If we learned one thing from Siena’s home opener last night, it’s that the Saints are not a finished product. They fell to Florida Gulf Coast by a score of 86-53. This was one of the worst home losses in program history since they turned Division 1 in 1976.
What may be even more concerning is that they start the year 0-2. They took College of Charleston, a great team, to overtime (they lost 68-60) and were pretty confident heading into last night. Then, this happened. Let’s break it down.
The offense struggled, that’s easy to see just by skimming the box score. They went 8-31 shooting and were outscored by 20 in the second half alone. It was 40-27 at halftime. Not really close, but within reach. They were even down by eight with 14 minutes left and a comeback was a real possibility, even if they had come up just a tad short.
Then, the Eagles went on an 8-0 run to double their lead from eight to 16. That was the turning point of the evening and really put the Saints to bed. The Saints lacked emotion after that, letting FGCU score almost at will as the lead increased to 33 by the end of the night.
“We didn’t play hard for 40 minutes. We gave half effort. We didn’t give 100 percent and it showed out there,” sophomore guard Ahsante Shivers said.
Another concern from the night was Nico Clareth. He was taking lots of ill-advised shots, and the stat sheet represented that. He finished with just six points on the night on 3-12 shooting including 0-5 from beyond the arc, few of which were particularly close to going in. It was a lot of deep bombs and off-balance shots. It’s well-known that Clareth can be hit-or-miss at times, but Siena will need him to be more consistent if they want to be in contention to win big games against high-quality opponents like this one.
“I think he puts too much pressure on himself,” Siena coach Jimmy Patsos said.
Lastly, freshman Prince Oduro struggled both shooting and on the boards. He shot 2-12 and had three rebounds, not something you expect from a 6-9 forward. The team got out-rebounded 48-33 in all.
“Prince Oduro didn’t play bad, he just couldn’t make a shot. Well, welcome to playing against Florida Gulf Coast,” Patsos said.
Shivers summed up the loss postgame, and it was pretty evident of the night overall. “It’s definitely embarrassing. Nobody on the team is happy right now, I can tell you that. Nobody should be happy with this loss.”
Siena will return home on Saturday, November 25, against Hofstra.