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Game Preview: Siena At Rider

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Siena heads to Lawrenceville, NJ on Sunday to take on Rider in their second MAAC contest of the season. Tip off at Alumni Gymnasium is scheduled for 2 pm. It is the 42nd meeting between the two teams with Siena leading the series, 27-14. Siena swept their two games against the Broncs last season.

Siena enters the game with a record of 3-3 overall, 1-0 in the MAAC following a decisive 88-67 win over Quinnipiac on Friday night. The Saints placed five players in double figures for the third time in the last five games. Their 21-point Siena win was its largest margin of victory since Feb. 28, 2010 when they beat Marist 76-51 in the last regular-season game Fran McCaffery coached at Siena.

Siena has had eight or fewer turnovers in each of their last four games, the longest stretch of doing so since turning Division I in 1976-77. Siena’s 10 turnovers per game so far this season ties them for the 12th fewest nationally.

Siena and Iona are tied for seventh nationally with 17.8 assists per game and only Siena and Duke rank in the top-15 in assists per game AND fewest turnovers per game.

Sophomore point guard, Marquis Wright has risen his game to a new level and he now leads Siena in scoring averaging 14.7 points per game (9th in the MAAC) . His 35 assists (5.8apg.) on just 9 turnovers gives him a 3.9 assist-to-turnover ratio, tops in the MAAC. Wright is shooting 50% (31-62) from the field and 63% (5-8) from 3-point range. He averaged 3.1 turnovers as a freshman, but is averaging just 1.5 so far this year.

Three other players average in double figures for Siena. Rob Poole is just behind Wright with 14.3 points per game. Lavon Long and Ryan Oliver are each averaging 10.2. Long leads the team in rebounding with 6.3 per game. Oliver leads the MAAC in three-point % (56%) and is second in field goal % (60%).

The Saints continue to progress offensively ranking second in the MAAC and 29th nationally with 78.7 points per game.  They averaged 69.3 points per game last season and just 60.0 points per game in 2012-13.

The Saints will be without junior forward Brett Bisping who left Friday’s game with a dislocated toe. A timetable for his return to the lineup is uncertain but he is out for Sunday’s game.

Rider enters the game with a record of 3-5 following a 69-56 win over Central Connecticut State on Wednesday. Sunday’s matchup with Siena will be the MAAC opener for the Broncs. With an overall record of  14-17, 9-11 in the MAAC, they finished in a tie for 8th place last year. They were picked to finish 7th in the 2014-2015 MAAC Preseason Coaches’ Poll.

The Broncs have been led by 7-0 senior center Matt Lopez, who at 11.1 points per game is the only Rider player averaging in double figures. He is averaging over 15 points and 5.5 rebounds per game over the last four games. Teddy Okereafor, a 6-4 junior guard and Zedric Sadler, a 6-2 sophomore guard coming off the bench, each average 9.3 points per game.

Rider is second in the MAAC at 10.9 turnovers per game. The Broncs have won 167 of their last 236 games in Alumni Gymnasium (.711), finishing 9-5 at home in 2012-13.

 

Rider 2014-2015 Results:

Fri. 11/14 at Princeton L 58-64

Tue. 11/18 at Pennsylvania W 73-57

Fri. 11/21 LEHIGH W 78-74

Mon. 11/24 at Kansas  L 60-87

Thur. 11/27 Michigan State in Orlando  L 45-77

Fri. 11/28 Georgia Tech in Orlando  L 54-61

Sun. 11/30 Santa Clara in Orlando  L 60-68

Wed. 12/3 CENTRAL CONNECTICUT ST. W 69-56

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