Javion Ogunymi scored a career-high 16 points and his three-point play with 3:45 left helped Siena break free for a 74-70 win at Niagara Sunday. It was the 100th MAAC win for Siena coach Jimmy Patsos, trailing only former Niagara coach Joe Mihalich on the league's all-time win list.
"I thought our team stayed together (after Friday's 34-point loss at Canisius)," Patsos said. "We didn't veer off the path and say `Let's have seven hours of meetings and a 20-hour practice'. We (stuck) to the game plan, played a lot of zone, scored 74 points and I couldn't be prouder."
It was a 62-61 Siena lead after Ravon Harris scored on a putback for Niagara with 5:08 left, but the Saints used an 8-0 run to take command, a rally capped off by Ogunyemi's big basket with harm.
Marquis Wright missed some free throws down the stretch, but he made a big one with 34 seconds left that made it a two possession game.
"We loved each other on the court and that's what I was saying at every huddle," Wright said when asked the difference from Friday night. "(If we do that) it leads to defense, offense and a win."
Siena got that win thanks to a total team effort and key contributions from unexpected players. They also won without leading scorer Rob Poole who missed both games this weekend with a sprained ankle. It was an emotional effort from the start.
Willem Brandwijk equaled a career-high with 12 points, nine coming in the first half. He grabbed five rebounds and had three blocks in 21 minutes. Classmate Jimmy Paige was also active, collecting five rebounds and making all eight of his free throw attempts on his way to a career-best eight points.
Wright finished with 12 points, Evan Hymes came off the bench to score 11, and Lavon Long returned from a dislocated toe to score 10 points and grab six rebounds in 24 minutes.
Blackman made all four of his three-pointers and scored a game-high 21 points, but he didn't score after his three with 9:19 to play gave Niagara its final lead of the game, 56-55.
The only negative came when Maurice White crashed to the floor with 1:10 left and needed to be helped off the court with an ankle injury. The good news is Patsos said Poole is expected to return to the rotation when Siena hosts last place Marist Friday night at 7 p.m.