Saints Stun Stags


Siena led for less than a minute of the tonight’s game, but they led when it mattered most. Trailing for all of the first half, and holding only two brief leads in the second, Siena stunned Fairfield 77-75 tonight at the Times Union Center.

Brett Bisping scored the go-ahead basket with 8.5 seconds remaining off of  a dish from Evan Hymes to give the Saints their largest lead of the night at two.

“That pass Evan gave me was great,” said Bisping. “He could have taken a shot there very easily but Ev’s been playing real selfless, passing the ball more. A great play by Evan to give me a chance to make a play.”

Following a Fairfield timeout, Bisping then sealed the game by drawing a charge against KJ Rose.

“Just get one stop, but Brett made one hell of a play,” said Hymes. “We got that charge. That was just a great play and we came up with the win.”

The Saints struggles from their recent road loss at Saint Peter’s carried over into the early parts of tonight’s action. The Saints found themselves in a quick 9-3 hole prompting Siena Head Coach Jimmy Patsos to take the unorthodox step of replacing all five of his starters in a mass substitution three minutes into the game.

“The beginning of the game we didn’t really come out ready to play emotionally,” said Patsos. “I said I’m not gonna lose my mind. It’s gonna either come from within or its not.”

Ryan Oliver hit a quick three to cut the deficit to 9-6 but Fairfield answered back, pushing the lead to 15-6 before the starting lineup reentered after a two minute cool down. Fairfield would continue their offensive push, driving to a 23-8 lead only two minutes later. Fairfield would lead by a game high 16 points with 8:17 remaining before the Saints began to show some life.

Siena was able to cut the deficit to only 1, 37-36, entering the locker room and battled in a back and forth affair throughout the second half. Siena managed to tie the game at 40, 47, and 51 but were unable to take a lead until a Rob Poole three, that seemingly sat on the rim before dropping in, gave the Saints a 67-66 advantage with 5:19 to play.

Fairfield answered back and would drive the lead back to as many as four, but Evan Hymes came up with a game changing steal with 1:15 left leading to a Rob Poole layup on which he was fouled. Poole hit the free throw to tie the game at 75 and Brett Bisping played the hero with the winning bucket.

“I just saw Ev catch it and like a bullet go right through and throw it,” Poole said. “I was like I don’t know where he’s throwing it to and then I saw Brett just came out of nowhere and put it in for the basket.”

Bisping led all Saints scorers with 17 points in addition to eight rebounds and three blocks. He was joined in double figures by Rob Poole (14), Evan Hymes (13), and Lavon Long (10).

Also of note tonight was Maurice White who came off the bench to add eight points and three rebounds in 17 minutes of action.

As a team the Saints shot 48.1% from the field and out rebounded Fairfield 36-31. They also committed only 16 personal fouls, included 0 by Lavon Long who had entered the game tied for the lead in the country for fouls per game, compared to Fairfield’s 28.

With the win Siena evens its MAAC record at 7-7, one game behind fifth place Rider for that coveted final first round bye.

“Our mantra today was make a decision,” Patsos said. “This is gonna be it. Do you want to play some more ball or do you wanna pack it in and lose 20 games? I’m really proud of our team.”

Siena next will hit the road to Poughkeepsie to take on MAAC rival Marist on Friday night. Siena currently sits one game ahead of Marist in the standings.

For more postgame comments from Jimmy Patsos, Brett Bisping, Evan Hymes and Rob Poole: Click Here.

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  1. Pingback: Postgame Comments Following Siena Win Over Fairfield | 4GuysinBlazers

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