Another ugly loss for Siena, this time coming at the hands of St. Bonaventure, 75-55 for their third 20+ point loss of the young season. Let’s break it down.
The biggest momentum gainer for the Bonnies was the 13-1 run they went on in the final five minutes of the first half. Before that run, the Saints only trailed 22-20, and went into the half behind 14, 35-21. During that run, a three that went in and rolled out of the rim off the hands of freshman Christian Bentley that would have made the game 27-24 and may have made it a different story heading into the half.
The issue was, for Siena, especially in the first half was that in multiple possessions, they passed the ball around for too long without looking for a shot, some of the time around 20 seconds, then settled for a bad shot, and missed many of them. For example, Nico Clareth went 0-4 from the field in the first half, and the team collectively went 6-25 shooting and 1-9 from three-point range in the first 20 minutes. That is not going to cut it against a team that was picked to finish second in the Atlantic 10.
“There’s no one doing anything intentionally, just they’re missing some plays,” Siena head coach Jimmy Patsos said.
Another issue was the foul trouble. Both Prince Oduro and Clareth had two fouls during the first half, and had to come out, and the offense came screeching to a halt after that. The Saints had four players with at least three fouls. Clareth had three, Oduro and Evan Fisher had four each, and Roman Penn fouled out with more than five minutes to play. Penn had four fouls last Saturday against Hofstra, and Clareth fouled out of the contest, making it back-to-back games in which Siena has had foul trouble.
“That’s something completely out of my control with the ref’s call, I’m just helping, trying to play defense,” Clareth said.
Additionally, Jimmy Patsos started three freshman for the second straight game, and it wasn’t exactly a success. Oduro, Penn and Bentley combined for just 14 points between the three of them after the same trio accounted for 42 of Siena’s 85 points on Saturday.
Finally, to bring up something good, Ahsante Shivers had the best game on offense in his career, scoring 19 points, topping his previous benchmark of 16 set on November 17 against Lehigh. He shot 5-14 and hit two three-pointers.
“Shivers just gave it all he had,” Patsos said.
Siena is now 1-5 after the loss, and are back in action on Saturday at home against Robert Morris, with a game time of 2 p.m.
“Got to beat Robert Morris, got to stay positive,” Patsos said of the game Saturday.
After Robert Morris, the Saints head to Kentucky to take on nationally-ranked Louisville on December 6 before heading back home for the Albany Cup against UAlbany at the Times Union Center on December 9.