Game Preview: Siena at Canisius

men's 2014-15 team picture

Siena heads on the road on Friday night to face the Golden Griffins of Canisius in the first game of the annual western NY road trip.. Tip off at the Koessler Center is scheduled for 7 pm. It is the 93rd meeting all-time between the two teams with Siena leading the series, 54-41. In the Division I era, Siena leads the series, 51-28.  Canisius beat Siena three times last season winning both regular season matchups and beating the Saints again, 71-65 in the MAAC Tournament quarterfinals.

Siena Head Coach Jimmy Patsos is 1 win shy of 100 MAAC coaching victories. That’s the second most in league history (former Niagara coach Joe Mihalich 166).

The Saints enter the game with an overall record of 6-9 and a MAAC record of 3-3 following a 79-67 loss to Fairfield on Sunday. They are 3-2 in their last five games. The Saints have held a second half lead in all 6 MAAC games this season and in the last five games overall.

Senior Rob Poole leads Siena in scoring, averaging 14.8 points per game (6th in MAAC). Poole has averaged 18 points and shot 44% (11-25) from beyond the three-point arc in the last five games. He had shot just 33% FG and 26% 3-pt. over the first 10 games. Poole is second in the MAAC in free throw percentage (84.2%). Poole is now 18th on the career scoring list at Siena (1,324) behind Steve McCoy ’89 (1,334) and ranks 9th all time at Siena in three-pointers made (183) behind Kenny Hasbrouck (185).

Senior Evan Hymes scored a season-high 21 points in the win over Niagara on Thursday. He has now reached double figures in five of the last six games averaging 13.8 points and shooting 52% from the field during that span. He is now averaging 9.3 points per game on the season but just 4.7 points per road game. Hymes now ranks 29th all-time in scoring at Siena with 1,197 career points behind Kevin McGraw ’82 (1,217). Hymes now stands at 12th all-time in three-pointers made at Siena (167) just behind Jim Secretarski (169). He is also 12th in assists at Siena (332) behind Prosper Karangwa (343).

Sophomore Marquis Wright is 2nd on the team in scoring (12.8, 13th in MAAC) and continues to lead the MAAC (23rd nationally) in assists with 5.8 per game, as well as assist/turnover ratio (2.7). He is now 15th all-time in assists at Siena with 286 (52 games) behind Antoine Jordan (291, 115 games). Wright is 2nd in the MAAC with 2.1 steals per game. He is shooting 46% (13th in MAAC) from the field after shooting 42% his freshman year.

Sophomore Lavon Long is third on the team in scoring averaging 11.3 points and leads the team in rebounds, averaging 5.3 per game. After missing three games due to a sprained ankle, Long has averaged 14 points and shot 55% from the field in the four games since his return.

Sophomore Javion Ogunyemi has averaged 10.3 points and 5.7 rebounds over the last 7 games. He is averaging 8.2 points on the season and ranks second in the MAAC in field goal percentage (56%). he averaged just 1.9 points and 1.8 rebounds as a freshman.

5 for 5: Five Siena players have averaged in double figures over the last five games, Poole (16.0), Long (14.0), Wright (11.3), Hymes (13.8) and Javion Ogunyemi (10.3).

Opponents are shooting 47% from the field and 38.4% from three-point range against Siena this season, the highest such percentages allowed by the Saints since the 1989-1990 season. Opponents shot just 41.4% FG and 33% 3-pt. last season.

Siena ranks 2nd in the MAAC in scoring and 54th nationally, averaging 72.7 points per game after averaging 69.3 and 60.0 over the last two seasons.

The Saints have allowed 75.5 points per game placing them 10th in the MAAC and 325th nationally out of 351 Division I schools.

Canisius enters the game with a record of 8-7 overall and 3-3 in the MAAC following a 79-76 loss at Iona last Saturday. They have lost 3 of their last four games.

The Golden Griffins are led by Zach Lewis, a 6-3 sophomore guard who is averaging 14.3 points per game. Phil Valenti, a 6-7 sophomore forward averages 9.5 points and 5.1 rebounds.

Canisius is averaging 63.8 points per game (6th in MAAC). They averaged 78.3 points per game (28th nationally) last season. Their 62.3 points allowed scoring defense ranks second in the MAAC, while Siena’s 75.7 is 10th in the MAAC.

The Griffs average 7.1 3-point field goals made per game (T- 2nd  in MAAC). They attempted 35 three pointers in their loss against Monmouth, making 11.


Canisius 2014-2015 Results:


15 VERMONT  W, 64-60

18 at Lehigh  W, 63-51

22 at St. Bonaventure  L, 59-53

26 at Cornell  L, 67-60

29 BUFFALO  L, 72-57


3 at Saint Peter’s  W, 60-57

6 at Niagara  W, 77-64

13 at UMass A10  L, 75-58

18 STONY BROOK  W, 60-59 (OT)

21 HOLY CROSS  W, 67-48

30 UMKC  W, 67-55


2 MONMOUTH  L, 73-68

4 MANHATTAN  L, 63-60

8 at Marist  W, 67-52

10 at Iona  L, 79-76

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