4GuysinBlazers

Saints Beat St. Bonaventure To Retain Franciscan Cup

franciscan cup 2014

 

The Franciscan Cup took a quick overnight trip to Olean but it’s coming home to Loudonville as Siena defeated St. Bonaventure 73-70 on Wednesday night. After starting off the season 0-2 following a loss on the road to UMass and against Vermont at home, the Saints were able to bounce back against a solid Atlantic-10 team in an always tough place to play, the Reilly Center where Siena had never won.

Sophomore point guard Marquis Wright, who had stated just a day ago,  ”I have to be more of a leader and pick my team up when things are not going right and just bring more energy,”” did just that leading the Saints with 15 points and 8 assists.

“I felt like I (brought) energy to the team from the beginning,” Wright said after the Saints’ big win against the Bonnies . “Last game, I was kind of out of it, but we got to stay together as a team. My team had my back, and once I’m into it, they get into it.”

After losing the first three Franciscan Cup matchups, Siena has now won two in a row.

“A lot of people around the country don’t know what a big game this is, but it’s a big game because the Franciscans are great people,” Siena coach Jimmy Patsos said. “That’s sometimes lost in playing, and we’re going to play this game as long as I’m the coach.”

The final score made the game appear to be much closer than it was for most of the game as Siena led for the final 29:30, much of that time by double figures. Two Bonaventure threes in the final seconds narrowed the margin but the Saints controlled this one most of the way.

“Give Siena credit. They played really well,” said Bonaventure coach Mark Schmidt. “Long was difficult inside. In order to win at this level you have to execute and they did a better job of executing than we did.”

A few interesting statistical items of note, despite the win, Siena was outrebounded 52-32 for the game. The Saints certainly took care of the ball however committing just five turnovers, zero in the second half against an athletic, pressing team in St. Bonaventure.

Lavon Long tallied a double-double scoring 13 points with 11 rebounds and five assists in 35 minutes. Javion Ogunyemi poured in a career-high 13 points with 3 blocked shots. Rob Poole added 12 points, five rebounds, three assists and four steals, and Ryan Oliver shot 4-7, including 3-5 three-pointers for 11 points.

When asked about what made the difference for Siena, Long said, “The intensity. We knew we had to come out hard and strong because theyre a good team, good caliber and they’re strong inside and we knew we had to match that or go above it.”

Andell Cumberbatch had 24 points and 11 rebounds to lead St. Bonaventure (1-1) and Marcus Posley added 22 points and 7 rebounds. Siena held 7-0 center Youssou Ndoye to just 4 points.

“It’s hats off – we played a really tough, challenging schedule at our level and came out 1-2 and I couldn’t be prouder,” Patsos said. “I couldn’t be prouder for the efforts we made in these three games and I hope they’ll serve us later. We’re gonna enjoy this one for a day cause it’s not many times you beat an A-10 team on the road.”

Siena returns to action Saturday, November 29 at Loyola.

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