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Game Preview: Siena Returns Home To Host St. Peter’s

2013-14 mens team picture

Siena returns home to the Times Union Center on Thursday night to face St. Peter’s. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. It is the 81st meeting between the two teams with St. Peter’s leading the series 43-37. The Peacocks have won 5 of the 6 last meetings over the last 3 seasons. The two teams split last season with St. Peter’s winning 72-62 at the Yantelli Center last time out after Siena won 66-53 at the TUC earlier that season. Prior to that, Siena won 8 straight in the series.

The Saints enter the game with a record of 7-12, 3-5 in the MAAC after dropping their last three, a pair of losses to Iona sandwiched around a loss at Manhattan. In their 88-74 loss to Iona on Sunday, Evan Hymes led Siena with a season-high 23 points. Lavon Long registered his first career double-double, 16 points, and a game-high 11 rebounds. Freshman point guard Marquis Wright added 12 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists.

Rob Poole leads the Saints in points (15.0) and rebounds (6.0). He has shot just 39% from the field and 30% (6-20) from three-point range the last five games. The rest of the team is shooting 47% (15-32) from three-point range over that span. Evan Hymes is second on the team in scoring (10.9). He has shot 50% from the field and 48% (11-23) from three-point range over the last 11 games.

Freshman point guard Marquis Wright was named MAAC Rookie of the Week for the second time on Monday, after averaging 11.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 6.5 assists in two road games at Manhattan and Iona.

With a win, Siena will equal its overall (8) and MAAC (4) win total from last season.

Siena has been out-rebounded just once in the last 15 games after being out-rebounded in three of their first four games. They are second in the MAAC in rebounding margin (+3.9).

Siena is averaging just 12.4 three-point attempts per game, the seventh fewest in the country. The 4.2 three-pointers Siena is making per game ties for the 14th fewest nationwide. Siena’s 78.4% two-point rate (percentage of points coming from two-point baskets) is the fifth highest in the country.

Poole who missed practice with a bruised hip on Tuesday, returned to practice on Wednesday and although listed as questionable, is expected to play on Thursday.

Siena announced on Wednesday that it is set to honor two of its most successful teams prior to the February 1 game against Quinnipiac. The 1989 NCAA Second Round (25th anniversary) and 1994 NIT semifinal (20th anniversary) teams will be recognized. Banners commemorating both teams will be unfurled from the rafters prior to tipoff.

St. Peter’s enters the game with an overall record of 7-10 after a 70-63 loss to Marist on Monday, breaking a three-game winning streak. They are currently tied with Siena with a 3-5 record in the MAAC.

The Peacocks lead the MAAC in scoring defense (68.4) and 3-point field goal defense (.324).

“They’re coached by John Dunne who’s one of the better coaches in the league,” said Siena assistant coach Greg Manning. “He spent some time here, one Jimmy’s good friends, we’ve known for a long time. Probably the best defensive team overall in the league. They rebound the ball well. They’ve always been known as a defensive team under Coach Dunne.”

The Peacocks are led by 6-7 R-Junior forward Marvin Dominique, a transfer from Fordham averaging 18.1 points and 9.2 rebounds per game. He has registered 8 double-doubles and 8 20-point performances this season. Dominique ranks second in the league in defensive rebounds (5.9), third in rebounding (9.2), third in offensive rebounds (3.3) and sixth in scoring (18.1).

“Marvin Dominique really adds some interesting parts to their team,” said Manning. “He is a guy they didn’t have last year, transfer from Fordham. He can do a little bit of everything. He can shoot the three. He’s good in the post, right and left-handed. So, we’ve got our hands full with him. Brett Bisping and Imoh are really going to have to defend him.”

R-Junior guard Desi Washington ranks second on the team in scoring (13.4). He has scored in double figures in three straight and in nine of his last 10 games.

“Dezi Washington is a really good guard that plays the two guard spot off the ball. He can score in a variety of ways,” Manning said.

Freshman guard Trevis Wyche who averages 8.6 points per game, has posted double figures in four-straight games and seven of the last eight..

“They’re a really good team,” Manning said. “We’re looking forward to playing them. It’s our first time seeing them so we’re excited. Anytime we have a home game we feel we have the advantage. I think we only lost one MAAC game this year at home so we expect to win this game Thursday.”

 

St Peter’s 2013-14 Results:

November

9 at LIU Brooklyn L, 80-87

12 Hampton L, 59-64

17 at Kent State L, 58-75

23 at Fairleigh Dickinson W, 67-63

26 Binghamton W, 70-57

30 at Boston University L, 65-66

December

6 at Canisius * L, 67-82

8 at Niagara * L, 57-61

14 at Seton Hall W, 83-80 ot

22 at Hartford L, 56-66

28 Cornell W, 67-59

January

2 Manhattan * L, 62-74

4 Canisius * L, 63-67

8 at Fairfield * W, 56-55

12 Quinnipiac * W, 74-67

16 at Rider * W, 77-69

20 at Marist * L, 63-70

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