Monday, December 23, 2013

Quick Reaction: Siena beats Hofstra

ALBANY - Siena's young players keep maturing right before our eyes.

The Saints have been in a number of close games and yet they haven't really played like inexperienced players.

Siena used a balanced effort to get past Hofstra, 67-59, on Friday evening. The Saints are now 3-3, in games decided by eight points or less (two of the losses came to Purdue).

What it means:  The Saints have proved they are a better team at home, with a 2-1 record, and having won their past two games. That should bode well for this team, which plays four of its next five on the road, including three MAAC games.

Siena got a lot of balance in this game, having four players in double figures and Marquis Wright adding eight. If they can get that kind of balance, they will be a tough team to defend, come the return of conference play.

Player of the game: Rob Poole didn't have a terrific game offensively, but he finished with 14 points, six rebounds and three assists. In addition, he guarded Hofstra's top player Zeke Upshaw, who had a miserable game, going 2-for-17 from the field and finishing with just seven points.

Play of the game: After Dion Nesmith drained a 3-pointer to cut Siena's lead to 53-51, Wright got an open look at calmly drained a 3-pointer to put the Saints back five. Wright was just 2-for-10 from beyond the arc coming into the game, but didn't hesitate to let it fly.

On that play, Patsos moved Evan Hymes to the point guard position and that allowed Wright to find himself open.

Injury Update: Freshman Javion Ogunyemi played for the first time in a month, after suffering an ankle injury in the St. Bonaventure game. While he finished with zero points (0-3 shooting), he played 12 minutes and had two rebounds.

“I just have to work on my conditioning and my game will get back to where it needs to be," he said.

Up next: The Saints are off for a week before they host Fordham, in the final non-conference game of the year.

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