Turnovers Costly As Saints Fall To Northridge

The Saints limited the Cal State Northridge offense to a season low 68 points, but it wasn’t enough. 16 team turnovers, including a career high 11 by Evan Hymes, led to 26 Northridge points, helping the Matadors edge out the Saints 68-64 tonight in San Diego.

The Saints struggled early, allowing Northridge to jump out to an early 19-10 lead. Strong shooting from the perimeter, including four first half threes from Rob Poole, allowed the Saints to keep within striking distance and enter the locker room at the half down three, 34-31. As a team the Saints scored 24 of their first half points from beyond the arc on 8-15 shooting.

In the second half O.D. Anosike came alive. The Matador defense, which did a great job of limiting the Saints ability to get the ball inside to Anosike in the first half, allowed O.D. to score the Saints first 15 points of the second half. The Saints big man finished the game with 19 points and 12 rebounds, securing his third double-double to begin the season.

While the Saints were able to trade leads throughout the second half, turnovers and trips to the line ultimately were the difference in  turning a close win into a close loss. The Matadors shot 21-28 from the line, including key free throws in the final minute, and converted 16 Saints turnovers into 26 points.

Despite a rough night from Hymes, who finished the game with 14 pts, 5 assists, and 11 turnovers, there were some positives to be taken away from tonight’s game. Rob Poole, and the team as a whole, saw an improved shooting performance. Poole scored a career high 19 points on 6-14 shooting, including 5-10 from three. As a team the Saints shot 43% from the floor, 47% from three, and 73% from the free throw line, including a 5-7 output from O.D. Anosike.

Imoh Silas continued his strong performance. Coming off the bench in place of Davis Martens, who has now played only 14 minutes in the past two games despite starting, Silas grabbed 8 boards, including 7 on the offensive end, and added 4 points.

Also of note this was the final game the Saints were without suspended players Trenity Burdine and Rakeem Brookins. Given the close nature of all three games this season, it can certainly be argued that Siena would be 3-0 if they had had the services of their starting two guard.

Note: OD Anosike is now 7th all time in career rebounds at Siena with 753 behind Jack Mulvey(1962-65) with 793.

The Saints next take on first year Division 1 opponent Northern Kentucky tomorrow night at 10:30 pm Eastern.

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