Siena takes down Florida Atlantic, 67-60
The Saints stepped up their defense in the second half and that carried them to a 67-60 victory over Florida Atlantic.
Siena (5-7) finished the calendar year on a two-game winning streak and did so, by holding the Owls (4-9) to just 21 points in the second half.
Junior O.D. Anosike posted his eighth consecutive double-double, finishing with a game-high 17 points and 13 rebounds.
Kyle Downey and Evan Hymes each played the entire 40 minutes for the second straight game, finishing with 14 points apiece.
Also for the second straight game, Siena played just six players.
“I just think everybody on the team has the will to win," Hymes said. “Even though we're (short-handed), everything that’s happened to us this year with all the injuries, we just persevere. We came through and we played tough in this game.”
Downey hit a shot, midway through the second half, to give the Saints the lead for good.
Florida Atlantic scored only eight points in the game’s final 11 minutes.
Rob Poole hit some big shots late for the Saints, matching a career-high with 11 points off the bench.
The Owls, who were picked to finish first in the Sun Belt East Division in preseason, were led by Greg Gantt’s 16 points.
Florida Atlantic shot 8-for-20 from beyond the arc in the first half, but finished 0-for-11 after intermission.
Siena shot 58 percent (15-26) from the field in the first half, but trailed 39-36.
The Saints got big 3-pointers from Downey and Owen Wignot to bolster an early 9-0 run to get Siena in front.
Siena, which has won three of its past five games, takes on conference rival Iona, at Madison Square Garden, on Tuesday, Jan. 3.