Saint Peter’s used a dominant second half performance, outscoring the Saints 40-23, to overcome a seven point half time deficit and defeat Siena 72-62. The loss is Siena’s third straight, dropping their record to 6-19 (4-10 MAAC). The Saints are now in a tie with Marist for eigth, one game ahead of Saint Peter’s for last in the MAAC.
The Saints and Peacocks traded the lead 18 times in a see-saw first half. Siena was about to go on a run late, scoring the final five points of the half, to go into the locker room up 39-32.
O.D. Anosike played a pivotal role in the half contributing 16 points and 9 rebounds. Of special note was the board Anosike grabbed with 10:04 to go in the half. That rebound gave O.D. 1,000 for his career, becoming just the third active member in Division 1 of the 1,000 point / 1,000 rebound club.
The second half saw Saint Peter’s come out strong and with a new defensive look. The Peacocks gave the Saints a taste of zone defense and effectively took Anosike out of the remainder of the game. Anosike scored only 2 points while grabbing 7 rebounds in the half to finish with 18 points and 16 rebounds.
As has become a theme, the game remained close despite this new defensive look until the closing minutes. With 3:27 left and Siena trailing by one, the Saints squandered a chance to take the lead on a play that sums up this year’s season so well. Trenity Burdine looked to score the go-ahead basket, but O.D. Anosike mistakenly knocked the ball back up the hoop negating the basket. To add insult to injury, Saint Peter’s grabbed the rebound and converted an old fashioned three point play to go up by four and never look back.
The Saints played only 7 players in the game, with Rich Audu checking in for only 3 minutes.
Siena commited 19 turnovers, with five Saints (Silas, Anosike, Brookins, Hymes, and Poole) all having at least 3. Siena had only 7 assists in the game.
For the game Siena was outshot 40%-48% from the field, but did shoot a very respectible 16-18 (89%) from the free throw line.
The Saints next take to the hardwood on Thursday night against Fairfield. A loss would ensure the Saints a place in the opening round of the MAAC tournament.