Game Preview: Siena at Quinnipiac

men's 2014-15 team picture

Siena heads on the road Friday night to face Quinnipiac in the second to last game of the regular season, Tip off at the TD Bank Sports Center for the game to be televised on ESPNU is scheduled for a special 6 pm start time. This is the 6th meeting all-time between the two teams with the Saints leading the series 4-1.

The two teams met for the first time this season on Dec. 5th in their MAAC opener. Marquis Wright led five Siena players in double figures on the way to a convincing, 88-69 win at the Times Union Center. Zaid Hearst led Quinnipiac with 15 points and Kasim Chandler added 14. The game marked a major loss for Siena as Brett Bisping suffered a dislocated toe which required surgery that ended the junior forward’s season.

Siena enters the game with a record of 10-17 overall and 7-11 in the MAAC placing them in a tie for seventh place with St. Peter’s. The Saints have lost seven of their last nine games and currently stand one game behind Quinnipiac in the standings.

Rob Poole leads the Saints averaging 14.6 points per game (9th in MAAC). He currently ranks 10th on the Siena all-time scoring list with 1,467 points having passed Siena great Ryan Rossiter ’11. Poole is 5th all-time in three-pointers made at Siena with 212 behind Marc Brown (224) and is just one of 5 active players in Division I with 500 rebounds, 200 three-pointers, 200 assists and 100 steals.

Evan Hymes is currently 23rd on the Siena career scoring list with 1,287 points. He is just 1 point behind Corey Osinski ’00 in 22nd place with 1,288 and 3 points behind Bruce Schroeder ’92 (21st, 1,290). Hymes is  9th all-time  in assists with 354 and 11th all-time in three-pointers at Siena with 175 behind Jeff Robinson (10th, 178). He is one of 8 players in Siena history to score 1,200 points and hand out 300 assists. Hymes needs 13 points to become the fifth Siena player to score 1,300 points and tally 300 assists joining Marc Brown, Doremus Bennerman, Kenny Hasbrouck and Scott Knapp.

Together Poole and Hymes are the seventh highest scoring pair of classmates in Siena history with a combined 2,754 points. They are behind Alex Franklin and Ronald Moore in 6th place with 2.800.

Marquis Wright is 2nd in the MAAC in assists with 5.0 per game and 3rd in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.9). Just a sophomore he ranks 13th on the Siena career assist list with 329 behind Prosper Karangwa in 12th place with 343. Wright is second on the team in scoring with 12.8 points per game.

Lavon Long is third on the team in scoring averaging 10.9 points and leads the team in rebounding, pulling down 5.0 boards per game.

Sophomore big man Javion Ogunyemi continues to emerge for the Saints averaging 9.5 points and 4.7 rebounds per game. He has averaged a team best 13.2 points while shooting 72% from the field over the last 5 games. Ogunyemi scored a career-high 18 points while shooting 8-9 from the field on Saturday vs. Manhattan and currently ranks 2nd in the MAAC in FG percentage shooting 55.6%.

The three-point line has been a nemesis for the Saints all season on both ends of the floor. Their 132 total made three-point shots made ranks last in the MAAC. On the defensive end, opponents are shooting 37.7% from distance which is the highest percentage allowed in the conference.

Quinnipiac enters the game with a record of 14-13 overall and 8-10 in the MAAC, one game ahead of the Saints in 6th place.

Quinnipiac leads the nation in total rebounding (44.9), defensive rebounding (28.9) and rebounding margin (12.1), and ranks second in offensive rebounding (16.0). They have not been out-rebounded by an opponent in any game this season. Quinnipiac boasts three of the league’s top 11 rebounders – Ousmane Drame (10.6, 1st in MAAC-9th nationally), Justin Harris (6.4) and Zaid Hearst (6.2)

Hearst is averaging 18.2 points per game and shooting  43.4% from the field. He ranks fourth in the MAAC and 41st nationally in scoring.

“Stop the drive really,” said Long on the key to defending Hearst. “He’s gonna go to the basket hard. Cut off his right and make him pull up. He attacks the boards.”

Drame a 6-9 senior forward averages 14.7 points coming off the bench.

The Bobcats lead the MAAC and rank fifth in the nation in free-throw shooting percentage (.771).

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