Saints Bring Franciscan Cup Home

franciscan cup win

For the first time since its creation in 2010 the Franciscan Cup will reside in Loudonville. In a back and forth contest it was a Marquis Wright circus act layup in the game’s final second that made the difference, propelling the Saints to a 72-70 win over Atlantic 10 opponent, Saint Bonaventure.

Going against what Head Coach Jimmy Patsos called one of the biggest team’s in the country, the Saints found themselves at an even larger disadvantage inside almost immediately. 6’8″ freshman forward Javion Ogunyemi went down with an injury to his right ankle less than four minutes into the game. He was helped off the court by the training staff and did not return. The Saints were undeterred.

The remaining Saints forwards shined. Brett Bisping had the best game of his Siena career. He was incredibly active on defense, and while officially credited with only one blocked shot he had a hand in altering several more and took a critical charge in the second half to help stymie a Saint Bonaventure charge. Bisping finished with 13 points and 7 rebounds.

“I just thought his play was inspirational and I’m really happy for him,” Patsos said.

“They needed me because of a lot of foul trouble, said Bisping. “I feel like I did what was needed and that’s what I’m always gonna be here to do.”

Lavon Long had an amazing game shooting 7-10 from the floor and scoring 15 points to go with five rebounds, three blocks, and two steals before fouling out in the second half. He is quickly proving to be one of the Saints best all around talents night in and night out.

“Lavon’s been great,” said Patsos. “He’s a warrior. His quickness was good. He’s a competitor. Lavon’s been our best player this year in terms of consistency.”

“I think my role is just to come out and do what’s needed, whatever’s not being done, that’s what I try to do,” said Long.

Imoh Silas replaced the injured Ogunyemi and made his presence known on the defensive side. He had three blocked shots before fouling out in the second half. He was also a force on the offensive end. Three of his five rebounds were on the offensive side and the Saints had a noticeably easier time getting to the basket with Silas in the game. Following his departure Siena’s offense was greatly slowed and largely limited to the perimeter as Saint Bonaventure was able to take full advantage of their size advantage.

Siena built a first half lead of 48-38, but like past games this season saw that lead evaporate in the second half with Saint Bonaventure briefly taking a lead with 3:31 left at 66-65. The game see-sawed for the final minutes and it appeared Saint Bonaventure would have the last shot when Brett Bisping’s strong interior defense caused the Bonnies to commit a traveling violation with 9 seconds remaining.

The Saints final play had the ball in Marquis Wright’s hands. As he drove to the basket he had the option to kick the ball back out to Rob Poole for the final shot but instead held it himself and threw up an acrobatic lay up that bounced around the basket before falling in with less than a second left to seal the victory.

“The plan was actually to try to get the fade for Rob off the screen but they switched it so I knew there wasn’t enough time to pass the ball so I just had to go,” said Wright. “It should be a lift for us. We’ve gotta keep playing off this game and play even harder.”

In addition to the game winner Wright had seven total points and seven assists.

With the win the Saints improved their record to 1-3. Their next game is this Friday at Cornell.


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