Saints Cruise To MAAC Road Win

With a well executed game plan and an overall team effort Siena broke its winless MAAC road game streak and cruised to a 60-50 win over Canisius. It was a game which looked on paper to be one Siena should win. Canisius entered the game with a record of 1-13 in the conference and 4-20 overall. But coming off a tough loss to Niagara and playing the back end of a long, tough road trip as the grind of  the season goes on, nothing was taken for granted.

Coach B. described it this way, “Really a terrific win, a bounce back win on the road in a very tough trip for us.  Coming up here over the years, Siena has not fared well up here.  I’ve said all along my team has been very resilient.  It was an excellent scouting job by Coach Carter. I thought we were very well prepared.  I thought that the defense was terrific. Our offense has picked up.  Just a great win in an environment where it’s been tough for us to win”.

Although it was a victory against the last place Golden Griffins it was not without significance. The Saints remain tied for sixth place with Niagara, a much coveted play-in game avoiding position. Senior Kyle Downey explained. “It’s just nice to have a road win. That’s for sure. If we lose this game were kind of in the play-in game almost automatically. This kind of keeps us above water. We’ve got a tough game Tuesday (at home against Manhattan) but I’m sure we’ll be prepared”.

Downey finished with 15 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals. OD Anosike also finished with 15 along with 11 rebounds for his 19th double-double. Coach B thought the Siena bigs would be a big key for the Saints and they were. “Craig (Carter) had watched a lot of film. He thought going inside was the way to go. We thought OD had a decided advantage”.  Brandon Walters chipped in down low with 7 points and 10 rebounds.

OD described the success in the paint where Siena outscored Canisius 42-18.  “They have a lot of size but our bread and butter has been the inside game all year.  Coach does a good job of calling sets for us inside. My team mates do a great job of getting me the ball inside and I’ve been doing a pretty good job of finishing inside. So, down the stretch I was able to score and able to put the game way”.

Owen Wignot also contributed to the Siena victory in all aspects of the game finishing with 9 points, 4 rebounds, 4 steals, 3 blocks, and 2 assists. Downey had this to say about Wignot who also had a strong showing against Niagara, “I think for Owen this might have been his best weekend all year. He’s played absolutely phenomenal.  Friday night he probably kept us in that game. Today the stats don’t really show for him but he got a lot of tipped balls, a lot of good plays where he was getting the ball in the high post and making plays. Offensively he’s been great this weekend”.

Also in double figures was Evan Hymes with 12 points. He was also solid running the point adding 4 assists and just 2 turnovers for the game. Overall with just 8 team turnovers the Saints did well in an area which has been a “bugaboo” as Coach B. has said. The grind of the western New York road trip and playing with a depleted roster turned out to be a non factor as Downey described. “That’s not really a question for us anymore we only play 6, 7 guys so were just kind of used to it every night.  Evan, Owen Rob and even the big guys, we could run for days right now”.

The Saints will return to action on Valentine’s Day, Tuesday night against Manhattan.

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