Saints fall to Bonnies 64-58

The Saints suffered their first loss of the season, falling 64-58 to the Bonnies. The six point margin of defeat does little to show how close this game truly was. The Saints opened the game on a 7-0 run, and led by as many as 8, but lost control of the closing minutes of the first half and opening minutes of the second, a span in which the Bonnies capitalized with a 12-0 run.

The Saints fought back throughout the second half, and tied the game at 45 all with 10 minutes to play, but the Bonnies answered back immediately and never again trailed. The Saints had several opportunities late in the game, but were unable to foul the Bonnies big men, instead sending Eric Mosley to the line who sank all six of his free throws late. Compounding the situation was Evan Hymes fouling out with 1:10 left to go, stripping the Saints of their biggest threat late.

The Saints showed tremendous fight and heart, playing tough defense and hanging in with a tough A-10 school led by an NBA caliber big man in Andrew Nicholson. The Saints limited Nicholson to only 14 points on the offensive end, but his interior defense was stifling. The Bonnies dominated the Saints by the basket, blocking six shots, four by Nicholson, and out rebounding Siena 35-28.

On the offensive end the Saints were once again led by Evan Hymes, who scored 18. Most of his production came early in the first half, and he was held to 1-9 shooting in the second. Brandon Walters also put in another solid effort with 12 points and 8 boards, emerging as the Saints best option down low with the ball.

OD Anosike continued to struggle on the offensive end. He looked hesitant with the ball and was limited to only 4 points on 2-8 shooting. Defensively OD continued to shine, collecting 10 boards and, combined with Walters, helped to control the damage inflicted by NBA prospect Andrew Nicholson.

Rob Poole continues to emerge as a player to watch. He put in another solid performance replacing the injured Owen Wignot. The freshman scored 8 while collecting 5 boards and an impressive 4 steals. Poole seems to always find the ball and is unafraid to sacrifice his body to dive on a lose ball on the floor. He is an absolute gamer and it was evident in the Saints play when he was on the floor. It was great to see him find his shot from behind the arc as he shot 2-5 from 3 point land.

The Saints effort was truly impressive throughout the evening. Many had long ago written this game off as a given loss, but the Saints proved that despite their incredibly short bench, only seven scholarship athletes, they can hang in with one of the best in the A-10. The Saints treated the 6,000+ fans in attendance with a fantastic contest, and the crowd responded with an energy that was lacking for most of last season.

With their victory tonight the Bonnies retain possession of the Franciscan Cup. This is the second year the cup was presented to the winner of the contest between the two schools, with the Bonnies claiming the trophy in each season. The Bonnies are now 26-6 all time against Siena.

One Comment

  1. Anonymous

    November 23, 2011 at 4:52 am

    I don't believe Siena got any easy baskets the entire game. When you play that hard on both offense and defense, and only use 6 or 7 players, it is extremely difficult to win against a quality team. I would have liked to have seen Beard used more in the 2nd half, but it is difficult to play Hymes, Downey, and Beard together against a team like St. Bonnies. I thought St. B's really turned up the "D" during the 2nd half which gave Siena trouble. Hymes played well, but he took some bad shots at the wrong time. Walters with a strong, steady, productive game.

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