Saints Look to Rebound in Rematch With Gaels

The Saints will look to get back in the win column when they take on the Iona Gaels in New Rochelle, NY on Sunday. The game tips at 5 pm and can be heard locally on Talk 1300.

Siena (7-11, 3-4) is coming off of back to back loses to Iona and Manhattan. Iona (8-8, 5-2) is coming off of a hard fought home loss to Canisius. With a win the Saints would move their MAAC record back to .500 and match their win totals both in conference play and overall from last season.

Iona enters the game 18th nationally in scoring, 82.8 ppg, and fifth in assists, 17.8 apg. They’re shooting 48% from the field and 42% from the three point line. The Saints are well aware of the Gaels ability to get hot from deep. In their last meeting the Gaels shot a staggering 15-30, 50%, from three to come away with an 87-78 win at the Times Union Center.

AJ English led all scorers in that contest with a career high 31 points. The sophomore guard is averaging 18.2 ppg while shooting 44.5% from three. He trails only senior Sean Armand for the team lead in scoring average. Armand enters averaging 19.1 ppg while shooting 42.2% from three.

The Saints will need to find a way to limit the Gaels offensively. This season the team is 0-5 when giving up 80 or more points, an ominous stat going against the fast paced Gaels attack.

Iona continue to struggle on the glass. The team has been consistently out rebounded and the Saints will need to look to exploit this weakness and limit the Gaels second chance opportunities. In their last meeting Iona came out with a physical style of play that gave the Saints trouble. The team struggled with early foul problems and gave up several key offensive rebounds that led to early second chance opportunities. Siena knows what the expect headed into this rematch and it will be telling to see how they play early in the contest.

Look for Evan Hymes to rebound off of a tough game against Manhattan in which he was limited to only 2 points before fouling out after only 13 minutes. The junior guard had a team high 19 points and was a major catalyst in the Saints second half comeback in the first meeting against the Gaels.

Similarly, freshman point guard Marquis Wright will be a key to the Saints performance. In the teams first meeting he fouled out with seven minutes to go in the second half. Those final seven minutes saw a four point Saints lead turn into a nine point defeat. He is the spark plug that makes the Saints go and will need to avoid a similar outcome in this meeting.


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