4GuysinBlazers

Siena Comes Together For Big Road Win At Iona

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Siena rallied from a 13 point deficit and grabbed a key road win Tuesday night beating Iona at the Hynes Center, 81-79. It was a true overall team effort as five players finished in double figures to put the Saints in a three way tie for third with Canisius and St. Peter’s. They are just one game behind second place Iona, with six games remaining in the regular season.

“Couldn’t be prouder of the seniors. They had the right attitude again on the road. They were gonna come here and win, ” said Siena coach Jimmy Patsos. “We won here last year, we were down 13 points and we said let’s go, gotta D up.”

Nico Clareth, returning from a 7-game leave of absence, entered the game at the 15:04 mark in the first half and scored 9 straight points for the Saints.

Iona closed the half on 12-5 run ending when Rickey McGill knocked down a three quarter court shot as the half time buzzer sounded to give the Gaels a ten point lead, 43-33. Iona shot 16 of 35 (45.7 percent) from the floor in the first half, including 5 of 14 on 3-pointers, while the Saints were 11 of 36 (30.6 percent) and 3 of 13 from three.

Siena trailed by 13 points, 62-49 with 13:18 to go in the game but turned it up on the defensive end and rallied with a 19-5 run capped by a pair of Lavon Long free throws to take the lead, 68-67 with just under 7 minutes to go. After an Iona score that gave the lead back to Iona, Marquis Wright hit two big shots to make it 72-69 Saints with 4 minutes left. McGill converted a three-point play for the Gaels to tie it at 72 and then Wright knocked down a three with 2:11 to go and the Saints led 75-72.

After a pair of Iona free throws cut it to one, Ahsante Shivers connected on his second three of the game to give Siena a four-point lead with 1:19 to go. Iona scored a bucket and a pair of free throws and then Jon Severe made one of two from the line to make it 79-78 Iona. Wright hit another pair from the line to retake the lead and Shivers hit one of two to make it 81-79 with 3.2 seconds left. Iona had one final chance but McGill’s three-pointer was off the mark as the Saints came back from a double digit deficit to win at Iona for the second straight year.

Javion Ogunyemi led the way for Siena (11-14, 8-6) with 17 points along with 7 rebounds and 2 blocks.

“A lot of things happened tonight clearly with Nico coming back, Lavon playing well but Javion Ogunyemi wouldn’t let us lose the game,” said Patsos. ”

Wright scored 16 points and dished out 9 assists. Long finished with a double-double of 14 points and 11 rebounds. Clareth finished with 14 points and 8 boards in his return and freshman Shivers added 11 points.

“He brought us energy. He was good,” said Patsos said on Clareth’s return. “He did some good things defensively too. He had 8 rebounds. Ahsante Shivers grinded it out for 32 minutes. Marquis making big free throws when everyone knows he’s had trouble shooting them this year. Everybody kind of contributed.”

Siena shot 17-32 (53.1%) from the field including 4-4 from three-point range in the second half. They made 18 of 19 field goals for the game.

The Saints outrebounded the Gaels 45-29 and had 16 rebounds on the offensive glass leading to 20 second chance points. They allowed Iona just 4.

McGill led Iona (16-9, 9-5) with 21 points. Severe had 17 points, E.J. Crawford 12 and Jordan Washington added 11.

Box Score and Final Stats

Patsos on why Clareth returned:

“Because he’s part of our family. We don’t cast our family members aside, ever. We might be mad at our family members but we never cast them aside.”

Here is the postgame press conference for more:

Remaining Regular Season Games:

Feb 11 at Marist* 7 PM

Feb 13 MONMOUTH* 7 PM

Feb 16 MANHATTAN* 7 PM

Feb 18 NIAGARA* 8 PM

Feb 24 at Monmouth* 7/9 PM

Feb 26 MARIST* 4 PM

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