streak… OVER

5 MAAC winless streak… OVER

In the blink of an eye, Rakeem Brookins managed to erase all of the above losing streaks and for one special night send the Saints faithful home smiling. Brookins last second shot narrowly beat the buzzer and propelled the Saints past Canisius, 57-54, to send the Saints to their first home victory since February 26 of last year.

The Saints entered the evening desperate for a win. Entering a game against a rejuvenated Canisius squad, the Saints found themselves without one of their top offensive weapons, Rob Poole who was out of action due to the flu.  For a team that has struggled all season this certainly seemed like a crushing blow, thankfully Evan Hymes and Rakeem Brookins had other plans.

In a display that was reminiscent of the Evan Hymes of last season, the Saints point guard erupted for 20 points on 8-12 shooting. Hymes was forced to miss the final minutes of the first half and first 10 minutes of the second after suffering an eye injury. Always the gamer, Hymes reentered the game with the Saints down 10 and helped lead a rally to setup the dramatic finish.

Following a missed three by Billy Baron, Ryan Oliver connected on a pass with Rakeem Brookins who raced towards the Siena bench in anticipation of a time out. Saints Head Coach Mitch Buonaguro frantically waved on Brookins, who turned towards the basket and fired a three with fractions of seconds remaining on the clock. The shot fell, sending the Times Union Center crowd into a frenzy. Brookins had 13 points on the evening.

In a rare turn of events, the Saints outshot Canisius 41%-39% and held the Golden Griffins offense to a mere 20 points in the second half. The Saints also were able to hold down their turnovers, committing 11 to Canisius’ 14.

With the absence of Poole, and continued suspension of Trenity Burdine, all 4 Siena freshman saw action tonight. Ryan Oliver, who looked more comfortable as the game wore on, played 36 minutes while contributing 6 points and 5 rebounds. Brett Bisping  hit a big three in the Saints rally, while Rich Audu started and scored 2 points in 16 minutes.

The win was much needed for a Saints team and to occur in such dramatic fashion was icing on the cake. The joy on the players, and coaches faces could not be missed, and the crowd enjoyed every moment of it.

The Saints are now 3-13 on the season and will look to build momentum and put together a win streak when they face St Peter’s this Sunday at 2 pm at the Times Union Center.

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