When the Saints took the floor Monday against Monmouth, a lot more was on the line than just another win on the schedule. The winner of this game would take over the #1 spot in the MAAC. The Saints came within inches of doing just that, dropping their first loss at home (87-94) to the Hawks.
The Saints may not have came away victorious on the scoreboard, but they had a lot to be proud of including Javion Ogunyemi putting up a career high 31 points. Not to be outdone, Monmouth’s Justin Robinson lead all scoring with 36. Robinson also lead both teams from beyond the arc, going 4 for 7 (57%)and racking up 12 points in the process. It’s been awhile since we’ve seen a shooter with that much speed and accuracy in the MAAC.
Combined with Robinson’s 36 and a handful of Hawks circling around 10 points each, in the end Monmouth won by simply outscoring Ogunyemi and the Saints. Brett Bisping (20pts) and Nico Clareth (15pts) kept things competitive throughout the game for the Saints. It seemed whenever the Saints did something to change the momentum of the game, the Hawks had an answer silencing the Siena faithful.
Just think, how different might this game have been if injured guard Marquis Wright was on the floor? Well, the stage is set for that with the possibility of seeing a rematch of sorts from the TU center with Wright out there on the floor in the potential MAAC tournament. Could you imagine if it was the MAAC championship? Now that would be something to see.
“I’m proud of our team for not giving away the win like that,” Siena head coach Jimmy Patsos said after the game, while expressing how pleased he was with the way his team played. As we all know, in any sport at any level it’s not exactly an easy thing to beat the same team three times in one season.
” I hope it’s us beating them in the finals … we’ve got some work to do,” Patsos said when discussing the chance of his squad squaring off with the Hawks in the potential MAAC championship.
Whether we see Siena or Monmouth in the MAAC Championship is a BIG what if, but one thing is for certain. There is no doubt that it will be played at the TU Center. With Siena playing at the high level they are, you can expect the place to sell out quick so be sure to get your tournament passes now while you still can.
The Saints have roughly one month and eight games before the MAAC Tournament starts, with St. Peters up as their next opponent. Having lost to them earlier in the season, it’s a good opportunity for the Saints to bounce back with a win. Tipoff is set for 9:00PM Friday after the Lady Saints take the hardwood at 7:00PM.