4GuysinBlazers

Game Preview: Siena vs. Cornell

men's 2014-15 team picture

 

Siena returns to action at the Times Union Center on Tuesday night to take on Cornell. Tip off is scheduled for 7 pm. It is the fifth meeting between the two teams with Siena leading the series, 3-1. In their meeting last season, Imoh Silas had 14 rebounds and a career-high 17 points including a put-back basket with 6.5 seconds to go, to help the Saints pull out a 71-70 comeback victory.

Siena enters the game with a record of 3-6 following a 76-66 loss at Radford on Friday. It was their third straight loss. The already short-handed Saints were without sophomore Patrick Cole who had been suspended indefinitely earlier in the day, as well as sophomore starter Lavon Long due to an ankle injury. Long remains doubtful for Tuesday night, leaving Siena with just eight available scholarship players.

The Saints have struggled as of late but hope to turn things around with a lot of basketball yet to be played, much as they did last season when they went on to win twenty games after starting the season 2-7. After playing 6 of their first 9 games on the road, 5 of the next 6 are at home.

Siena is led in scoring by senior Rob Poole, a preseason All-MAAC First team selection who is averaging 14.0 points per game. Poole has moved up to number 27 all-time in scoring (1,228) at Siena behind Antoine Jordan (1,232) and Mike Catino (1,238). Evan Hymes is number 32 (1,114) behind Tommy Mitchell (1,115).

Sophomore point guard Marquis Wright is having a solid second season as a Saint. He is second on the team in scoring, averaging 13.8 points. He leads the MAAC in assists (5.2) and assist/turnover ratio (2.6). He is second in the MAAC in steals averaging 2.0. Wright has moved up to number 19 all-time at Siena in assists with 246 in just 47 games. He is just behind Marcus Faison (257 in 119 games). Evan Hymes is currently number 13 (323 in 108 games) behind Kenny Hasbrouck (331 in 129 games).

Siena ranks second in the MAAC and 43rd nationally in scoring with an average of 74.9 points per game. They have steadily increased their scoring output over the last two seasons after averaging 69.3 last season and just 60.0 the year before.

Already thin in the front court minus Long as well as Imoh Silas and Brett Bisping due to injury, the Saints had another scare on Monday in practice when freshman forward Willem Brandwijk reportedly broke his nose and damaged his front teeth after hitting the floor in practice. Coach Patsos said on Monday night he is expected to play however on Tuesday.

The Saints are counting on continued improvement from sophomore big man Javion Ogunyemi who is coming off  a 10-point and 8 rebound performance vs. Radford. He is averaging 6.8 points and 3.1 rebounds so far this season after averaging 1.9 points and 1.8 boards as a freshman.

Siena will be celebrating their 2 millionth fan at the Times Union Center on Tuesday night. They are just 1,879 shy of reaching the milestone. The Saints have drawn 1,998,121 fans in their 302 games at the Times Union Center, an average of 6,616 per game. They hold a 204-98 (.675) all-time record at the TU Center and have ranked in the top-100 nationally in attendance each year since moving downtown full time in 1997-98.

Cornell enters the game with a record of 5-5 following a 74-61 loss to Radford on Sunday, the same team Siena lost to two days before. The Big Red finished last season with a record of 2-26 overall.

Cornell is led by 6-7 forward Shonn Miller, an All-Ivy  selection who leads the team in scoring (15.2), rebounding (7.5), steals (1.3) and blocks (1.8). He missed all of last season with a shoulder injury. Robert Hatter, a 6-2 sophomore guard, is second in scoring for the Big Red with 13.0 points per game. 6-2 senior guard Galal Cancer, a local product from nearby CBA who sat out last season, is also in double figures averaging 11.0 points.

 

Cornell 2014-2015 Results:

 November

14 at George Mason………………………………………..W, 68-60

16 at Loyola (MD)……………………………………………. L, 71-76

18 COLGATE…………………………………………W, 58-52

GILDAN CHARLESTON CLASSIC (Charleston, S.C.)

20  vs. South Carolina …………………………… L, 45-69

21  vs. Penn State ………………………………… L, 71-72

23  vs. Drexel ………………………………………. L, 59-61

26 CANISIUS………………………………………..W, 67-60

29 at Binghamton…………………………………………..W, 68-54

DECEMBER

6 UMASS-LOWELL………………………………..W, 71-60

21 at Radford…………………………………………..L, 74-61

 

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