Saints Can’t Overcome Early Woes

marquis wright old spice

Photo courtesy of SienaSaints.com

Down by as many as 24 in the first half Jimmy Patso’s club proved they don’t quit. The team clawed back into the game in the second half but ultimately fell short, falling to Saint Joe’s by a final of 78-66.

Siena had an incredibly rough start to the game. In their first seven possessions the Saints turned the ball over five times and had their shot blocked in the other two. The Hawks took full advantage of the Saints offensive inefficiency and jumped out to a quick 14-1 lead. Rob Poole snapped the Saints 0-6 start from the floor a bit over six minutes into the game with his first of three three pointers in the game.

“That’s the danger of playing Memphis,” said Siena coach Jimmy Patsos.” Whether we played good or not, it can take a lot out of you emotionally. We had a great shoot around I thought it was gonna be a great fight. I thought we had a fighting chance coming in tonight.”

The Saints struggles continued through most of the first half as they had trouble getting the ball inside, and when they did they were unable to finish. The team’s struggles were summarized well by a missed dunk by Maurice White on a fast break. Meanwhile the Hawks simply could not miss. The Saints had no answer for Langston Galloway who rained down six three pointers and scored a game high 27 points on 8-14 shooting.

The Saints faired better in the second half, using an 11-0 run that spanned both halfs to tighten up the game. They tightened up on defense and were able to keep the game within striking distance. With a bit over four minutes to play they were able to get within 12, but again Galloway answered with a dagger three to steal the Saints momentum.

“Good second half, proud that we won the second half. That was really good. They got it together a little bit,” said Patsos.

Rob Poole was 3-11 from the field, but 3-6 from three, to finish with 12 points and seven rebounds. Lavon Long found himself with four fouls early in the second half but managed to avoid the fifth to finish with 13 points and three rebounds in 23 minutes of action. Maurice White joined Long and Poole in double figures with 10 points. Marquis Wright had a strong showing with seven points, six steals, and six assists to only three turnovers.

While Imoh Silas had a respectable eight points and nine rebounds. Also of note, walk-on freshman Mike Wilson scored his first collegiate points, adding a fast break layup in the closing minute of play. Following a career night against Memphis, Brett Bisping fouled out after 20 minutes of action. He finished with only two points and five rebounds, three offensive.

With the loss the Saints drop to 2-6 on the season. The Saints will have a day off before facing the Purdue Boilermakers for the second time in eight days on Sunday night. The game will be shown online on ESPN3. Tip off is at 5 p.m. Siena played Purdue hard on the Boilermakers homecourt and it will be a great test to face an opponent for a second time, similar to conference play, to see what adjustments the Saints make.

“The Old Spice, one of the top tournaments in the country,” Patsos said. “Look at the champions that have been there before. This just shows you how far we have to go but, we have a chance to play Purdue and avenge a tough loss”.

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