4GuysinBlazers

Siena Pulls Out Close One Over St. Peter’s

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Siena pulled out a much needed win Saturday night as they edged St. Peter’s 56-54 at the Times Union Center. The win broke a four-game losing streak for the Saints who hope to utilize the victory as a momentum builder moving forward.

With defense being the theme for most of the game, neither team was able to mount much of an attack. The score was tied 7 times in the first half alone and remained within a couple of possessions as the Peacocks carried a narrow 31-29 lead into halftime.

Siena clamped down on defense into the second half and held St. Peter’s without a field goal until the 11:35 mark. The Saints gained the largest lead of the game as they went ahead by seven, 48-41 with 7 minutes to go.

The Peacocks crept back however and managed to tie things up for the 10th time at 51-51 with a minute and a half to go. On the next possession, the Saints worked the ball to sophomore Nico Clareth who knocked down a nifty step-back jumper in the lane to regain the lead with 70 ticks left on the clock.

Siena got two huge defensive stops in a row while Lavon Long hit one of two free throws and Kadeem Smithen hit two of two giving Siena a 56-51 lead with 15 seconds to go. Nick Griffin then knocked down a three-pointer to pull St. Peter’s within two, 56-54 with 5.1 seconds left. After a 30-second time out, Lavon Long connected on a length of the court pass with Marquis Wright whose lay in attempt was blocked. A half court heave was off the mark for the Peacocks as the buzzer sounded moving the Saints to 5-1 at home this season.

Wright led Siena (5-11, 2-3) with  game-high 16 points.

“It’s very important to win a close game like this,” Wright said. “We stayed calm. We stayed together as a team and pulled it out.”

Brett Bisping landed his 5th double-double of the season with 13 points and 11 rebounds plus 3 steals. Javion Ogunyemi had 11 points, 6 rebounds and 3 blocks and Long added 7 points, 8 boards and 3 assists.

The Saints outrebounded the Peacocks 37-26 and outscored them in the paint, 36-22.

As is often the case when facing St. Peter’s the Siena offense was not always pretty. They registered just 8 assists as a team while committing 19 turnovers.

Defense was the difference in Siena registering the win particularly in the second half when they limited the Peacocks to just 6-22 (27.3%) shooting from the field overall and just 2-8 (25%) from three-point range.

“I just felt like tonight we were really locked in (on defense),” said Ogunyemi. “We know that they’re tough and they make it tough for you to score so we knew it was gonna be a defensive battle.”

Nick Griffin led St. Peter’s (6-8, 2-2) with 13 points and Trevis Wyche added 10.

“We’re not gonna quit,” said Siena coach Jimmy Patsos. “We’re gonna keep fighting and we’re gonna keep learning from it. We’re 2-3. It’s all about the league and we’ve got a home game next.”

Siena returns to action  next Thursday as they host Quinnipiac. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. following the women’s game which begins at 5 p.m.

Postgame Comments: Postgame Comments Following Win Over St. Peter’s

Final Stats and Box Score

Upcoming Games:

Jan 12 QUINNIPIAC* 8 PM

Jan 15 at Fairfield* 2 PM

Jan 17 RIDER* 7 PM

Jan 19 at Saint Peter’s* 8 PM

Jan 22 at Manhattan* 2 PM

Jan 27 IONA* 7 PM

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