Game Preview: Siena at Niagara

men's 2014-15 team picture

Siena completes their annual western NY road trip on Sunday as they take on the Purple Eagles of Niagara. Tip off at the Gallagher Center is scheduled for 2 pm. This is the 93rd meeting all-time between the two teams with the series even at 46 games apiece. In their most recent meeting on Jan. 8, Siena came out on fire grabbing a 19-0 lead.  Evan Hymes scored a season-high 21 points on 9-10 shooting and the saints came away with a 79-69 victory.

Siena enters the game with a record of 6-10 overall, 3-4 following an 83-49 loss to Canisius on Friday night, their worst loss in over three years. Already short-handed, the Saints were playing without leading scorer Rob Poole (ankle) and leading rebounder Lavon Long (toe), leaving them with just seven available scholarship players. They along with Brett Bisping and Imoh Silas, who are both also out due to injuries, all started at least 30 games for Siena last season. No official word on either Long or Poole’s status was available as of Saturday night.

Friday night’s game had plenty of lows for the Saints. Their 49 points scored was the lowest they have scored in 67 games, a 76-44 loss at Canisius in Jan. 2013. They had  a season-low 6 assists, shot a season-low 29% from the field and a season-low 20% from three-point range. Their season-high for the game was not a good thing, 22 turnovers.

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).

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). He needs to average just 9.5 points over Siena’s the next 14 games to rank in the top 10 all-time scoring list at Siena.

Niagara enters the game with a record of 3-13 overall and 2-5 in the MAAC following a heart-breaking 79-78 loss to Iona on Friday night. After trailing by as many as 16 points, Ramone Snowden put the Purple Eagles in the lead twice on 3-pointers under 31 seconds remaining. Niagara led by one point an were whistled for a controversial foul with 2 seconds left. Iona sank two free throws to escape with the win.

NU had season-highs 79 points and 42 rebounds while shooting a season-best 77.8 percent from the free-throw line against Iona.

Niagara is led in scoring and rebounding by Ramone Snowden, a 6-6 sophomore forward averaging 11.0 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. Wesley Myers, a 6-2 sophomore guard is averaging 10.9 points and Emile Blackman, a 6-4 R-sophomore guard, rounds out the Purple Eagles averaging in double figures with 10.1 points per contest.

Myers has scored in double figures in nine of the last 11 games.

Snowden is one of six players in the nation to lead his team in points (11.6 ppg), rebounds (6.3 rpg), blocks (eight) and assists (42). He is averaging 15.3 ppg, 4.5 rpg and 2.5 apg while shooting 47.6 percent from the field and 40 percent from behind the arc in the last four games.


Niagara 2014-2015 Results:



Fri. 14 at Pitt# L, 78-45

Thurs. 20 at Saint Peter’s* W, 61-59

SAT. 22 Hartford L, 65-62

Sat. 29 St. Bonaventure L, 74-59


Tue. 2 at St. John’s^ L, 70-57

SAT. 6 CANISIUS* L, 77-64

Sat. 13 at Davidson L, 78-58

Fri. 19 at Buffalo# L, 88-62


TUE. 30 ALBANY$ W, 65-47


FRI. 2 MANHATTAN*$ W, 73-61

SUN. 4 MONMOUTH* L, 66-50

Thur. 8 at Siena*$ L, 79-69

Sat. 10 at Manhattan* L, 84-75

TUE. 13 PENN L, 67-56

FRI. 16 IONA*# L, 80-79









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