CARS HOMES JOBS

Saints' defense ices Peacocks

Friday, January 24, 2014
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Siena's Lavon Long, tries to grab the loose ball with Tyler Gaskins of St. Peter's in the first half at the Times Union Center in Albany Wednesday.
Photographer: Peter R. Barber
Siena's Lavon Long, tries to grab the loose ball with Tyler Gaskins of St. Peter's in the first half at the Times Union Center in Albany Wednesday.

— Are you tough enough? In Siena’s case, definitely.

The Saints were tough defensively and even tougher on the boards during a 64-47 victory over Saint Peter’s before a crowd of 5,205 at the chilly Times Union Center Thursday night.

Siena, 4-5 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference and 8-12 overall, equaled its win total in both categories from last year. The Peacocks fell to 3-6 and 7-11.

The Saints placed four players in double digits, led by Brett Bisping and Rob Poole with 14. Marquis Wright (13) and Lavon Long (10) also scored in twin figures. No Saint Peter’s player scored more than nine.

Saint Peter’s head coach John Dunne was impressed with the Saints, who won for the sixth time in eight home games.

“They played well. They didn’t shoot it great, but they played with energy and passion,” he said. “We didn’t fight hard enough. They out-toughed us. It was a layup drill for them. They are the best screen team in the league. We gave them too many paint scores.”

Siena scored 38 points in the paint and turned the Peacocks’ rel­atively modest total of 11 turnovers into 16 points.

More impressive was Siena’s rebounding stats. The Saints not only held a huge 48-29 edge on the boards, but also grabbed 17 on the offensive glass, compared to just nine for Saint Peter’s.

“I was really impressed with our team’s defense tonight,” said Siena head coach Jimmy Patsos. “We’re gritty at home.”

Perhaps most impressive of all the Saints was the play of Wright, the freshman point guard who produced a career-high nine rebounds and committed no turnovers.

“He’s very athletic,” said Patsos. “It’s everybody’s job to get rebounds. Both Poole and Marquis are good rebounders for guards.”

Wright liked the label of being tough.

“I guess we are pretty tough then,” he said with a smile. “We crashed the boards, and that was a plus for us. Coach always tells me to go and help Imoh [Silas] on the boards. He likes the guards helping out.”

Siena started slowly, sinking only one of its first nine shots from the field, but a pair of inside shots from Silas and a three-point play by Bisping gave the Saints a 13-10 lead that they would never relinquish.

Desi Washington drained a three-pointer to cut Siena’s lead to 20-18 with 7:54 left in the first half, but Bisping’s 10 first-half points helped the Saints take a 32-26 advantage at intermission.

“It was definitely nice to have that balanced scoring, and we really rebounded well tonight, especially on the offensive glass,” said Bisping. “Marquis having nine rebounds was great. We had a lot of guys crashing the boards, and coach Patsos has a lot of drills for that in practice, so it’s no surprise.”

Siena’s 12-2 run to start the second half put the game almost out of reach, considering the Peacocks’ offensive struggles. Poole scored five points during that run.

Although three Saints —Bisping, Long and Silas — picked up their fourth fouls very early, the Peacocks were only able to cut their deficit down to 10 three times

(46-36, 48-38 and 49-39).

Another Siena burst, this time a 10-0 spurt, expanded the Saints’ lead to 18 (59-41) with 3:50 to go on a pair of Evan Hymes free throws. Siena’s largest lead was 64-45 when Poole made two foul shots with 1:22 remaining.

Although Hymes struggled from the floor (1-for-11), he finished with seven assists.

‘I thought Evan played well, esp­ecially on defense,” said Patsos. “He didn’t shoot it well, but he played good defense and made some good passes.”

SAINT PETER’S (47)

Dominique 3-11 1-2 7, Welton 1-3 0-0 2, Wyche 1-4 1-2 3, Washington 2-8 0-0 5, Burke 1-5 0-0 2, Sellars 0-0 0-0 0, Fields 4-8 0-2 9, Desport 1-1 0-2 2, Gaskins 4-10 0-1 8, Tucker 0-1 0-0 0, Rolle 3-3 3-6 9. Totals: 20-54 5-15 47.

SIENA (64)

Long 4-8 2-2 10, Bisping 6-8 1-1 14, Silas 2-4 1-2 5, Wright 6-10 1-1 13, Poole 4-12 5-6 14, Audu 0-0 0-0 0, Ogunyemi 0-3 0-1 0, Oliver 0-1 0-0 0, Hymes 1-11 3-4 6, Cruz 0-1 0-0 0, White 1-3 0-1 2, Wolfe 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 24-61 13-18 64.

Halftime: Siena, 32-26. Three-point goals: Saint Peter’s 2-12 (Dominque 0-2, Washington 1-4, Burke 0-3, Fields 1-1, Gaskins 0-2); Siena 3-16 (Long 0-1, Bisping 1-2, Wright 0-2, Poole 1-5, Hymes 1-5, Cruz 0-1). Rebounds: Saint Peter’s 24 (Rolle 9), Siena 48 (Wright 9). Assists: Saint Peter’s 5 (Wyche 2, Burke 2); Siena 14 (Hymes 7). Total fouls: Saint Peter’s 24, Siena 20. Fouled out: Fields. Attendance: 5,205.

 
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