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Siena Wins Opener

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Siena held off a late surge from the University of Quebec at Montreal (UQAM) Saturday night to win the first game of its Foreign Tour 88-78 in Montreal. Freshmen Marquis Wright (19), Javion Ogunyemi  (16) and Lavon Long (13) combined to score 48 of the team's 88 points.

"I thought it was kind of a team win," head coach Jimmy Patsos said. "We had a lot of turnovers because they were pressing us to slow us down, and then we had to run a quick play (because of the 24-second shot clock), but we were being aggressive and trying to make some plays. To score 88 points and still have 25 turnovers was great for us."

Junior Evan Hymes scored the first five points of the game to get Siena off to a fast start. Hymes finished with 16 points, four assists and four rebounds and played almost exclusively off the ball after running the point in his first two years with the program. Wright tied for a game high with 19 points and added six assists in 39 minutes, but he did turn the ball over eight times.

Siena's backcourt proved some firepower, but Ogunyemi and Long made big finishes inside to help solidify the outcome.

After Richard Addai's 4-point play cut the Siena lead (once 15 points) to just 79-78 with 1:28 to play, Long found Imoh Silas for a dunk to ignite a 9-0 Saints' run to end the game. Long ripped a rebound and finished a conventional 3-point play to push the lead to six with 28 seconds left.

Rob Poole rounded out Siena's five double figure scorers with1 2 points despite missing all four of his 3-point tries.

The Saints return to action at 2 p.m. Sunday against McGill University.

Halftime Update

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Siena leads the University of Quebec at Montreal (UQAM) 44-38 at halftime. Freshmen Javion Ogunyemi (8), Marquis Wright (6) and Lavon Long (6) combined for 20 points and eight rebounds. Evan Hymes leads the Sainst with 10 points and made 2-4 3-pointers.

The Saints shot 47% from the field in the first half, including 71% (10-14) in the first quarter.

The teams are playing with FIFA rules. The main differences are: four 10 minute quarters; after the fifth foul in each quarter the other team shoots two shots (no bonus); slightly longer 3-point line; five total timeouts (2 in first half, 3 in second half - all full timeouts.

Overall, Siena played with good energy and aggression. That aggression led to 15 turnovers and some open threes that have kept UQAM within striking distance.

Ten Saints saw action in the first 20 minutes, with nine of those 10 (all but Rich Audu) playing at least six minutes. 

Gameday

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The Siena men's basketball team continued its tour of former Olympic venues Saturday. The Saints made a stop at Montreal's Olympic Stadium after breakfast this morning. The team hits the court for the first time tonight at 6 p.m. at the University of Quebec.

Bienvenue to Montreal

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The Siena men's basketball team arrived safely in Montreal Friday afternoon. The team was given the night to explore the city on their own. The Saints will play the first game of their tour Saturday at 6 p.m. against the University of Quebec. Sunday's game against McGill University has been moved up to a 2 p.m. start. The full game schedule is listed HERE.


Notre Dame Basilica lights up Old Montreal Friday night.

Herb Brooks Arena

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The Siena men's basketball team poses in front of Herb Brooks Arena during its stopover in Lake Place on the way to Montreal. The team enjoyed great weather Thursday evening and Friday morning, and several members even paddled canoes around Mirror Lake.

Siena's Trip Will Be All About Discovery

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That's the title of today's Times Union story by Mark Singelais about Siena's Montreal trip. Mark analyzes five areas that bear watching on the tour. 

Mike MacAdam had his preview of the trip in the Schenectady Gazette today as well.


Jimmy Patsos Previews Montreal Trip

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...And They're Off

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The Siena men's basketball team departed campus for Lake Placid early Thursday afternoon, the first stop on a seven-day tour that makes its way to Montreal Friday.

Head coach Jimmy Patsos said he plans on showing the team the movie "Miracle" on the bus ride north, hoping to provide context for a tour of the historic former Olympic town later in the day.

The team will play five games on the trip, beginning with a 6 p.m. Saturday tip at the University of Quebec. It will be exciting to get an early glimpse at the new-look Saints on the court, but the real value of the trip is expected to come from a week of bonding and new experiences.

The Siena program has undergone a complete metamorphosis in the five months since its disappointing 2012-13 campaign ended in the MAAC quarterfinals. No change has been more dramatic and impactful than the one at the top.

This week provides Patsos the opportunity to begin the rebuilding process and put his stamp on the program before the school year even begins. Throughout his nine-year career at Loyola, Patsos was known for opening his players' eyes to the world outside of basketball. He prides himself in developing young men with character who appreciate their surroundings. What better way to begin his Siena voyage than with an international tour designed to do just that?

We will join up with the team Friday when they make their way north of the border and provide daily updates, photos, game summaries and video interviews from each day of the trip. Please comment below to let us know what you are most looking forward to about this trip, and what information you'd like me to see on this blog the next seven days.

Go Saints!