Saints Look to Climb Standings Vs Manhattan

The Saints return to action tomorrow night when they face off against the Manhattan Jaspers. This is the second meeting of the season between the teams, with Manhattan winning easily 75-55 in Riverdale.

In that first meeting, Manhattan forward Rhamel Brown dominated the matchup. Coming off the bench, the Jasper’s big scored 24 points on 9-12 shooting. To win the follow up match, the Saints will need to find a way to contain Brown. Saints Head Coach Mitch Buonaguro had the following to say of the matchup between Brown and Anosike.

“Great match up. Two of the better big kids in the league. Brown really hurt us down there. He dominated. He was getting the ball in the paint. He’s a tough guy to guard because he’s a big wide body. OD’s  playing really well now so I think OD will be up for the challenge… OD’s knocking on the door to leading the nation in rebounding and a thousand rebounds. I want OD to have a real great ending to his career. He’s had a great career. I’ve said it, he’s one of the best big kids to ever play here and I want him to have a great end to his career here. Hopefully he can play the way he did against Marist.”

Several things have changed for the Saints since their first meeting. Siena has been shooting much better from the free throw line while getting enhanced contributions from key players. Trenity Burdine has emerged over the last two games as a key contributor. Look for the Saints to continue to ride their smaller lineup, with Burdine getting the starting nod at power forward.

The Saints will also need Evan Hymes to continue his second half resurgence. Over the past six games Hymes has shot 53% from beyond the arc while seeing his turnovers/assist ratio improve. For his efforts last week Hymes earned C0-MAAC Player of the Week honors.

As for Manhattan, Coach Buonaguro had the following to say.

“I think Steve Masiello has done a really good job with his team. He really kept that team together. They play really good defense. The first challenge is to score. They play at a frenetic level. They’re tough to play against. They play like Louisville. So, we’ve got to score, but on the other hand  I think they’re having trouble scoring. The zone, which I’ve been playing a lot, hopefully will work better. It didn’t work real well down at Manhattan. They have a little bit of a grudge. We knocked them out of the tournament last year. They  still remember that game. They were the third seed and we knocked them out. So they play well against us and they still remember last year. It’s a  difficult game and we gotta really play well Friday to win.”

With a win the Saints would move into a tie with Manhattan for seventh in the MAAC and either one game out or tied with Fairfield for sixth dependent on the outcome of their matchup vs Rider.

Other notes:

The Saints will be without Ryan Oliver for their matchup vs Manhattan, and likely the rest of the season. The freshman guard will have his knee scoped in the coming days.

Imoh Silas will make his return to the lineup against Manhattan. Silas will serve off the bench.

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