Tigers Prove Too Much for Saints

The Saints opened up their experience in the Old Spice Classic with an 87-60 loss at the hands of the 21 ranked Memphis Tigers. The Saints will next face St Joseph’s Friday at 8pm on ESPNU.

The Saints kept this one close for the first ten minutes of play, finding themselves down by only four, 16-12, despite going against what was clearly a larger more athletic team. Beyond that point the Saints simply could not match what the Tigers were doing on the court. Memphis’ press gave Siena fits all night, exposing the Saints’ size disadvantage and forcing several of the Saints 20 turnovers. When the Saints did manage to get the ball inside around the basket Memphis had a sea of arms waiting, rejecting a total of 11 shots during the game.

“I expect us to compete a little harder than that,” said Siena coach Jimmy Patsos. “I thought there were spurts that we competed. They’re a more talented team than us. I’m not here to talk about that. We could have competed better for 40 minutes.”

In addition to dominating on the defensive end, Memphis was clicking on all cylinders offensively for much of the night. Shaq Goodwin started his night 8-8 from the floor and finished with a double double of 17 points and 10 rebounds while contributing three blocks. Joe Jackson was 7-10 from the field and finished with a game high 18 points while Michael Dixon Jr contributed 16 from the bench on 6-8 shooting including a perfect 4-4 from beyond the arc.

“This isn’t Hoosiers or Miracle, we knew this was going to be very difficult,” said Patsos. “Memphis is going far this year.”

On a night when Siena needed big games from their Juniors none were able to deliver. Rob Poole shot 3-15 from the field and finished with six points and three rebounds. Imoh Silas was 0-3 from the field and finished with one point and four rebounds despite some good opportunities around the basket. Evan Hymes was 4-13 from the field and was the victim several times of the Memphis press. He did however find his way to the basket on a few occasions and was active in finding open teammates. He finished with 10 points and five assists.

One bright spot for the Saints was the play of Brett Bisping. He grabbed a career high 12 rebounds including 9 offensive and completed the first double-double of his career by adding 11 points. As his stats show he was active and aggressive under the basket and took advantage of his opportunities with the ball including stepping out to hit an open three.

Mike Wolfe had his best game in his young Saints career. The freshman had seven points including two dunks, one being an alley-oop, in his most extensive action of the season, 16 minutes.

Ryan Oliver also played well for the Saints, contributing a career high 9 points off the bench. Oliver was 2-5 from three and grabbed 3 rebounds in 22 minutes of play.

Marquis Wright had his first negative assist to turnover ratio of his young career. Like Hymes he struggled with the Memphis press, committing 4 turnovers to 3 assists.

Lavon Long fouled out with just over 4 minutes to play in the second half. He finished with eight points, on 4-7 shooting, three rebounds, and four turnovers in 21 minutes of action.

As a team Siena was outshot by Memphis 34% to 52% but did outrebound the Tigers 47-41.

The Saints will look to seize on the opportunity to quickly rebound from the loss tomorrow against the loser of the St Joe’s/LSU matchup at 8pm. The game will be aired nationally on ESPNU, the third consecutive nationally televised game for the Saints.

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