Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Purdue loss hits hard for rebuilding Saints

LOUDONVILLE -  The mood in the locker room was one of despair and dejection.

The Siena players sat somewhat in disbelief, not that they had lost to Purdue for the second time in eight days, but how it had happened.

The Saints led the Boilermakers by 16 points in the second half and watched it all slip away, as Purdue scored the game's final nine points to post a 68-63 victory at the Old Spice Classic.

There was plenty of blame to go around, but the Saints were hurting.

Lavon Long and Rob Poole had fouled out before the final media timeout. Brett Bisping and Evan Hymes each had shots late to keep the Saints' lead in tact.

"I was definitely disappointed -- we all were -- because it was definitely a winnable game," said Hymes.

Coach Jimmy Patsos was okay with the loss hurting because he wants the team to start

"That loss hurt," he said. "We could have beaten Purdue. We had a great opportunity to beat a Big Ten team."

Hymes, who matched for team-high honors with 17 points, took the loss especially hard, posting the following tweets not long after the loss and the 0-3 finish at the Old Spice.

On Tuesday, coach Jimmy Patsos said this team needs to work better as a "we" and think less about the "me."

"We have to be careful in thinking one player is going to take us out of the situation that's occurred the last few years," he said. "We're doing fine. Organizations win."

Patsos said he spoke with Hymes on Monday about how he likes that he's been solid since being removed from the starting lineup and is helping to lead the younger guys.

"I really respect Evan for handling coming off the bench well," said Patsos.

He also said that he didn't fault Hymes for trying to do something late in the game, even though he would have preferred Hymes didn't try to do it all himself. Patsos also said it certainly wasn't Hymes alone that lost the game.

"No he didn't," Patsos said. "He's trying hard. He made a shot (attempt) to put us ahead."

Patsos said that Athletic Director John D'Argenio told him to plan out the work and then start working the plan.

"No one guy's going to say 'We're back, we're Siena and I did it,'" Patsos said. "It's going to be a 'We did it' and it's going to be a 'We did it', in terms of this great school the 25 years of great tradition and this great community."

Hymes said he spoke with former Siena player Conner Fenlon, when the team was down in Florida. Fenlon was a part of the 2008 team that also lost three games at Olld Spice and was reminding Hymes that team went on to win the league championship.

"That just shows you the MAAC championship is where you want to be and you want to be playing your best coming into March," said Hymes.  

While the team is just 2-7, the Saints have shown flashes that they can make a run come conference time.

"We just have to keep playing hard and playing well together," said junior Rob Poole.

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