Saints Season Comes to An End

A season that saw Head Coach Jimmy Patsos breathe new energy and life into the Siena basketball program came to an end this afternoon at the hands of Billy Baron and the Canisius Golden Griffins. Siena bowed out of the MAAC Tournament in the quarterfinals, losing 71-65.

The Mass Mutual Center in Springfield, MA had a home court feel for the Saints. A very large contingent of Siena fans made the trek from the Capital Region and beyond to try to bring the energy of the Times Union Center to the MAAC Tournament.

“I want to thank our fans,” said Patsos. “It was a great atmosphere.”

The Saints didn’t disappoint the fan base. The teams traded blows for a full 40 minutes in a game that saw 21 lead changes with neither team leading by more than six.

Siena not only survived a first half that saw Canisius shoot 8-14 from three but entered the locker room with a 34-33 lead.

The second half was a see saw affair that saw the the Saints take their final lead with just over four minutes remaining on a Rob Poole three. Billy Baron and Chris Manhertz then took over for Canisius hitting critical free throws and a big three to push the Griffs to the victory.

Canisius saw five players reach double figures, led by Baron with 17 points, in a balanced offensive attack.

“It was tough,” said Junior Rob Poole. “They’ve got a great player in Billy Baron. He hits those tough three-point shots and gets to the rim. We played hard but we just couldn’t finish down the stretch.”

Siena was led in scoring by Brett Bisping who set a career high with 22 points to go with 9 rebounds.

“Brett Bisping might have improved as much as anybody in the country at the mid major level,” said Patsos.

Rob Poole was the only other Saint to reach double figures with 14 points. Aside from Bisping, no Saint had more than three rebounds. Canisius out rebounded Siena 29-25 overall, and 12-10 on the offensive end.

“Let’s face it. They beat us on the boards,” said Patsos. “I wrote down that we could beat them on the glass and we got beat on the glass. Look I’m not a genius. That ball went up there. We got them to miss and we didn’t get the ball.”

Siena ends its season with a 15-17 mark overall, far exceeding all expectations. The team’s only Senior was walk-on Steven Cruz who wrapped up his Siena career with the loss. The year saw the emergence of freshmen Marquis Wright and Lavon Long who both made the All-MAAC Rookie Team and significant improvement from Brett Bisping.

“I am looking forward to next year because Patrick Cole is gonna join us but we have everybody back,” said Patsos.

Judging by the recent crowds at the Times Union Center and the large contingent that made the trip to Springfield, a reinvigorated Siena fan base feels the same.


  1. KGB

    March 9, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    Nice write-up. Agree that there is a renewed excitement surrounding this program. Siena fans will fill the TUC next year, and will expect to see W's. With this team, and this coaching staff, it is certainly attainable.

    • Tom Benoit

      March 12, 2014 at 7:13 pm

      This season was a major step in restoring the pride to the program. With the tremendous fan response and continued hard work and improvement by the players and staff, the future is bright.

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