Jan. 4, 2014
Brett Bisping poured in a career-high 20 points and Siena was in command for most of the night in an impressive 62-47 MAAC win over Rider Saturday in Albany. It was the fourth straight home victory for Siena and the first MAAC loss of the season for Rider.
"I thought our team was ready to play," Siena coach Jimmy Patsos said.
The Saints (6-9, 2-2) limited the high-power Broncs (80.8 ppg entering game) to a season-low 47 points - the fewest by a Siena opponent since a 72-44 win over Canisius nearly six years ago (1/13/08). It also marked the largest margin of victory in a home game since the Fran McCaffery-led Saints drilled Manhattan 78-61 in the 2010 MAAC Quarterfinals (3/2/10).
Rider (7-6, 3-1) entered the game leading the nation in three-point shooting (43.5%), but managed just 28% (5-18) against Siena's active zone. Opponents are now shooting 25% from three-point range at Times Union Center this season.
"We're long," Patsos said. "At least they can't just sight the target. That's why we kinda played extended zone. I thought we rebounded their misses well."
The Saints led for all but two minutes in the first half, but held a slim 25-23 lead at halftime after Anthony Myles beat the clock with a long three from the top of the key. Myles led all players with 21 points, but was the only Bronc to score more than six.
Siena started the second half on a 10-2 run, taking a double digit lead on Bisping's first three-pointer in eight games with 17:06 to play. He made two more in the second half on his way to a 7-for-9 performance from the field and a perfect 3-for-3 effort from distance.
"Brett saved us tonight," Patsos said.
The Saints shot 67% from the field in the second half. Leading scorer Rob Poole scored nine of his 12 points after intermission. Imoh Silas was a major difference maker on the defensive end, finishing with seven rebounds and four blocks to go along with his six points. Patsos also sighted the contributions of point guard Marquis Wright - who played through a cut on his right hand to contributed five assists and three steals.
Siena, which opened MAAC play with three road games, returns home next weekend. The Saints host archrival Marist Friday night and defending MAAC Champion Iona Sunday afternoon.