Monday, December 21, 2009

Siena/Rider: A huge game

Don't get lost in the presents and holiday cheer quite yet.

One of the biggest MAAC games of the season will be played in less than 48 hours, Wednesday in downtown Albany.

Siena (1-0, 6-4) vs.Rider(1-0, 8-5)

Some of the best games I've covered since taking over the Siena beat three years ago, have been the matchup between these two teams.

Let's take a closer look at some of the more recent encounters between these two teams.

Feb. 7, 2009: The Broncs spoil Siena's perfect MAAC season, handing the previously 12-0 Saints a 90-88 defeat at Alumni Gymnasium. Siena led 71-58 with 8:58 left, but Rider scored on 16 straight possessions and led 86-81 with 1:35 left. Ryan Thompson, who finished with 13 points, drove by his defender and scored with three seconds to go. Kenny Hasbrouck led the Saints with 29 points, while Justin Robinson scored a career-high 25 for Rider.

Jan. 9, 2009: In a nationally televised game, Siena's Edwin Ubiles' 360-dunk capped the Saints 91-81 victory. The Saints led 41-40 at halftime, but went on a 23-11 run to take their biggest lead of the game with 13 minutes to go. Ubiles led Siena with 19, while Hasbrouck added 18 for Siena. Alex Franklin had 15 points and 10 rebounds. Harris Mansell had 19 points to lead Rider, while Thompson and Mike Ringgold added 16 points apiece and Ringgold finished with 10 rebounds.

March 10, 2008: The Saints hold a 21st birthday party for lone senior Tay Fisher and 9,279 people show up to celebrate a 74-53 MAAC Championship victory, which punches Siena's ticket into the NCAA Tournament. Fisher helps break the game open late in the first half, matching a career-high six 3-pointers and finishing with a team-high 21 points. MAAC Player of the Year Jason Thompson finished with 22 points and 12 rebounds. You know the rest as Siena goes on to beat Vanderbilt and become darlings of March Madness.

Feb. 10, 2008: Junior Josh Duell drained a 3-pointer with 1.3 seconds to go to give Siena an 80-77 road victory. The victory pulled the Saints up to 11-3 in the MAAC alongside the Broncs. Jason Thompson made the game his by scoring 26 points and grabbing 24 rebounds. Franklin finished with 20 points and 12 rebounds, while Ronald Moore had 17 points and nine assists.

Feb. 2, 2008: Jason Thompson made this game his own and very well could have really cemented himself as a NBA player. Thompson's 23 points and 21 rebounds served notice as Rider took down Siena 89-75 in Albany. Thompson had a double-double at halftime as the Broncs led 59-34. Siena was led by Hasbrouck's 23 points and 18 from Ubiles. The Saints have only lost twice once at home since this game.

Jan. 27, 2007: Hasbrouck scores a career-high 36 points in 36 minutes at Sovereign Bank Arena, but Rider comes out with a 84-78 victory. Jason Thompson had 31 points and 16 rebounds. Hasbrouck kept the Saints in the game, and Siena owned a 71-68 lead with 4:48 remaining. Terrence Mouton's 3-pointer gave Rider the lead for good, 76-73.

Dec. 9, 2006:
Behind a game-high 27 points from Michael Haddix, Siena posts a 87-79 victory at Pepsi Arena. Hasbrouck scored 18 of his 23 points in the second half. Jason Thompson finished with 22 points and 12 rebounds. Ubiles, just a freshman, scored 19 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Former Siena player Joel Green scored eight points in a starting role for Rider.

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