Slow Start Sinks Saints Against Canisius

wright lay up

A lackluster start put Siena in a hole that proved to be too far to dig out of as they fell to Canisius, 80-73 at the Times Union Center on Saturday night. The Golden Griffins built an 18-point first half lead and a spirited second half Saints’ comeback fell short in front of a season-high crowd of 7,209.

The Saints struggled to get things going on both ends in the first half. They committed 10 turnovers in the first 20 minutes and were unable to find their range from the outside. They shot 12-27 (44.4%) and scored all of their points on the inside while shooting 0-4 from three-point range. Canisus on the other hand was 18-32 (56.3%) from the field and 4-9 (44.4%) from deep.

Phil Valenti scored 15 first half points including ten quick ones in less that a minute and half to fuel a 27-13 Canisius run. That built a 45-27 deficit for the Saints with two minutes left in the first half and gave the Griffs a 47-32 lead at the break.

Siena came out with a whole new energy in the second half  connecting on 10 of their first 12 shots. Head Coach Jimmy Patsos picked up a technical foul just 50 seconds in, one that seemed to be coming after considerable protesting to the officials that carried over from the first half.

The Saints were fired up and twice rallied to within 5 points in the first ten minutes of the period. During a media timeout with 10:11 to go in the game, Patsos was assessed his second technical foul and was ejected after responding to Canisius assistant coach Chris Hawkins who had been yelling and gesturing toward the Siena bench throughout the timeout. Hawkins was also given a technical in the exchange.

The Griffs built the lead back up to 12 with 6:15 to go but Siena battled back again with a 9-0 run to make it a three point game, 74-71 with three and a half minutes left. The Griffs’ next possession lasted a minute and a half as they missed a pair of three pointers but grabbed the long offensive rebounds before missing a third shot. But, the Saints ran out of gas offensively and missed their final 5 field goals and 2 of 4 free throws in the final two minutes to stymie the comeback.

Wright finished with a game-high 26 points along with 6 assists, 4 rebounds and 2 steals for Siena (10-14, 7-6). Javion Ogunyemi had 20 points and 6 boards, and Lavon Long added 16 points and 5 rebounds.

Five players finished in double figures for Canisius (14-10, 7-6) who now move into a tie with Siena for 4th place. Valenti led the way with a double-double of 24 points and 10 rebounds. Kassius Robertson and Kiefer Douse scored 13 points each. Jermaine Crumpton and Isaiah Reese added 10 points apiece.

Siena returns to action on Tuesday as they head on the road to face Iona. Tip off is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Postgame Comments Following Siena Loss To Canisius

Final Stats and Box Score


Upcoming Games:

Feb 7 at Iona* 7 PM

Feb 11 at Marist* 7 PM



Feb 18 NIAGARA* 8 PM

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