When the Siena men’s basketball team took the court Saturday night they did so in front of nearly 7,000 spectators. On the line for the Saints was a trip to the semifinals and a date with top seeded Iona. The Saints lived to see another day, beating the Jaspers 89-76 .
During previous battles this season, it was a draw with each team winning on their home floor. When the Saints went to Manhattan it took three overtime periods, but the Jaspers hung on to win. Not so, when the Jaspers came to Albany – it was a bit more of a one sided W for the Saints.
This encounter started out neck and neck with both teams trading buckets. By the buzzer at the half it was 46-34 Siena. If the second half was going to be anything like the first, we knew to expect trench warfare. (Well, not quite but you get the point.)
Manhattan was able to get the third quarter off with a 6-0 run, but the Saints quickly put an end to that. With 15:59 to play, Siena had gathered a 9 point lead (53-42). By 10:56 on the clock, Siena took over big time with their biggest lead of the night 66-50. Although Manhattan put up a good fight, it wasn’t enough as Siena got the W 89-76.
After the game Siena head coach Jimmy Patsos discussed how his Saints picked up the W. “To beat them when they cut it to 3… I knew it was going to be a dog fight”
Nico Clareth was not as large of a presence for the Saints, scoring only a total of 8 points. ” He practiced for 5 minutes the last 2 days, he’s got some kind of cramp going on”, Patsos said.
Siena will now play Iona in the Men’s Semifinals today at 7:00pm. When looking ahead to that battle, Siena head coach Jimmy Patsos said “AJ En
glish, when he graduates I’m going to buy him a big present”.
English, Iona’s star senior put on a clinic when the Gaels last came to the TU Center, scoring 32 points. You won’t want to miss this one – it can be streamed on ESPN 3, heard on talk 1300, better yet, seen at the TU – 7:00pm tipoff.