Game Preview: Siena Hosts Manhattan In Gold Rush Game

team huddle at purdue

Siena returns to the Times Union Center Friday night to take on Manhattan in the annual Gold Rush Game. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 pm. As of Thursday afternoon, over 6,700 tickets had been sold in what will be the second largest crowd of the season. The first 5,000 fans in attendance will receive a gold pom-pom to cheer on the Saints. The game will be shown live on ESPN3.

This is the 89th meeting between the two teams with Manhattan leading the series 49-39, however Siena has won the last nine straight over the Jaspers at the Times Union Center.

In their last meeting a month ago, despite playing without leading scorer George Beamon, Manhattan didn’t miss a beat as they cruised past Siena 90-68 at Draddy Gymnasium. Fouls (30) and turnovers (23) were the Saints’ downfall as the Jaspers outscored them 32-18 from the free throw line and scored 39 points off of Siena turnovers.

For Siena Rob Poole had 13 points and 11 rebounds, Ryan Oliver scored 11 points along with 5 rebounds, Marquis Wright finished with 11 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists. Senior Michael Alvarado led Manhattan with 21 points, 7 assists and 5 steals. Shane Richards added 15 points with four three-pointers, Rhamel Brown had 13 and Donovan Kates came off the bench to score 10.

“We’ve got to do better,” said Siena coach Jimmy Patsos. “They beat us down there pretty handily. I’m excited to play on our home-court in front of our fans against a team picked first (preseason).”

With four games remaining, Siena (7-9) is two games out of fifth place behind Rider (9-7) who faces Iona on Friday night. The Saints are just a half a game behind Marist (8-9) who lost to St. Peter’s on Thursday. If the Saints win at Rider on Sunday, they would hold a tie-breaker over the Broncs and a potential three-way tie-breaker over Marist and Rider.

Evan Hymes is just 9 points away and Rob Poole 41 points shy of reaching the 1,000 point career mark. Hymes (145) and Poole (141) rank 11th and 12th all-time at Siena in three-pointers made.

Marquis Wright is averaging 11.7 points, 5.2 assists and 4.6 rebounds over the last 10 games while shooting 49% from the field. He has averaged 15 points and 7 assists in the last two games.

Brett Bisping has reached double figures in the last five games and is averaging 14.5 points and 6.3 rebounds while shooting 61% from the field in the last eight games for the Saints.

Lavon Long has averaged 10.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.1 blocks the last 9 games. He has shot 80% (40-50) from the FT line the last 10 games.

The Saints will be looking for their first win over a top four MAAC team in front of a home crowd at the TUC where they are 8-4 this season. Poole is averaging 17.2 points per game at home.

Siena is 9th in the country in most fouls per game (23.3) while Manhattan leads the nation with 25.5 per game.

Manhattan enters the game with a record of 20-6 overall and 13-4 in the MAAC. They have won their last six games and sit tied for 2nd place with Quinnipiac. They are led by fifth-year senior Beamon who is 3rd in the MAAC in scoring averaging 20.0 per game. Alvarado averages 12.8 points and big man Brown adds 9.6 points, 5.7 rebounds and a MAAC-leading 3.7 blocks (2nd nationally).

“It will be an up-and-down entertaining game. Once again we’re looking to play hard have fun and provide entertainment for the whole Siena community. I’m really happy we’re home Friday night against a really good team. I would come out and watch it.”


Manhattan 2013-2014 Results:


9 at La Salle W, 99-90 (2OT)

12 at Columbia W, 71-70


20 at Illinois State W, 79-70

26 FORDHAM L, 79-75

30 at Hofstra W, 66-59


6 at Marist* W, 70-59

8 MONMOUTH* W, 75-66

15 at UNC Wilmington W, 77-72

17 at South Carolina W, 86-68

21 vs. Buffalo^ W, 84-81 (OT)


2 at Saint Peter’s* W, 74-62

4 FAIRFIELD* W, 83-57

9 at Quinnipiac* (SNY) L, 81-76

12 MARIST* W, 86-79 (OT)

16 SIENA* W, 90-68

18 at Fairfield* (SNY) L, 71-67

24 RIDER* (ESPNU) W, 67-51

26 QUINNIPIAC* L, 90-86 (OT)

31 at Iona* (ESPNU) L, 85-73


4 SAINT PETER’S* W, 64-49

7 at Canisius* (ESPNU) W, 84-73

9 at Niagara* W, 78-77

13 at Rider* W, 86-69

16 NIAGARA* W, 90-72

19 at Monmouth* W, 75-61

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