Saints Finish Strong To Beat Loyola

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Siena returned to Loyola’s Reitz Arena in Baltimore, a place where head coach Jimmy Patsos coached for nine seasons and surged in the closing minutes of a hard-fought game to pill out the victory, 81-71 on Saturday night. With the score tied for the 10th time at 66 with just 2:46 left in the game, the Saints surged with a 15-5 run to pull away for the ten-point win.

“I’m proud of our guys,” Patsos said. “The last five minutes we gutted it out.”

The Saints trailed by five points at the half, 35-30 and fell behind by as many as 9 with 14 minutes to go, but outscored the Greyhounds, 51-36 on 15-28 (53.6%) shooting after the break to pull away for their second straight road victory.

Five players finished in double figures for Siena (2-2) led by Brett Bisping who had his best game of this season scoring 16 points with 7 rebounds and 2 assists. Rob Poole added 15 points, five rebounds and four assists. Marquis Wright had 14 points and six assists and just 2 turnovers in 39 minutes.

Ryan Oliver had 11 points off the bench hitting 3-5 from three point range including two huge threes during the key stretch run.

“Coach challenged me and I accepted the challenge,” said Oliver of Patsos who urged him to step up in the second half.

Lavon Long added 10 points and 4 rebounds.

“I was a great game,” said Patsos. “I thought we really grinded it out. I’m glad it was a fierce battle.”

Siena was again solid in taking care of the ball tallying 18 assists as a team on just 6 turnovers for the game. They shot 22-26 (85%) from the free throw line including 17-18 (94.4%) in the second half.

A bit of a skirmish broke out with six minutes to go and the Saints trailing 55-54. After a rebound, players got tangled up under the Siena basket and afer a dead ball a Loyola player tossed the ball hitting a Siena player. Officials went to the monitor and after a long delay, Wright, Lester and two Loyola players were all assessed technical fouls. The incident seemed to fuel the Saints who upped the defensive intensity down to the wire.

Tyler Hubbard led Loyola with a career-high 23 points, shooting 17-18  from the free throw line. Senior Denzel Brito also tallied a career-high with 11 points for the Greyhounds.

Siena will look for their third straight road win on Monday night as they face A-10 opponent, Fordham.

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