Game Preview: Siena vs. Iona

men's 2014-15 team picture

Siena returns to the Times Union Center on Sunday afternoon to take on MAAC preseason favorite, Iona. Tip off is scheduled for 2 pm. This is the 62nd Division I meeting between the two teams with Siena leading the series 31-30. The Gaels and Saints meet for the 103rd time in history overall with Iona holding a 55-47 advantage. Iona has swept the Saints in each of the last two seasons beating them 4 straight times.

Siena enters the game with a record of 5-7 overall, 2-1 in the MAAC, following a 68-57 win at Fairfield on Friday night. The Saints rallied from a 12-point second half deficit to pull out the win.

Senior Rob Poole leads Siena in scoring, averaging 13.9 points per game (10th in MAAC). Having struggled a bit shooting-wise , Poole has gotten an early jump on his New Year’s resolution to, “Make more shots.” He has hit 48% from the field and 43% from three-point range in the last two games after shooting 33% FG and 26% 3-pt. over the first 10. Poole is now 23rd on the career scoring list at Siena (1,269) behind Prosper Karangwa (1,274). Poole, now ranks T-9th all time at Siena in three-pointers made (178), with Jeff Robinson.

Sophomore Marquis Wright is 2nd on the team in scoring (13.6, 11th in MAAC) and continues to lead the MAAC (26th nationally) in assists with 5.6 per game, as well as assist/turnover ratio (2.8). He is now 20th all-time in assists at Siena with 266 (50 games) behind Brian Bidlingmyer and Isaiah Stewart (271, 118 & 122 games).

Last game the Saints enjoyed the return of Lavon Long who had missed the previous three games with a sprained ankle. Long, who is averaging 10.1 points and a team-high 5.5 rebounds per game, had 12 points in the win over Fairfield.

Inserted into the starting lineup the last three games, senior Evan Hymes has averaged a team-high 14 points in those three contests.  He now ranks 30th all-time in scoring at Siena with 1,156 career points just behind Clarence Jackson (1,164). Hymes now stands at 13th all-time in three-pointers made at Siena (328) behind Kenny Hasbrouck (331). He is 12th in assists at Siena (111) behind Jim Secretarski (169).

Siena continues to be successful in taking care of the ball committing 10 or fewer turnovers in 9 of the last 10 games, a feat they had never accomplished since that stat was first kept in 1977. They currently lead the MAAC and rank 17th in the country with just 10.4 turnovers per game.

Iona enters the game with a record of 8-5 overall, 1-1 in the MAAC following an 97-82 loss at UMass on 12/30. They were picked to finish 1st in the MAAC prerseason poll ahead of Siena who was picked second.

Three of the top five scorers in the MAAC play for Iona with 6-4 junior guard A.J. English (1st 22.5 ppg., 3rd nationally), 6-9 senior forward David Laury (4th, 18.8), and 5-10 freshman guard Schadrac Casimir (5th, 16.2).Isaiah Williams, a 6-7 junior guard is also in double figures with 13.2 points per game (13th in MAAC). Laury is 2nd in the MAAC in rebounding (9.0).

The Gaels high-powered offense leads the MAAC (8th nationally) averaging 84.9 points per game. Siena is second in the MAAC, scoring 72.7 per contest.


Iona 2014-2015 Results:

11/14/14 CLEVELAND STATE  W, 78-73

11/18/14 at Wofford  L, 73-86

The Roundball Showcase – Campus Sites

11/21/14 at Wake Forest  W, 85-81

11/23/14 at North Texas W, 78-58

11/26/14 DELAWARE STATE  W, 126-76

11/30/14 at No. 25 Arkansas  L, 77-94

12/7/14 at Monmouth  L, 89-92

12/10/14 RIDER  W, 74-67

12/13/14 INDIANA STATE  W, 91-84

12/20/14 at George Mason  L, 81-86

12/23/14 FLORIDA GULF COAST W, 86-67

12/28/14 at Drexel W, 81-62

12/30/14 at Massachusetts L, 82-87

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