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- Postgame Comments Following Siena Semifinal Win Over Monmouth
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- Postgame Comments Following Siena Win Over Fairfield
Saints March Into CBI Championship
- Updated: March 26, 2014
Siena took on the Illinois State Redbirds of the Missouri Valley Conference tonight in the semifinals of the CBI. When the buzzer sounded the Saints found themselves in unchartered territory, headed to a postseason tournament championship on the back of a 61-49 victory.
The Saints jumped out to a quick 9-0 lead and would never trail.
“I think the home court won,” said Siena head coach Jimmy Patsos. “I think our first five minutes won it.”
Brett Bisping had a monster first half with 13 points and 8 rebounds against a school that was only 30 minutes from his hometown but did not recruit him.
“Brett Bisping’s turned into one great player,” said Patsos. “Obviously he took it a little personal that he wasn’t recruited by Illinois State.”
The Saints began the second half with a comfortable 10 point lead, 31-21, but struggled offensively for large portions of the second half. As a team Siena committed 15 turnovers with 4 coming in a three minute stretch midway through the second half that allowed Illinois State to close to within 42-35 with 7:51 to go.
Once again it was Brett Bisping who reignited the offense, hitting a jumper followed by a Rob Poole three to push the lead back to double digits and put away any doubt in the outcome.
Bisping finished with a game high 20 points and 13 rebounds, his second consecutive CBI double-double. Rob Poole (14), Ryan Oliver (11), and Evan Hymes (10) joined Bisping in double figures.
Reggie Lynch led Illinois State with 15 points. Daishon Knight joined him in double figures with 11.
Aside from Bisping, Siena’s defense was the star of the night. Siena’s press gave Illinois State fits through most of the game contributing to 12 Redbird turnovers. Marquis Wright, of 6’0″ stature, set a career high with 4 blocks while Siena as a team held Illinois State to 30% shooting and only 9.5% (2-21) from three.
With the win Siena pushes its record over .500 (18-17) for the first time since November 23, 2011. The Saints will take to the road to begin the CBI Finals on Monday facing Fresno State who defeated Old Dominion 71-64 in the other semifinal. Siena will host game’s 2 and 3 (if needed) in the best of three series with times and locations yet to be announced.
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