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Game Preview: Siena vs. Monmouth

men's 2014-15 team picture

In the middle of a brutal winter chill, the Siena Saints hope to heat up as they head into the final stretch of the regular season taking on Monmouth Saturday night at the Times Union Center. Tip off is scheduled for 7 pm. In an unusual scheduling quirk, the Saints have yet to face the Hawks this season. It is the sixth meeting all time between the two teams with Siena leading the series 3-2.

Note: Saturday’s game is one of the rare Saint’s home games that will not be televised.

Siena enters the game with a record of 10-14 overall, 7-8 in the MAAC and tied for 6th place with Canisius. On Thursday, the Saints hung on to beat Marist on the road, 66-54 on a lay in by senior Evan Hymes with 6 seconds remaining. They are looking to build momentum in this first game of a three game home stand in order to finish in the top five of the conference which would earn them a first round buy in the upcoming MAAC tournament.

Rob Poole leads Siena and ranks T-8th in the MAAC averaging 14.9 points per game. He is shooting 45% from three-point range over his last 12 games after shooting just 26% over his first 10 games this season. Poole is 1 of just 5 active players in the country with 500 rebounds, 200 three-pointers, 200 assists and 100 steals. He ranks 12th all-time in scoring at Siena (1,430) behind Eric Banks (11th, 1,432) and Ryan Rossiter (10th, 1,457). He is 5th all-time in three-pointers 207) behind Marc Brown (224).

Marquis Wright is 2nd on the team in scoring (13.3 ppg). He has becoming a more consistent scorer as he has reached in double figures in five straight games for the first time in his career and has scored in double figures in 8 of the last 9 games. Wright is now second in the MAAC in assists (4.9), assist/turnover ratio (1.9) and steals (2.0). Just a sophomore, Wright is 14th all-time in assists at Siena  (317) behind Kenny Hasbrouck (13th, 331).

Hymes is one of just 8 players at Siena all-time to have scored 1,200 points and tallied 300 assists. He is just 37 points away from becoming 1 of 5 to have 1,300 point and 200 assists. Hymes is 24th in scoring at Siena (1,263) behind Prosper Karangwa (23rd, 1,274). He is 10th in assists (345) behind Kevin McGraw (352) and 11th in three-pointers (175) behind Jeff Robinson (178).

Lavon Long is third on Siena in scoring with 11.5 points per game and leads the team in rebounding with 4.9 boards per game. He has been held to single digits in scoring in three of the last four games after reaching double figures in 8 straight. He leads the nation with 4.0 fouls per game.

Javion Ogunyemi is averaging 9.0 points and 4.8 rebounds per game after averaging just 1.9 points and 1.8 rebounds his freshman season. He scored in double figures for the 12th time this season on Thursday. Ogunyemi ranks 2nd in the MAAC in field goal percentage shooting 53.4%.

Freshman Jimmy Paige has begun to emerge for the Saints, averaging 7.2 points, 4.8 rebounds and shooting 65% from the field over the last five games.

The Saints need to improve on a recent trend of starting off strong and falling off in the second half defensively. In the last 5 games, they have held opponents to just 33 points and 40% shooting in the first half only to allow 42 points on average on 52% shooting in the second half.

Monmouth enters the game with a record of 13-12 overall and 9-5 in the MAAC good for 3rd place. They were just 5-15 in the league last season and were picked to finish sixth in this year’s Preseason MAAC Coaches Poll.

The Hawks are coming of an extremely low scoring, 44-40 win over Canisius on Sunday. No player scored in double figures for Monmouth. They are winners of 6 of their last 8 road games.

The Hawks are led in scoring by 5-8 sophomore guard Justin Robinson who is averaging 12.6 points per game. His 4.0 assists per game ranks third in the MAAC. Deon Jones, a 6-6 junior guard transfer from Towson, averages 11.6 points. Providence transfer Brice Kofane, a 6-foot-8 senior forward averages 6.6 points and 5.5 rebounds per game.

Monmouth’s third leading scorer, 6-6 senior guard Andrew Nicholas (8.0 ppg.) will be out tonight vs. Siena due to a concussion. Nicholas led the Hawks with 18 points at the Times Union Center against the Saints in the matchup last season.

Monmouth is allowing just 63.4 points per game (3rd in the MAAC) and holds opponents to 39.7% from the field (2nd in MAAC).

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  1. Pingback: Stream online Canisius @ Siena Saints

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