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Game Preview: Siena vs. Quinnipiac In MAAC Opener

men's 2014-15 team picture

 

Siena faces Quinnipiac in their MAAC opener Friday night in the annual Gold Rush Game. Tip off at the Times Union Center is scheduled for 7 pm. It is the 5th meeting between the two teams with Siena leading the series 3-1.  The two teams split the series last season with the Bobcats taking a 103-95 overtime decision at the Times Union Center and the Saints getting revenge with a 72-70 win in Hamden.

Siena enters the game with a record of 2-3 following a loss at Fordham.  With a balanced scoring attack, the Saints currently have five players averaging 9 or more points per game.

Senior Rob Poole remains Siena’s leading scorer averaging 14.8 points per game despite some early season shooting woes.  He is shooting just 4-19 (21%) from the field and 0-6 from three-point range over the last two games. He is currently 9th in the MAAC in scoring.

Sophomore point guard Marquis Wright is currently averaging 14.2 points per game over the first five games and has been hot of late averaging 20 points over the last three contests. He is averaging a MAAC best 5.8 assists totaling 29 assists on just 9 turnovers.  His 3.2 assist/turnover ratio also leads the MAAC.

Junior Ryan Oliver has been hot from the field averaging 10.6 points per game while shooting 60% from the field (2nd in MAAC). He has hit 14 of 24 three-point attempts for 58.3% which ranks tops in the MAAC and 21st nationally. The rest of the team is shooting just 25.9% (14-54) from three.

Sophomore Lavon Long is averaging 10.0 points and a team-high 6.36 rebounds per game. Brett Bisping comes in at 9.0 points per  contest.

Taking care of the ball has been a strength for the Saints so far this season. They have committed just 19 total turnovers in the last three games which is the fewest over a three-game span in their history while in the MAAC, since 1989. They rank 2nd in the MAAC and 16th in the nation in fewest turnovers per game (10.4).

As a team Siena has been sharing the ball effectively tallying an assist on 68% of their field goals made, ranking 5th in the country. Their 17.4 assists per game ranks 2nd in the confefence and 11th nationally.

Quinnipiac enters the game with a record of 3-2 after a 89-73 win over Vermont on Sunday.

The Bobcats are led by a talented senior trio. Guard Zaid Hearst averages 19.4 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game. Forward Ousmane Drame is the force inside averaging 17.0 point and 11 rebounds. Guard Evan Conti is also scoring in double figures with 12.2 points per contest.

A strong rebounding team, the Bobcats boast a +16.4 rebounding margin per game. They rank second nationally in rebounds per game (48.4) and are fourth in the nation in both offensive (17.4) and defensive (31.0) boards.

“Quinnipiac is a really good inside team, said Siena coach Jimmy Patsos. “They pound the glass. I love Zaid Hearst, the three-man they have. Drame’s one of the best big men. They’re gonna be ready Friday night. If we rebound by committee we’re going to be good.”

Quinnipiac is first in the MAAC and 3rd in the country in team free throw percentage, at 80.2%. They also lead the conference in blocked shots racking up 7.0 per game. That places them 8th nationally.

“I’m really excited about Friday night,Patsos said. “It should be a good crowd in there and it’s a good time for us to play emotional and hard and grind out a win like we did all last year.”

Quinnipiac 2014-2015 Results

Nov 14              Yale W, 88-85
Nov 18              La Salle L, 60-58
Nov 22      at        Albany W, 76-73
Nov 25              Hartford L, 54-50
Nov 30              Vermont W, 89-73

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