Game Preview: Siena vs. Fairfield

men's 2014-15 team picture

Siena returns to the Times Union Center on Sunday afternoon to face the Stags of Fairfield in a MAAC Conference matchup. Tip off is scheduled for 2 pm. It is the 64th meeting all-time between the two teams with Siena leading the series, 34-29. In the Division I era, Siena leads the series, 34-27. In their most recent meeting just 9 days before this matchup, Javion Ogunyemi scored a career-high 15 points to lead the Saints to a 68-57 win on the road at Bridgeport. Siena swept the series with the Stags last season.

Siena Head Coach Jimmy Patsos is 1 win shy of 100 MAAC coaching victories. That’s the second most in league history (former Niagara coach Joe Mihalich 166).

The Saints enter the game with an overall record of 6-8 and a MAAC record of 3-2 following a 79-69 win over Niagara on Thursday. It was their third win in the last four games. Over that span the Saints have shot 49% from the field over all and 54% on two-point field goal attempts.

This is the third MAAC Sunday in a row that the Saints have played with less rest than their opponent. They have five occurrences over their MAAC schedule this season where they will play with less rest than their opponent, which is more than any other team. They play just one MAAC game this season with more rest than their opponent.

Senior Rob Poole leads Siena in scoring, averaging 14.6 points per game (6th in MAAC). Poole has averaged 18.3 points and shot 40% from beyond the three-point arc in the last four games.He had shot just 33% FG and 26% 3-pt. over the first 10 games. Poole is second in the MAAC in free throw percentage (86.1%). Poole is now 20th on the career scoring list at Siena (1,307) behind Rod Brooks 74 (1,315) and ranks 9th all time at Siena in three-pointers made (183) behind Kenny Hasbrouck (185).

Senior Evan Hymes scored a season-high 21 points in the win over Niagara on Thursday. He has now reached double figures in four of the last five games averaging 13 points and shooting 43% from three during that span. Hymes now ranks 29th all-time in scoring at Siena with 1,179 career points behind Kevin McGraw ’82 (1,217). Hymes now stands at 12th all-time in three-pointers made at Siena (167) just behind Jim Secretarski (169). He is tied for 12th in assists at Siena (331) with Kenny Hasbrouck.

Sophomore Marquis Wright is 2nd on the team in scoring (13.5, 13th in MAAC) and continues to lead the MAAC (27th nationally) in assists with 5.6 per game, as well as assist/turnover ratio (2.7). He is now 17th all-time in assists at Siena with 277 (52 games) behind Russell Clark (280, 74 games). Wright is 2nd in the MAAC with 2.1 steals per game. He is shooting 47.1% (11th in MAAC) from the field after shooting 42% his freshman year.

Lavon Long is third on the team in scoring averaging 11.0 points and tied for the team lead in rebounds with Poole, averaging 5.2 per game. After missing three games due to a sprained ankle, Long has averaged 14 points and shot 65% (17-26) from the field in the three games since his return.

5 for 5: Five Siena players have averaged in double figures over the last five games, Poole (15.8), Long (14.0), Wright (13.0), Hymes (13.0) and Javion Ogunyemi (10.0).

Siena ranks 2nd in the MAAC in scoring, averaging 73.1 points per game after averaging 69.3 and 60.0 over the last two seasons.

Fairfield enters the game with a record of 4-10 overall and 2-2 in the MAAC following a 62-46 loss to Rider on Monday. The Stags struggled offensively in the loss scoring just 13 first half points. It was their fifth straight loss. The Stags scored just 12 first half points in a loss to Wofford earlier this season.

The Stags are led in scoring by 6-6 sophomore forward, Marcus Gilbert who is averaging 15.0 points per game. Amadou Sidibe, a 6-8 sophomore forward, leads Fairfield in rebounding pulling down 8.4 boards per game (3rd in MAAC). He is 2nd on the team in scoring with just 7.4 ppg. but has achieved double-doubles in each of the last 3 games.

No other player averages over 7.4 points per game and the Stags average just 61.2 points per game as a team while the Saints are averaging 73.1, second in the MAAC.

Gilbert led the Stags with 17 points in the game vs. the Saints on Jan. 2. Sidibe had 10 points and 11 rebounds and Steve Johnston had 11 points off the bench.


Fairfield 2014-2015 Results:

11/14 Central Connecticut W, 71-63

11/15 at Duke  L, 59-109

11/21 Wofford L, 36-54

11/22 Sam Houston State# L, 60-74

11/23 South Dakota W, 80-72 ot

11/29 at Northeastern L, 48-57

12/1 Bucknell L, 66-72 ot     Common opponent Siena W 76-71

12/5 Manhattan W, 67-54

12/7 at Quinnipiac W, 56-52 ot      Common opponent Siena W 88-67

12/20 Belmont L, 61-73

12/22 at Albany L, 66-77        Common opponent Siena L 77-68

12/28 vs. Loyola Md. L, 59-61 ot       Common opponent Siena W 81-71

1/2 Siena L, 67-68

1/5 Rider L, 46-62   Common Opponent Siena L, 80-68


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