HAMDEN, CT – Senior swing Lavon Long poured in his third double-double of the season with 26 points and a career-high 16 rebounds to lead Siena Basketball to a 84-75 triumph over Quinnipiac at the TD Bank Sports Center. Classmate Javion Ogunyemi added a season-high 25 points on 12-14 shooting for the Saints which completed the regular season sweep of the Bobcats for the second straight season.
Siena (10-13, 7-5) set season-highs in points in the paint (58) and second chance points (24), and tied a season-best with 52 rebounds including 22 off the offensive glass in dominating in the low post against a program which excels annually in that area. The Saints were a season-best +25 on the glass vs. a Quinnipiac (8-14, 5-7) squad which entered play ranked 24th nationally in rebounding (39.6). Siena also held the Bobcats, which entered the day 11th in the nation in offensive rebounding (14.0), to just nine second chance opportunities.
Long added a season-high tying six assists without a committing a turnover in playing all 40 brilliant minutes. Senior guard Marquis Wright also tied a season-high with nine assists for the Saints which tied a season-best with 24 assists.
Red-shirt senior forward Brett Bisping contributed his eighth double-double of the season with 17 points and 14 rebounds for Siena which has won six of eight to take over sole possession of fourth place in the MAAC Standings. With the victory, the Saints moved within a game of both idle Iona and Saint Peter’s who are currently tied for second in the league hierarchy.
In a see-saw first half which featured five ties and seven lead changes, Siena had the final say with a 13-6 spurt to close the stanza and claim a 39-37 lead at the break. The Saints led for all but 20 seconds of the second half, although by no more than eight points over the first 15 minutes.
Quinnipiac cut the deficit to 65-61 with 5:30 to go, but Siena responded with a decisive 14-2 spurt over 3:47 late to capture its third road win in its past four contests after having dropped its previous 11. The Saints made six of their seven shots during the game-defining run in earning their eighth win in 10 tries all-time against the Bobcats.
The impressive freshman duo of Mikey Dixon and Peter Kiss paced Quinnipiac with 19 points apiece. The reigning MAAC Rookie of the Week, Kiss dished out seven of the Bobcats’ 20 assists. Chaise Daniels added 18 points, nine rebounds and a career-high seven blocks for Quinnipiac which has lost five of seven.
Siena faces another stiff test when it returns to action Saturday to host Canisius at the Times Union Center at 7 p.m. The Golden Griffins currently stand just a game back of the Saints in the MAAC Standings, tied for fifth with Rider.
-Mike Demos/Siena Athletics