Franciscan Cup Game Preview: Siena At St. Bonaventure

franciscan cup

Siena heads on the road Wednesday night to take on St. Bonaventure in the 5th annual Franciscan Cup game. Tip off at the Reilly Center is scheduled for 7 pm. The Saints will be looking to hold on to the cup they won for the first time last season after losing the first three times the cup was at stake. Overall it is the 36th meeting between the two teams with the Bonnies leading the series, 27-7. The Saints won the matchup last year 72-70 on a last second lay in by Marquis Wright at the Times Union Center.

Siena enters the game with a record of 0-2 following a 95-87 loss at UMass in the season-opener on Friday and a 84-76 loss at home to Vermont on Monday. After a solid showing in the season-opener at UMass, in a game that went down to the wire, the Saints will be looking to rebound from a somewhat disappointing performance in the home-opener. They struggled defensively giving up too many easy shots, allowing the Catamounts to shoot 68.4%, the highest shooting percentage ever at the Times Union Center.

The Saints are led by senior Rob Poole, an All-MAAC First Team selection who is averaging 20.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. His 12-12 FT shooting performance on Monday tied with Tommy Mitchell (12-12 in 2003) for second best FT shooting performance  in TUC history.

Despite the 0-2 start, Poole describes the mood of the team in looking  forward to the game against St. Bonaventure.

“We’re doing good,” said Poole. “We’re doing nice. We lost a couple games but it’s early in the season. We’ve just gotta come back and play hard. Just try to get a win.”

“It’s a lot of fun,” said Poole of playing at the Reilly Center. “The students go crazy. It’s in the middle of nowhere so I feel like this is their fun time of the week to go out and watch a game. They yell and scream. It’s a lot of fun.”

Ryan Oliver has been a key for Siena in their first two games, shooting 89% (8-9) from the field and 86% (6-7) on three-pointers.

Sophomore point guard Marquis Wright who has not been at his best over the first two games spoke about his role heading into the next game.

“It’s tough but we just have to look past those two games,” said Wright. “I feel like we all have to buy in as a team and want to win more. I have to be more of a leader and pick my team up when things are not going right and just bring more energy. I have to be the one to do that.”

“Everybody has to listen and focus and not get in your head, just play,” said Wright on how the Saints can rebound from the 0-2 start. “Bounce back hard. We’ve got to come in this game really wanting to win. From the jump we’ve gotta bring energy, intensity and play together as a group.”

St Bonaventure enters the game with a record of 1-0 following a 77-57 season-opening win against Dartmouth. Five players score in double figures led by newcomers Marcus Posley and Jaylen Adams, who scored 16 points each. Junior forward Dion Wright added 14 points and seven rebounds. Freshman Jalen Adams came off the bench to score 11 points, and senior  Andell Cumberbatch added a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

The Bonnies played without senior center 7-0 Youssou Ndoye, who sat out the game because he played in an impermissible summer league game. Ndoye will return for Wednesday’s game vs. Siena.

For a breakdown of the game from the Bonnies side check out our Q and A With Bona Blog’s Ian Nolan Previewing Siena At St. Bonaventure.








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