Local College SportsSiena

Siena earns first win of the season over Hofstra

ALBANY — The Siena Basketball youth movement was on full display Saturday as freshmen combined for 42 points to guide the Saints to their first victory of the year 85-76 over CAA foe Hofstra at the Times Union Center. Siena shot a scintillating 59% both from the field and the three-point line to record the program’s milestone 1,100th all-time win.

Freshman forward Prince Oduro led five Saints (1-4) in double figures with season-highs of 17 points and four assists while adding eight rebounds. Classmate Roman Penn posted his second straight 14-point performance and dished out a season-high 11 assists without committing a turnover to tally a double-double in his first collegiate start. Penn’s 11 dimes are tied for the most by a Siena player since Marquis Wright ’17 recorded 12 assists on Dec. 8, 2013 at Canisius.

Preseason First Team All-CAA honoree and Lou Henson Award Watch List selection Justin Wright-Foreman led all scorers with 25 points for Hofstra (3-3) which shot just 37% from the field including only 9-34 (27%) from distance. Preseason Second Team All-CAA member and Karl Malone Watch List candidate Rokas Gustys added a double-double with 18 points and corralled 12 of his 15 rebounds off the offensive glass while becoming just the third player in Pride history to eclipse 1,000 career rebounds.

The Saints never trailed and led by as many as 12 points in crafting another offensive showcase in which they eclipsed the 80-point mark for the third straight game while notching season-highs in field goal percentage, three-point field goal percentage, assists (22), and threes (10).

Junior guard Nico Clareth fueled Siena in the first half by scoring 12 of his 17 points in the stanza. Siena shot 7-9 from three-point range in the opening half, and assisted on 13 of their 15 made field goals to claim a 38-33 lead at the break.

Hofstra closed the deficit to as little as three points on a pair of occasions in the second half, but the Saints shot 60% in the stanza and went on a mini 6-0 run late to double their lead to 12 with 3:55 remaining. Oduro had a major hand in helping Siena finish off its third straight home win in the series as he scored 13 of his points – including a pair of thunderous dunks late – and grabbed all eight of his rebounds in the second half.

Freshman guard Christian Bentley scored nine of his season-high 11 points in the second half to cap a solid first collegiate start, while sophomore guard Khalil Richard rounded out the Saints’ double figure scorers with 10 points off the bench. Both Bentley and Richard shot 4-5 from the field.

Preseason All-CAA Honorable Mention selection Eli Pemberton added 11 points, seven rebounds, and five assists for the Pride which defeated a quality Dayton team last week, but has now since lost three straight.

Siena continues its first of two season long three-game homestands Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Times Union Center when the Saints face sister school St. Bonaventure in the annual battle for the Franciscan Cup.

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