Saints Take On Manhattan In Tough Road Test



Siena heads to Riverdale, NY on Thursday to take on Manhattan. Tipoff at Draddy Gymnasium is scheduled for 7 p.m. Winners of nine of their last ten games, Manhattan leads the all-time series with the Saints, 48-39.  Siena has won three of the last five meetings between the two teams over the last two seasons but the Jaspers have won the last three games played at Draddy Gymnasium. In their most recent matchup, Siena defeated Manhattan 66-63 last February at the Times Union Center.

“Steve Masiello’s doing a great job,” said Siena coach Jimmy Patsos. “They won a bunch of road games. They are tough. They’re really deep. Tough place to play. It’s a good test for us.”

Siena enters the game with a record of 7-10, 3-3 in the MAAC following a hard-fought 87-78 loss to Iona on Sunday. Evan Hymes led Siena with a season-high 19 points along with 4 points and 4 assists. Rob Poole added 16 points and 4 boards and Maurice White had 12 points and 3 rebounds in 18 minutes. Wright had 9 points, 7 assists, 3 rebounds and 2 steals, and Ryan Oliver had tied a career high with 9 points and a had a career-high 6 rebounds.

Rebounding will be a key to victory for the Saints who have been outrebounded just once in their last 13 games. They are currently second in the MAAC in rebounding margin (+2.6).

Hymes is averaging 10.7 points in 22.8 minutes per game this season coming off the bench. Last season he averaged just a hair more, 10.6 points in 33.7 minutes of action.

Poole leads the Saints in scoring (15.5) and is second on the team in rebounds (5.7). He is averaging 16.5 points while shooting 46% overall and 48% (23-48) from three-point range over the last 10 games. He scores an average of 17.9 points in road games while shooting 49% from three.

Hymes is currently 34th (925) and Poole 42nd (810) on Siena D1 all-time scoring list.

Hymes is currently 12th (137) and Poole 15th (123) on Siena all-time 3-point list.

Marquis Wright leads the MAAC in assists (5.8) and steals (2.2). He is averaging 7.7 assists in MAAC games. He is currently #1 in nation in assists per game, 4th in steals and 7th in minutes for true freshmen.

Brett Bisping leads the Saints with 6.4 rebounds to go along with his 8.6 points per game. He has averaged 11.7 points and 7.3 rebounds in MAAC games.

Ryan Oliver who tied a career high with 9 points and a had a career-high 6 rebounds last game vs. Iona, is expected to start in place of Lavon Long who is averaging 8.8 points and 4.6 rebounds per game, providing Oliver is not hampered by a jammed thumb suffered in Tuesday’s practice.

“I just want to come in and give energy,” said Oliver. “I just want to be able to defend, guard the top perimeter players, rebound and then when I can and score the ball, make open shots.”

Manhattan enters the game with a record of 12-3, their best start in 12 years. They are currently in a three-way tie for first place with a 5-1 record  in the MAAC following an 86-79 overtime victory over Marist on Sunday. Senior Michael Alvarado scored a career-high 33 points, 21 after halftime on 13-of-17 shooting from the field.

Picked 1st in the 2013-14 MAAC preseason poll, the Jaspers are ranked 7th in the latest Mid-Major Poll released by CollegeInsider.com. The currently lead the nation with nine road or neutral site wins, going 9-1 and are  8-1 in true road games this season, the largest number of road victories in the nation.

Manhattan’s 78.3 points per game ranks 53rd in the nation. They are scoring 20 points per game more than their average of 58.3 points per game during the 2012-13 season. They lead the MAAC in steals per game and rank 20th in the country with 8.7 per game.

“(We’ll) throw a lot of guys at them,” said Patsos. “We play eight or nine. They press. They run. They’re very active on defense. They do all kinds of stuff. He (Masiello) worked with (Rick) Pitino (of Louisville) he knows what he’s doing. It’s going to be a grind-it-out MAAC game. Whoever wins the rebounding war will probably win that game.”

The Jaspers will likely be playing without senior guard George Beamon a Preseason All-MAAC first team selection due to a shoulder injury. He was averaging 20.1 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game.

Six-foot-seven senior center Rhamel Brown (8.8 ppg. 5.9 rpg. 3.8 bpg), a Preseason All-MAAC first team selection and two-time MAAC Defensive Player of the Year, currently ranks fourth in the nation with an average of 3.8 blocks per game. He is Manhattan’s all-time leader in blocked shots, and ranks second (304) among all MAAC players in conference history behind Deng Gai (Fairfield, 2001-05, 444).

Rounding out a talented senior trio, 6-2 guard Michael Alvarado, a Preseason All-MAAC third team selection and Bob Cousy Award watch list member is averaging 13.2 points, 3.6 rebounds and 3.7 assists.

Sophomore Shane Richards, a 2012-13 MAAC Co-Rookie of the Year, adds 8.6 points and has knocked down 102 three-pointers during his first year and a half. Junior Emmy Andujar, Preseason All-MAAC third team selection, chips in with 7.1 points and 5.1 boards.

“Beamon’s a great player,” Patsos said. “I don’t want any kid to be hurt. Alvarado is good. Rhamel Brown is tremendous. Richards can shoot threes and they’ve got Ashton Pankey, transfer from Maryland who’s a big kid. They’re playing lotsa guys.”

“Manhattan’s a really good team,” said Poole. “They’ve got the Defensive Player of the Year, Rhamel Brown. They’re a really deep team. They bring guys off the bench. They’re in your face. They’re always hustling. So, to go down there and beat them in their arena is gonna be really hard. We just have to come out and play our A game against them.”


2013-14 Manhattan Jaspers

Head coach: Steve Masiello, 3rd season


9 at La Salle W, 99-90 (2OT)

12 at Columbia W, 71-70


20 at Illinois State W, 79-70

26 FORDHAM L, 79-75

30 at Hofstra W, 66-59


6 at Marist* W, 70-59

8 MONMOUTH* W, 75-66

15 at UNC Wilmington W, 77-72

17 at South Carolina W, 86-68

21 vs. Buffalo^ W, 84-81 (OT)


2 at Saint Peter’s* W, 74-62

4 FAIRFIELD* W, 83-57

9 at Quinnipiac* (SNY) L, 81-76

12 MARIST* W, 86-79 (OT)


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