Gaels Beat Siena From Deep


The Iona Gaels barraged Siena with a three-point shooting attack and despite a valiant second-half effort, the Saints fell 87-78, snapping a five-game winning streak at the Times Union Center.

Iona guards A.J. English and Sean Armand combined for 50 points, 32 in the first half, and a total of 11 3-pointers between them to punish Siena from the outside. English finished with a career-high 31 points (5-12 3pt. 12-15 FT) and Armand had 19 points, shooting 6-9 from three after going 0-6 combined in the two games last week.

In all, Iona made 15-30 shots from beyond the arc for their second straight win at the TUC after losing 11 of 12.

“They made shots,” said Siena coach Jimmy Patsos. “You give up 50% from the 3 you can blame the coach. It’s my fault. I’m the coach. When you give up 50% from the 3, at some point we have to take responsibility for that.”

The Gaels (8-7, 5-1) led for almost the entire first half as Siena struggled to find an answer for Armand and English. Their attack was reminiscent of when Armand hit 10 three-pointers against Siena as a sophomore in Iona’s 95-59 win in January of 2012 at Madison Square Garden. They led the Saints 50-40 going into the break.

“We’ve got to do better defensively in the first half,” said Siena’s Evan Hymes. “We gave up 50 points. We just have to not do that and we’ll be fine.”

Coming out of the locker room, the Saints responded and while still trailing by 10, 57-47 with 16:28 remaining, they went on a 17-4 run over the next 7 minutes to take a 66-62 lead (9:06) following a Ryan Oliver layup and 3-pointer. Iona had little answer for Siena’s ability to get to the rim and score as the Saints finished with 40 points in the paint to just 16 for the Gaels.

“Coach just came in and motivated us (at halftime),” Hymes said. “That’s one thing he definitely does well is motivate us. We came out and we responded. They just made some big plays down the stretch.”

The game suddenly changed however when 11 seconds later, Siena point guard Marquis Wright picked up a reaching foul, his fifth, to send him to the bench for the night.

The Saints (7-10, 3-3) struggled offensively the rest of the way without their floor general, turning the ball over three times down the stretch and shooting just 4-13 from the floor. Iona finished with a 25-12 run over that span to pull out the victory.

“It was a tough game,” Patsos said. “College basketball is all about emotion and energy and I thought they had better emotion and energy for 40 minutes.”

Hymes led Siena with a season-high 19 points along with 4 points and 4 assists. Rob Poole added 16 points and 4 boards and Maurice White had 12 points and 3 rebounds in 18 minutes. Wright had 9 points, 7 assists, 3 rebounds and 2 steals, and  Oliver had tied a career high with 9 points and a had a career-high 6 rebounds.

“It was a tough loss for us but we didn’t play hard for 40 minutes,” said Oliver. “They made a run. We made a run back but they answered and we couldn’t come through in the finish. We let one slip.”

“There is a lot of positive,” Patsos said. “We’re fighting. We’re 3 and 3. Everything’s fine. It’s just one of those we coulda had.”

Siena heads on the road on Thursday to take on preseason favorite Manhattan.

For more postgame comments, Click Here.

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  1. Mark

    January 13, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    Your articles have to stop moving every time your pictures move. It's impossible to read.

    • 4guysadmin

      January 14, 2014 at 9:57 pm

      Thanks for the comment. We've moved the photo gallery to the end of the post so it will no longer effect the text.

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