Siena Dominates Bryant In 2K Classic

2k classic trophy

 photo courtesy of Siena Athletics


Brett Bisping scored a career-high 24 points as Siena dominated Bryant on their way to a 78-59 win to capture the 2K Classic Smithfield Subregional Championship Saturday night. Siena never trailed and with back-to-back double-digit wins, on consecutive nights, the Saints even their record at 2-2.

Siena jumped on Bryant early as things were clicking on both sides of the ball. On offense, the Saints picked apart the Bryant zone and shot 16-27 (59.3%) from the field including 6-13 (46.2%) from three in the first 20 minutes. They established control inside as well, outscoring the opponent by 10 in the paint and winning the battle on the boards 18-12.

With 4 blocked shots and others altered, Siena’s interior defense made things difficult for the Bulldogs inside. Bryant shot just 9-28 (32.1%) from the field and 2-9 (22.2%) from beyond the arc. Nico Clareth hit a three-pointer at the halftime buzzer to give the Saints a 40-23 lead going into the break.

After the Saints opened up the lead to 23 points, 52-28, with 14:15 to go on a Bisping three-pointer, Bryant began to chip away, trimming the lead to just 9 points, 59-50 with 7:18 remaining. But then Clareth drove for an acrobatic three-point play to reverse the momentum and the Saints led by double digits the rest of the way.

“I’m proud of the way our guys weathered the storm,” said Siena assistant Jordan Watson. “A 20-point lead became 9. The crowd got back into it and our guys fought back and got the win. I was proud of that.”

Siena shot a blazing 65% in the second half and finished the night 31-50 (62%) overall and 9-19 (47.4%) from three-point range. Bryant was just 5-22 (22.7%) from three.

“I thought we ran our offense really well and then we got good shots,” said Siena head coach Jimmy Patsos.

It was Bisping’s best game of the season so far as the captain returned to form. He shot 8-14 from the floor, including 5-7 three pointers, and added 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocked shots and 3 drawn charges.

“Brett’s a great kid,” said Watson. “We all love him and we love to see him do well. He’s our captain. He plays hard every practice, every possession of every game and it’s really fun to watch him have a successful night. We’re happy to have him on the squad. That’s for sure.”

Marquis Wright scored 14 points on 5-10 shooting (2-4, 3-point) on his way to being named the MVP for the 2KClassic’s Smithfield subregional. Bisping was named to the all-tournament team.

Clareth came off the bench to score 16 points on 7-10 shooting and added 4 rebounds

“No question, Nico’s a freshman who’s come a long way and his ceiling is very high,” Watson said. “He can be a great player here. He’s a guy who goes and gets you a bucket. He’s done that in a timely way the last couple nights. We’ve got to get him working on the defensive end as hard as he plays on the offensive end but in terms of a freshman growing and taking steps, he’s done a great job.”

Lavon Long was solid once again scoring 9 points with 5 rebounds and a team-high 4 assists.

Hunter Ware led Bryant (2-2) with 17 points, Bosko Kostur added 12 and Dan Garvin had 11 points with 9 rebounds.

Next up, the Saints head on the road to Lewisburg, PA to face Bucknell on Tuesday. Tip off is scheduled for 7 p.m.


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