Saturday, February 21, 2009

Duell makes big impact for Siena

ALBANY - Josh Duell didn't exactly jump off the page at Northern Iowa coach Ben Jacobsen as he prepared to take on Siena.

How could he?

Duell has missed the 10 of the last 13 games and was averaging just 2.0 points per game.

On Saturday, in the Saints 81-75 victory over the Panthers, Duell finished with eight points, five assists and a rebound in 21 minutes.

“He really hurt us today because he has such a good feel for how to play,” Jacobsen said.

Duell said he just wanted to get back out there and try to help out.

“I think I thrived on driving and kicking to Kenny (Hasbrouck), Eddie (Ubiles) or Ronald (Moore) for open shots because the big guy didn’t come out and guard me that much,” Duell said.

Duell's impact was even bigger because of Northern Iowa's size and the foul trouble Ryan Rossiter was in.

“The key to was he gave us great minutes when Rossiter was in foul trouble,” Siena coach Fran McCaffery said.

McCaffery said he thought Duell would make a big impact down the stretch and he was right on this night.

“It’s great to see him contributing this way,” McCaffery said. “He deserves that.”

The biggest shot of the night wasn't one from Siena or Northern Iowa - Cohoes native Brendan Bradt hit a half-court shot in the second half, which you can view above, for $25,000 from the folks at Northeastern Fine Jewelery.

“That was amazing,” sophomore Clarence Jackson said. “I saw it go in the air and turned around and saw everybody cheering and I was happy for him.”

Bradt, 25, lives in Boston and said he was "pretty nervous" about just having one attempt.
Bradt played basketball at Cohoes High and then at Hudson Valley Community College.

"Fortunately it went in," Bradt said.

Bradt said he would put some of the money towards his student loans (I know how he feels), but that he would "drink a lot tonight, I'm not going to lie."

Jacobsen is a big time backer of the Saints making it to the NCAA Tournament.

“I watched them play a number of games on film and watching them play, this is a team that should be in the NCAA Tournament,” Jacobsen said. “They have all of the firepower that they need and are extremely well-coached.”

Asked squarely should Siena be in the tournament, he went on to say this.

“Absolutely,” Jacobsen said. “Some people may say Northern Iowa — they didn’t play very well in the first half. This game isn’t the one — it’s what they’ve done to this point.”

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