Iona Outshoots Siena

poole dribble


The two teams picked to finish at the top of the MAAC went toe-to-toe at the Times Union Center Sunday afternoon, but in the end Iona outshot Siena to come away with the 86-72 win. In a battle of the league’s two highest scoring teams, Iona just had too much fire power on offense for Siena to handle. It was the Gaels fifth straight win over the Saints.

“They are the best team in the league,” said Siena coach Jimmy Patsos. “They won it the last two years. I’m just upset that we didn’t win and didn’t play for 40 minutes but we had a chance to win. We did some really good things.”

Siena was a little slow getting out of the gate and found themselves down by 13 points (35-22) on an Isaiah Williams three-pointer with 6:21 to go in the half. Lavon Long and Javion Ogunyemi were strong inside for Siena scoring 12 and 8 first half points respectively helping the Saints to trim the deficit to 7. But, another William’s three in the closing seconds allowed Iona to take a 45-35 lead into the locker room.

With Iona’s leading scorer, AJ English picking up his 4th foul with 14:54 to go in the game, Siena went on a 9-0 run capped by a Rob Poole 3-pointer to give Siena the lead, 58-57 with 13:01 to go. The TUC was rocking at the sight of the Saints beginning to click but, the Gaels responded with an 8-0 run of their own fueled by MAAC Preseason Player of the Year David Laury who took over. He  scored 15 of his game-high 24 points in the second half.

“They made some tough shots,” Patsos said. “They are a really good team. Laury could play in the ACC. i was at Maryland. That guy would start at the University of Maryland. AJ (English) has a chance to play in the pros.”

Siena would never recover as Iona extended the lead and kept double-digit separation the rest of the way.

Siena shot a decent, 26-35 (47.2%) FG and 5-15 (33.3%) from three for the game and 14-28 (50%) FG and 3-8 (37.5%) from three in the second half. Meanwhile, Iona shot even better hitting 29-54 (53.7%) FG and 11-25 (44%) from three for the game and 14-22 (63.6%) from the field and 5-9 (55.6%) from three in the second half.

Each team placed four players in double figures. For Siena (5-8, 2-2) Poole led the way with 21 points (8-14 FG, 4-8 3-pt.), 7 rebounds and 2 assists. Long finished with 16 points and 6 rebounds. Marquis Wright scored 14 points, 4 assists, 3 rebounds and 3 steals and Ogunyemi added 11 points, 8 rebounds and 2 assists.

Laury led the Gaels (9-5, 2-1) with his double-double of 24 points and 10 rebounds. AJ English added 17 points and Isaiah Williams and Schadrac Casimir each had 14.

Siena returns to the TUC on Thursday to host Niagara. Tipoff is at 7 pm.

“For 32 minutes we battled, but we didn’t play for eight minutes,” Patsos said. “The first four minutes of the game we were out-played. They were more emotionally ready than us, they executed better than we did.”

For more postgame comments, Click here; Postgame Comments Following Loss To Iona

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