Saints Beat Stags On The Road

poole vs quinnipiac 2

Siena kicked off the new year right, scoring a thrilling road victory Friday night as they beat Fairfield, 68-67 at the Webster Bank Arena. The Saints fought back from a 12 point deficit and hung on in the closing seconds to secure their second straight win and to move to 2-1 in the conference.

Javion Ogunyemi continued to emerge and was the difference for the Saints (5-7, 2-1) down the stretch scoring a career-high 15 points with 6 rebounds and 2 blocks. With his team trailing 66-63 with just under 3 minutes to go, the sophomore big man scored back-to back buckets to allow his team to retake the lead for good, 67-66 with 2:26 remaining in the game.

“We didn’t quit, we didn’t give up,” said Siena coach Jimmy Patsos . “I thought Javion Ogunyemi the last 12 minutes of the game really stepped up.”

Ogunyemi also had a huge block on Fairfield’s final field goal attempt, a Marcus Gilbert’s layup with 1:30 left in the game, that proved to be the defensive play of the game.

“Javion’s good. I gave him my Aesop Fable, when it’s all said and done was more said than done? I said, don’t tell me do it. Then he went out and did it,” Patsos said.

With Siena clinging to a 1 point lead, Fairfield’s Amadou Sidibe fell down and was called for a travel after grabbing the rebound on a Saints’ put-back attempt.

Each team made one of two free throws on their next possessions and Marquis Wright went to the free throw line with 3.7 seconds left to go. He missed the first and intentionally missed the second, but missed the rim, giving the Stags a final chance to tie or win the game. Siena trapped Fairfield’s Jerome Segura on the inbounds pass and the Stags were unable to get a shot off before time expired.

Senior Rob Poole led four Saints in double figures with a game-high 18 points (12 in the second half) on 6-13 shooting. Evan Hymes provided another inspired performance scoring 10 points with 2 assists.

Sophomore Long was a key ingredient for the Saints in his return to the lineup after missing the last three games due to a high-ankle sprain. He finished with 12 points, hitting 4 of 6 field goals and added 3 rebounds in 24 minutes of play.

“Lavon Long wasn’t supposed to play today,” Patsos said. “He said this morning: `I don’t think so coach’. Then he came out of warm-ups and said: `I want to do it’. Then after the first four minutes, he just yelled at me and said: `Put me in, this is a league game.’ We’re getting tougher. We’re growing up. We’re far from perfect, but we’re getting there.”

Marquis Wright put up a superb all around effort with 9 pts, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, and 5 steals.

Siena committed just 9 turnovers for the game while grabbing 8 steals and forcing 17 total Stags turnovers.

“Just great defense and great team ball to get the win,” Poole said. ” Big win, big win. Javion played great down low.We got Lavon back which helped us out a lot. He gave us some good minutes. We kind of mixed it up a bit (on defense) and I think that confused them.  We’re starting to get healthy again now. I think if we just play ball the way we played, we can win some games.”

Marcus Gilbert led Fairfield (4-9, 2-1) with 17 points. Amadou Sidebe added a double-double of 10 points and 11 rebounds.

“We’re getting tougher, said Patsos. “We’re always gonna be a scrappy bunch. We’re growing up. We’re far from perfect but we’re getting there. I was really proud of our guys.”

Siena returns home on Sunday to face preseason favorite Iona at the Times Union Center. Tip off is scheduled for for a 2 p.m.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *