Siena Loses To Purdue In Final Day Of Old Spice Classic

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It was a tale of two halves for the Siena Saints as a strong first-half showing against Purdue turned into an unhappy ending as they fell to the Boilermakers, 68-63 in their final game of the 2013 Old Spice Classic.

In the first half, Siena shot 16-26 (61.5%) from the field overall and 3-5 (60%) from three while holding Purdue to 10-26 (38.5%) FG and just 2-7 (28.6%) 3-pt.. The Saints had 7 steals forcing 9 Purdue turnovers. With crisp offensive execution they would lead the Boilermakers 43-30 at halftime.

Early in the second half, following a sequence which included a Michael Wolfe fast break alley-oop dunk, a Purdue lay-in and a Rob Poole 3-pointer, the Saints found themselves with a 16-point lead with 17:56 to go in the game. Things turned cold quickly however with Siena missing their next 9 shot attempts as Purdue closed the gap with a 14-2 run. The lead was suddenly cut to four, 50-46 with just over 10 minutes to go.

In all Siena shot just 6-27 (22.2%) from the field in the second half and foul trouble once again plagued them with both Lavon Long and Rob Poole fouling out and Brett Bisping and Imoh Silas teetering with 4 fouls each. They were outscored 21-13 from the line.

Down the stretch, despite struggling offensively, it appeared the Saints may hold on when Evan Hymes converted a 3-point play with 1:33 remaining giving his team a 63-59 lead. Siena led the game for the first 39 minutes but after a missed 3-pointer by Brett Bisping, a long rebound resulted in a Basil Smotheman break-away dunk giving Purdue its first lead of the game with :27 to go. The Saints failed to score on their next 3 possessions and came away with their third Old Spice loss.

Hymes finished with 17 points for Siena (2-7) and Poole also scored 17 along with a team-high 8 rebounds. Long’s presence was missed down the stretch once he fouled out with 7:42 to go. He finished with 10 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists.

A.J. Hammons led Purdue (6-2) with 16 points and a game-high 9 rebounds. Also finishing in double figures for the Boilermakers were Ronnie Johnson (13), Jay Simpson (12) and Terone Johnson (10).

There were many bright spots for the Saints throughout the Old Spice Classic but the sting of losing the final game after building a 16 point lead, was a tough pill to swallow. Offensive execution proved to be the difference in the closing minutes and coach Jimmy Patsos expressed his frustration following the game.

“Competing’s great but we’ve gotta win some games,” said Patsos. “The MAAC’s a grind it out, tough mentally, tough physically, athletic league where you’ve got to execute. I’m completely disappointed in the way we executed.”

Siena will return to action next Friday as they open up the MAAC season at Niagara.

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