Saints stop Eagles, 66-62
ALBANY The Siena Saints held the leading scorer in the nation well below his average, and pulled out a 66-62 win over Niagara in front of 5,772 at the Times Union Center Thursday night.
Freshman Marquis Wright put Siena (6-5, 10-12 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) in control with 10.3 seconds left when he made a layup for a 66-62 lead.
The Purple Eagles’ Antoine Mason, averaging 27.4 points per game, scored 18 points and missed a wild three as the game ended.
Evan Hymes made a three-pointer from the right wing to give Siena a 62-61 edge with 38.4 left, the 16th lead change in a game that also featured 11 ties.
Niagara followed with a missed three by Wesley Myers, and was called for traveling on the rebound. with 23.9 seconds left.
With 23 seconds left, Wright missed the first of two free throws and made the second for a 63-61 lead.
Myers rimmed out the first of two free throws with 12.2 left, and made the second to make it 63-62.
The Saints beat the press for a layup by Wright with 10.3 seconds left, and he was fouled.
The game looked like it was starting to get away from Siena midway through the second half when Niagara took a 41-35 lead on two free throws by Mason.
With forward Brett Bisping in foul trouble, Siena head coach Jimmy Patsos used a small lineup to get back into it.
Little-used guard Rich Audu made a three to tie it at 41-41, and Rob Poole hit a three for a 46-45 lead with under nine minutes left.
Prior to Saturday’s 7 p.m. home game against Quinnipiac, Siena will raise banners honoring the 1989 NCAA second-round team that beat Stanford (25th anniversary) and the 1994 NIT semifinal team (20th anniversary).